Friday, August 18, 2006
Hip Hop's Turnin' Republican
Keeping on the political rap tip...
One of these days, Def Jam will release the second retail album by my favorite rapper next to Jay-Z, Jersey City's Joe Budden (my top five current rappers for about three years running are all Js - which is fitting I juess - other 3 being Jadakiss, Juvenile and Nas aka Nasir Jones...for all time Tupac and Chuck D. replace Juvey and 'kiss).
I confess that I thought Joey was a joke when a former roommate of mine brought home his first CD a little over three years ago. I knew him from D.J. Clue mixtape appearances, and loved "Pump It Up" from the first time I heard it - still do - but I had no idea that he was such a gifted lyricist. His best songs - not the released singles - are full of raw emotion, clever wordplay, and that undescribable quality which compels people like me to make and update top rapper lists.
Anyway, here's some excerpted lines from one of Joey's best mixtape releases this year, the nearly eight-minute-long freestyle "Dumb Out" off of the street release Mood Music 2, and also where I snagged the title of this post:
Stuck between platinum and flop, underground and mainstream
Conscious, backpack...scratch that, same thing
I'm somewhere between the real and the fakeness
The red pill, blue pill, real and the Matrix
And I can't take this
If The Game needs a new look, I'm between a tummy tuck and a face lift....
And these dudes might as well be Jamie Foxx
Trying to sound like somebody that already died
The kid keep a snub wit 'em, good pair of gloves wit 'em
Your first week ain't right, they can't fuck wit 'im
Now if you don't sell 5 mill, they had enough of 'em
Let me find out Hip Hop's turnin' Republican
Here's a video I found on Youtube some fan made of "Dumb Out" which kicks some serious ass (the "Hip Hop's turnin' Republican" line is about 3:45 seconds in):
The other week, Joey talked about those bars with AllHipHop.com:
AllHipHop.com: On "Dumb Out," you said "Let me find out Hip-Hop turned Republican." What’s that mean to you?
Joe Budden: It did, it did, it did, it did – especially from a fan’s standpoint. Nowadays, the people supposed to enjoy the music – the "Hip-Hop activists" – they’re like a rarity now. Everybody’s in the business. Everybody’s so concerned with numbers and budget and fuckin’ Soundscan, and image, and everything that Hip-Hop never stood for. It’s just pretty fucked up. I feel like on one side, you’ve got the Democrats which would be – I don’t wanna "the backpackers" – but [them], but the people that are in it for the love of the music and the art of it. [Then you’ve got] the Republicans – the people who are in it for the money, the people who stand for other things.
According to that interview, and a few other ones that go back to last summer when The Growth was supposed to drop, Joey tackles subjects ranging from the environment to child molestation on the new album. Can't wait.
And really can't wait to hear the full version of "The Unforgiven" which is based on the Metallica song (you can hear a little bit of it here). But Metallica isn't sampled on the album version...Joey says they redid the song with him.
Def Jam President Jay-Z better ship this album out quick because the game needs it badly (at least until The Game record drops...who rounds out my current top 10 list along with Eminem, Kanye West, Daz & Kurupt, and Ghostface but loses out to - obviously since I left him out so far - Notorious B.I.G. on the all-time list...Biggie's the only rapper on either list I ever met and man was he cool, friendly, accomodating and witty).
And a holla out to Joe if this is really your Myspace site.