August 31, 2018

Joe Budden "Whatever It Takes" (2005)

"I know you feel for me deep in your heart
Doctors, meetings, pills couldn't keep us apart 
But, now you got a deal and you wanna get rid of me 
We roommates, I'm in your head, Joe, you live with me..."

It's no secret that Joe has battled with depression - he's one of a few artists that has been open and vocal about that, and... well, just about everything over the years. The original version of this track is nothing compared to the soulful backdrop that Clinton Sparks adds on the remake, which was featured on Clinton's 2005 release, Maybe You Been Brainwashed. The Mood Muzik MC brings up a number of issues on the record including: depression, record label woes, problems with his baby mother, addiction, feeling wildly misunderstood, and lots more on the 7-minute cut. When the album was reviewed in 2005, Vibe said "And when Joe Budden emotionally cries out for understanding on "Whatever It Takes," Sparks is right there providing spirit-lifting soul sounds." An ironic fact about music is that when an artist reaches a point where the music becomes therapy, those lyrics/songs ultimately become inspiration/motivation for the listener. You may look at it as "emo" rap, but just ask Joe how many fans have told him that his music helped get them through a difficult time in their lives; it may have even saved their life. Oddly, some of Joe Budden's best work is not featured on his retail albums, it's snuck on mixtapes, loose verses, features, or it's the unlikely B-Side to a 12" that has Puff Daddy on the A-Side. However you chop it up, these are the types of songs that helped build Joe's fanbase, and even if his measure of success called for him to switch careers, fans can still cherish the music he's left behind and the perspectives he offers (along with Rory and Mal) on his podcast. Listen below and "Please leave the kid in peace." Happy Born Day, Joe!