The Score: Joe Budden, "Mood Muzik 4: A Turn 4 The Worst"

Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010 12:00AM

Written by J. Bachelor

Buy Now
  • Mood Muzik 4: A Turn 4 The Worst
  • Joe Budden
  • November 9, 2010
The Koalition 4/5
The Couch Sessions 4/5
DJ Booth 4/5
Rhyme Official 5/5
The Well Versed 4/5

New Jersey rapper and Slaughterhouse affiliate Joe Budden returns to the hip-hop scene with Mood Muzik 4: A Turn 4 The Worst. 

 The turn marks his fourth entry into the mixtape series, which began in 2003.

Joe Budden is a special kind of artist. Hes been through the major label system, hes part of a supergroup of lyricists, as well as a successful solo artist in his own right, and he never seems to run out of material. With too many titles of albums, mixtapes, and EPs to name, hes back with the fourth installment to the mega-popular Mood Muzik series, Mood Muzik 4: A Turn 4 The Worst. (Whats in My Headphones)

In addition to his Slaughterhouse groupmates, "Jersey Joe" enlisted fellow East Coast artists to join him on his latest mood swing.

Slaughterhouse, Buddens lyrical group-mates, also accompany the Jersey lyricist on the last installment of MM, albeit on separate tracks. Joell Ortiz delivers arguably the premier verse of the project as he and Joe each have their own conversation with God on "Follow Your Lead." Crooked I joins Joe Budden to cripple a Cardim instrumental on "Sober Up," while Royce Da 5'9 crashes the underwhelming posse cut "Remember The Titans" with Lloyd Banks and Fabolous. With four featured lyrical wordsmiths, only Budden and Royce show up to effectively toe tag the record with Fabolous easily turning in the corniest verse. (The Koalition)

Budden chose to consult hip-hop's beatsmiths du jour in order to hone his sound for the mixtape. 

The production is also crazy, from J. Cardim to (surprisingly) Just Blaze, they all come together to make this project sound more polished than anything Buddens released in the last couple years. This sounds great, and the cameos on each track enhance the project. (K1ngle Jay)

Widely associated for his 2003 summer hit "Pump it Up,"  Budden wanted a Turn 4 The Worst to demonstrate his versatility with style and substance as a lyricist.

I want everybody to go out and purchase this, no doubt, but I'm not mad at people who download it. I think this time around, we [targeted] a lot of first-time listeners. I think there's a big misconception that Joe Budden is only [known for] "Pump It Up." You just think "the club" [when referencing me]. Some people don't know any better. They think, 'Oh my God, here's this guy that put out one record and disappeared.' Here, you can appreciate the artistry, the lyrics, the integrity and just passion and emotion in this record that you'll be able to go out and buy. (5 Reasons You Should Buy My Album)

Critics believe that Budden's mission has been accomplished, stating that the evident rhyming sincerity on the mixtape make this effort Joe's turn for the better.

To be clear, this album is formulaic, but in the way that fans of dope beats and dope rhymes will enjoy. Budden finds a beat he likes, spits fire over it (with the occasional guest). Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Whereas artists on the major are forced to collab with MC Hot Right Now or the six figure producer because they have to, Budden is doing Budden because he wants to. This is a stripped down album with production that allows Budden to go hard even when hes being emo. With no unbearable tracks but one very forgettable skit, in the form of Mop Salad Mood Muzik 4 succeeds because Joey does what many in hip hop talk about but refuse to do: Keep it real. (The Couch Sessions)

Seven years ago, Joe Budden dropped Pump It Up, scoring the biggest hit of his career. And while the track went hard in the clubs and the car, it was hardly Budden at his best. Fast forward seven years later and Jersey Joe is in full stride on the independent circuit. Mood Muzik 4, like the three volumes that preceded it, wouldnt be possible under the old system of major labels dominating and dictating the way artists make and distribute music. The seventeen track opus is a wild departure from everything that made "Pump It Up" a hit. Budden isnt at his best when rhyming for the club, hes at his best when being himself. (The Well Versed)

To purchase Mood Muzik 4, just click here.

Will you buy this album? How about Kid Cudi's? (Peep what critics have to say about Man On The Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager here).

Check out some tracks from the mixtape below:

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