Album Review | Joe Budden – Rage & The Machine

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This album was released on October 21st in 2016. The reason I’m so late with this one is because I wasn’t really in a rush to hear anymore Joe Budden music after that beef with Drake. I was kinda tired of him. It hadn’t even been that long since I listened to All Love Lost too. I’m a fan of Joe Budden tho. I mean, I’m not too familiar with his work, but I think he’s a very good MC. I think I’m gonna like this album. I liked his previous album, and I’m a huge fan of AraabMUZIK, who produced this entire project. I think I should point out how bad the album cover is tho. Look how fucking lame that is. He’s there with his hands together, except he’s flipping us off at the same time. WOW, HE’S SO EDGY. Nah. That shit is lame. That’s just a nitpick tho. I’m sure the actual music is good…

Track 1: Three

This beat is dope. Joe’s goin’ in already. His delivery is pretty aggressive. This is really cool. Daaamn… Lmao. That Fetty Wap line was cold. “If Fetty is the face of New Jers’ then you see how badly we needed I.” Woah… What the hell? This hook is crazy. What the FUCK? This is awesome. Wow. AraabMUZIK really put his ass into this shit. Man… This is crazy. I’ve really been missing out. This is way better than I was expecting it to be. Good fucking lord. He slaughtered that second verse. His delivery was aggressive. That shit was NASTY. He sounded like a goddamn monster. Okay, I’m gonna love this album. This track is dope af. 5/5

Track 2: Uncle Joe

This beat is dope af. Joe’s rappin’ about bein’ an old ass motherfucker. “I used to drive around the tunnel in the Lexus with the snub / Before Power 105 was sneaking breakfast in the club / Listen, young niggas learn up, I don’t do the kiddie shit / I’m with the turn up, I just like Biggie shit.” This is HARD. The song just ended. Shit. This is a really dope track. The structure is very simplistic tho. It’s just two great verses with a short break in between. I really enjoyed this song, but nothing really pushes it to that next level. I fuck with it tho. This is dope. 4/5

Track 3: Serious Feat. Joell Ortiz

This beat is really fast paced. I’m not sure how I feel about this hook. It’s alright I guess. Woah… Okay, that first verse was awesome. They’re tradin’ bars with each other, and it’s fuckin’ awesome. They did the same thing for the second verse. I love how aggressive their deliveries are. Especially Joe. He was fuckin’ growlin’ on this bitch. This is a dope song. It’d be a lot better if the hook wasn’t so shitty, but it’s still a good song. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 4: By Law Feat. Jazzy

By Law

Woah. Joe’s flow on this first verse is NICE. He’s goin’ the fuck in. This beat is great. The first verse was dope. Ugh… Um… I’m not sure how I feel about Jazzy on the hook. Her vocals just sound really weak. It sounds better once Joe comes back in tho. His flow all over this track is really fuckin’ good. The second verse was great. “I got shooters on call with the 4’s just achin’ / In the four door Explorer with the awful gray tints / Notes over ya head, this an orchestration / How it is when the author give the authorization.” This is a good song. Jazzy’s vocals definitely made this shit worse for me, but it didn’t completely ruin this track. The production is nice, and Joe did his thing. This is dope. 4/5

Track 5: Flex Feat. Tory Lanez & Fabolous


I’m not sure how I’m gonna feel about this one… First of all, it’s called Flex, so I doubt that I’ll be interested in the content. Also, Tory Lanez & Fabolous are both really hit or miss for me these days. They’re not trash tho. Maybe they’ll come through. We’ll see. It’s starting now. Meh… This beat isn’t really doin’ much for me. It’s alright. It’s one of them really luxurious beats that you’d hear Rick Ross over. The hook from Tory is alright. Uh oh… Nah… Joe’s goin’ in right now, and… “Her mouth saying hello, her legs were saying peace / Her alarm in the morning when she wake up to the D / And now half of the bed wet as she lay naked on the sheets / Biting down on the pillows, swear she take it like a G.” HELL nah. I’m not tryin’ to hear about this shit. I’m not interested. Why the fuck would I wanna hear about something like that? Jesus Christ. This hook is wack. I usually think Tory Lanez is a decent singer, but he sounds BAD here… Fabolous… Nah… Fabolous just used the word “litty” and now I want to die. His flow isn’t bad, but that’s pretty much the only thing I liked about his verse. Man… I REALLY don’t like this song. I didn’t like a single thing about this track aside from Fab’s flow. I don’t like the production, the hook, or the content. Honestly… This is fuckin’ terrible. What the hell is this shit? Fab started singing at the end of his verse and it sounded fucking God awful. Tory Lanez is pissing me off. “Uh oh, I’m horny again.” Fuck you. I feel like such a douchebag just by listening to this bullshit ass music. This is so different from everything else on this album so far too. This is such a shameless attempt at mainstream success. It’s actually kinda sad. This song is a failure. I can’t fuck with this shit at all. This is wack af. 1/5

Track 6: Forget

This beat is alright. I just listened to the whole song. It’s just over a minute and a half long. Joe went in about how he’s met a lot of people and he forgets about them sometimes. It was a solid verse. His flow was nice. I’d never have the desire to come back to this tho. It doesn’t feel like a complete song. It’s just one solid verse over a decent beat. There’s no reason to listen to this again. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 7: I Gotta Ask

I Gotta Ask

This beat is decent. The first verse was cool. The hook isn’t that good… Huh… You know, this album has really hit a low point. I hope he comes back soon. Nothing about this song stands out so far. Even the production from AraabMUZIK feels really dry. The way the beat kinda evolved during the second verse was cool tho. The second verse was nice. I don’t know, man… This just isn’t really that good sonically. It’s fine. I’m not gonna be comin’ back to this shit. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 8: Time For Work Feat. Emanny

Remember how I said “I’m gonna love this album” after I heard the first track? Umm… Yeah… I was wrong lol. This album isn’t that good so far. It’s definitely not bad tho. I’m glad I’m finally listening to it. Oh shit. Okay. This beat is dope af. The first verse was alright. The content isn’t for me, but his flow was really nice. I’m not feelin’ this hook from Emanny. I like Emanny’s voice, but I’m not fuckin’ with this melody. The second verse was alright I guess… “Getting all up in her guts with it / Gotta bust multiple nuts with it.” Man… I really WANT to like this song, but I just can’t do it. I like the production, and Joe’s flow was cool. That’s it tho. I’m not interested in the subject matter at all, and I’m not feelin’ Emanny’s hook. This is alright. I guess. 3/5

Track 9: Wrong One

This beat is really energetic and fast paced. I’m not really sure how I feel about it tho. It’s kinda annoying. The hook’s not bad. The first verse was really dope. The second verse was alright I guess. I don’t know, man. This is just… It’s not that good. “Gave her that ‘I’ve been missing you‘ dick.” This just isn’t doing anything for me. I’m not ever gonna wanna listen to this again. It’s not really bad. It’s not good tho. 3/5

Track 10: I Wanna Know Feat. Stacy Barthe

What the fuck… Where do I know this sample from? Fuuuuuck. I KNOW I’ve heard this shit before. Come on, OG, THINK. What the hell… OH. I got it. This is the same sample from Shame by Freddie Gibbs. It’s almost the same exact beat. It honestly kinda just makes me wanna go listen to Freddie’s version. The first verse was cool. Fuuuck. I’m sorry y’all. I’m just not really fuckin’ with this. It’s not bad at all. I just don’t think I’d ever wanna hear this again. I’m not really enjoying it. I don’t think it’s bad. It’s just not doing anything for me. Stacy Barthe sounded pretty good. It’s not good enough to make me like this song tho. This is just okay to me. 3/5

Track 11: Idols

This beat is really dope. Joe’s rapping about older rappers who he used to idolize. He flipped J. Cole’s line from the hook of Let Nas Down. “Long live your idols, may they never be your rivals / Rakim was like Jesus, Chuck D wrote the Bible.” The first verse is nice. There’s not really a hook. It’s just a break between each verse. The second verse was dope. Oh SHIT. The way the beat transforms for the third verse is crazy. I kinda wish he rapped over this beat for the whole song. This is great. He killed that last verse. Okay. Yeah, this is a great song. I was already enjoying it, but the way everything switched up for the third verse really pushed it to the next level. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

Meh. This album’s alright. It started out really good, but it really fell apart towards the middle. There’s really only one song on this project that I think is actually bad. Most of this album is just decent. Joe Budden is a talented MC. Most of the problems I had involved the production or the subject matter. I think AraabMUZIK is a really good producer, but I prefer when he goes for that darker sound. I wasn’t really feelin’ it whenever he tried to flip an old soul sample. Also, whenever Joe raps about having sex… I just… I don’t see the appeal. It’s not for me. So yeah. I can’t really say this is a good album. It’s definitely not bad tho. I think it’s worth checking out. There’s probably at least one song that you’ll like. Just don’t expect to love this album all the way through. It’s okay.

Favorite Song: Three

Least Favorite Song: Flex




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  1. I tend to agree with the majority of this. I did quite like I Gotta Ask and I Wanna Know more than you did but otherwise we’re on the same page. Completely agree about Flex. Wasn’t really feeling any of that at all. Subject matter just comes across as corny and it seems like a desperate attempt to make a mainstream record – r&b hook and a commercial name (once upon a time, at least!) like Fabolous.

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