Saturday, February 28

Joe Budden: Padded Room

The pushed back date has finally come and gone. This time around the pushed back date actually came with a delivery. It was like sitting in the house waiting on UPS to show up with a package. They tell you the shipment should arrive between noon and 3pm, and so they have you sitting and listening for the UPS truck to rumble down the street.

With that said, Padded Room was finally dropped after being pushed back several times for reasons that we all wont really know or understand. What we have though is a work of art that seemingly is straight from the padded room itself. Budden delivered a concept album that many will be drawn to, but few will understand. This album has that Marshall Mathers LP feel to it. Not really dark and violent, but more so honest and visual. Budden is probably one of the most talented at painting a picture so that we not only hear words, but we see them too. His story telling throughout his past mixtapes and album have all gotten better step by step of the way.

This album starts off with "Now I Lay." It's a up tempo track that sets the stage for where we are all traveling with Budden to as he is laying himself down and praying the Lord his soul to take. It's uptempo doesn't spare any lyrical strength and it lulls you in for something much more deeper. A little out of place is the next track "The Future," featuring The Game. I'm not quite sure where it fits in at this point, but I almost think that it's better off being at the beginning as opposed to being sprinkled in somewhere else. Could have done without it though. Maybe he was sidetracked, and that's what was going on in his head at the time while sitting in his four cornered room. The next couple of tracks stay off track as they seem just as out of place, almost hitting the concept, but just missing. On "Blood On My Wall" you can see Budden staring at the wall inside of his bedroom and starting to verbalize what's going inside his head. Including the frustration with Prodigy of Mobb Deep.

At this point the album begins to peak and the concept of the album is beginning to shine through. "In My Sleep" Budden goes through some recurring dreams that leave you frozen as if you're watching tv. Stuck in a room with a elephant/ opened the closet and dapped up my skeleton/ had a convo with a man with no ears/ then all of a sudden everything became so clear. Deep. Budden continues his self reflection as the next track, "Exxxes," rolls on with a mellow, laid back beat. Budden recites manic engagements with a ghostly chick named "Ashley," which leaves you to think deeper about where is this story coming from. Ok, now the doctors need to bust in and inject this dude because this is probably a little too deep for some to even try to understand. Budden has given his thoughts inside his head a name! Damn. And as you would hope that he laid off just a little, or pulled back on the reins, he doesn't. "I Couldn't Help It" goes into detail about how Budden as a young fool get caught up with a chick. While the chick prolly sitting there thinking bout marriage/ I'm thinking abortion like a savage.

This is where the album once again hits a valley, but for the last time. Budden tries to flip the script with "Adrenaline," or maybe this is just the soundtrack inside his head. The tempo goes to 100 thousand with a rock/heavy metal sound. Picture Budden inside his bedroom flipping out right now. Call 911 to help this dude, QUICK! The song is not bad, but some will fast forward right through this one. The album begins to fall back onto pace with "Do Tell." Here Budden goes on as if he's writing his suicide letter to leave on his pillow. Follow that with "Angel In My Life" and "Pray For Me." "Angel In My Life" is Budden calm again, and reflecting on his faults. Suicide, drugs, depression are the things that run through his mind and veins. They say the room is padded for my own safety/ but the cushion don't soften shit/ they lock the door, but still they let my thoughts in it. Follow that with a conversation with God as Budden sits at the Pearly Gates trying to get into heaven on "Pray For Me."

Minus the off topic tracks this album is probably the deepest and most thought provoking of the next two quarters of the year. For a concept album this is as good as it gets. Even the off topic tracks are good, and they fit right in place if you're looking at them as what's going on inside the head of a Psychotic human being. Budden does a great job at painting pictures for us, and even though he will probably not get a lot of credit for this work... he's still one of the best and most under rated to pic up a mic.

Production was handled by little known producers, but talented none the less. Klasix, Blastah Beatz, Dub B, Versatile, Dilemma, MoSS, and KidSource.

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar at a Time.
Over and Out, DocBoone.

There’s Only One, For Real

For you deep in the cut Hip Hop junkies you might already be up on game. I’m guilty for not being up on game until after the fact, but it’s always better late than never… especially in the case of Hip Hop.

So for all of you who are even later than I, I suggest that you fall in line. The Midwest is making a strong push for the best starting lineup and deepest bench. You can start at the top with your Kanye’s, Lupe’s, and Common… but the list finishes out with your Royce’s, Black Milk’s, and Buff1. Buff1? Yes, Buff1. He’s just one of the many talents from the monster group Athletic Mic League. You might not be familiar, and they haven’t even pumped an album since Jungle Gym in 2004. Since then Buff1 branched off to do the solo gig, and he is now witnessing how high the sky really can be. With just 2 solo albums under his belt he has a moaning sound from listeners that’s coming from all directions. He’s another power coming from the Midwest, and Michigan at that. Not Detroit, but Ann Arbor. Yes, home of the Big House and the Fab 5.

Well it’s now been over 6 months since his 2nd album “There’s Only One” dropped and it took me literally 3 months to figure out how to present this cat to some of you all without killing the justice. He stayed true to his crew and the Lab Technicians are all over this with production and guest appearances. He even got a joint with Detroit native, Black Milk (another up and coming talent from The D). From the beginning of this album to the end it will have you nodding your head as if you’re agreeing with everything he’s spitting. Close your eyes and imagine listening to Elzhi of Slum Village, mixed with some Talib Kweli. Yeah, I don't think that's a stretch.

To close, I’d suggest not only that you get up on Buff1 and his works, but also check out Athletic Mic League’s past work. They may not have a recent album out, but trust me… they are all hard at work. They’ve been working together for a many years that date back to their high school years. Talk about a firm cohesiveness.

Keep your ears and eyes open for Vaughan T too. He put down production on several of the tracks from Buff1’s 2 albums, as well other work throughout the area.

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar At a Time.
Over and Out, DocBoone

Friday, February 27

The Padded Room Is Here

Joe Budden's long awaited Sophomore album has finally been released. After numerous mixtapes and pushed back dates, it is now time to hear the truth.

Review will be provided in due time... still in the process of feeling it out.

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar at a Time.
Over and Out, DocBoone

Wednesday, February 25

John Legend's Open Letter to The NY Post

By John Legend
Open Letter to the New York Post

Dear Editor:

I'm trying to understand what possible motivation you may have had for publishing that vile cartoon depicting the shooting of the chimpanzee that went crazy. I guess you thought it would be funny to suggest that whomever was responsible for writing the Economic Recovery legislation must have the intelligence and judgment of a deranged, violent chimpanzee, and should be shot to protect the larger community. Really? Did it occur to you that this suggestion would imply a connection between President Barack Obama and the deranged chimpanzee? Did it occur to you that our President has been receiving death threats since early in his candidacy? Did it occur to you that blacks have historically been compared to various apes as a way of racist insult and mockery? Did you intend to invoke these painful themes when you printed the cartoon?

If that's not what you intended, then it was stupid and willfully ignorant of you not to connect these easily connectible dots. If it is what you intended, then you obviously wanted to be grossly provocative, racist and offensive to the sensibilities of most reasonable Americans. Either way, you should not have printed this cartoon, and the fact that you did is truly reprehensible. I can't imagine what possible justification you have for this. I've read your lame statement in response to the outrage you provoked. Shame on you for dodging the real issue and then using the letter as an opportunity to attack Rev. Sharpton. This is not about Rev. Sharpton. It's about the cartoon being blatantly racist and offensive.

I believe in freedom of speech, and you have every right to print what you want. But freedom of speech still comes with responsibilities and consequences. You are responsible for printing this cartoon, and I hope you experience some real consequences for it. I'm personally boycotting your paper and won't do any interviews with any of your reporters, and I encourage all of my colleagues in the entertainment business to do so as well. I implore your advertisers to seriously reconsider their business relationships with you as well.

You should print an apology in your paper acknowledging that this cartoon was ignorant, offensive and racist and should not have been printed.

I'm well aware of our country's history of racism and violence, but I truly believe we are better than this filth. As we attempt to rise above our difficult past and look toward a better future, we don't need the New York Post to resurrect the images of Jim Crow to deride the new administration and put black folks in our place. Please feel free to criticize and honestly evaluate our new President, but do so without the incendiary images and rhetoric.


John Legend

Editor's note: The New York Post has apologized with the following statement, but defended their position:

Wednesday's Page Six cartoon -- caricaturing Monday's police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut -- has created considerable controversy. But it has been taken as something else -- as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism. This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize. However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past -- and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback. To them, no apology is due. Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon -- even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."

Reverend Al Sharpton offered a counter statement:

"The New York Post statement will be discussed by all of the leadership of the various groups that have mobilized and we will respond to it at the rally at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow outside of the New York Post. At this point there will be no cancellation of the rally and though we think it is the right thing for them to apologize to those they offended, they seem to want to want to blame the offense on those of whom raised the issue, rather than take responsibility for what they did. However, rather than engage as they are in name calling back and forth, we will make a collective decision on how to proceed. All of us can only wish the New York Post had taken a more mature position when the issue was first raised rather than belatedly come with a conditional statement after people began mobilizing and preparing to challenge the waiver of News Corp in the City where they own several television stations and newspapers."

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar at a Time.
Over and Out, DocBoone

Saturday, February 21

The true Timmy haircut

Ok... I'm just a few days removed from the last posting, in which Allen Iverson revealed his new hair cut. This post isn't about Iverson or his cut though, so just stick with me.

So, as a black man there is only one thing that we love to get as much as sex and new shoes... and that's a haircut. Think about it. After we get a new haircut our confidence level reaches levels unknown or heard of. It's kind of like when you were a kid and you got a new pair of shoes. It didn't matter if they were from Payless, Kmart (shot out to Al Harrington for dropping the new hoop shoes that are only sold at Kmart), or Foot Locker. Getting new shoes meant that you were going to be able to jump higher, run faster, and in some cases become invisible. You felt like you were the man when you were rocking new shoes. Well, it's the same with a haircut. When you get a haircut you all of a sudden feel like you have all the right words to talk to that sweet smelling, tender red bone that works at the Macy's in the mall. Getting a fresh haircut always is just as refreshing as twisting the cap off of a ice cold beer of your choice. A new haircut will make your worst outfit look like the hottest thing off the shelf. Haircuts just have something about them, that is really hard to put into words. You can only describe it by describing other memorable moments in your life.

Now, what is funny is when you see a messed up haircut (or a Timmy as we call them over here in Michigan), and you can't stop staring at it. A Timmy is what some call a "bowl cut." You know, where you take the bowl and you just trim around the bowl until you have the sides and back bald with hair on the top? I'm not a haircut genius or anything, but I can taper and draw a lineup that's respectable. It's just funny how you can see how high a guy's confidence is from a haircut. There's nothing funnier than to see a guy with a Timmy, and him walking with his head high, brush in hand, no hat, and doo-rag hanging out his back pocket. What about those guys who take pictures with their camera phones and pose in the bathroom... then post the pictures on the internet for everyone to see? What a way to embarrass the barber in that situation.

The funny part is that all of us has had a Timmy at some point in our lives. Doesn't matter if you were in the 3rd grade or a grown man... Although it's always funnier to see a grown man with a Timmy.

I guess I'll stop with all the banter and give you a visual of what the True Timmy looks like.

The True Timmy

Now, you may call it mean... but I call it a Timmy.

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar at a Time.
Over and Out, DocBoone

Monday, February 16

Allen Iverson Reveals New Do

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar At a Time.
Over and Out, DocBoone