Last night (December 3), a jam-packed B.B. King Blues Club was fully in it for Joe Budden’s Mood Muzik. And, Budden did not disappoint, showcasing his first-rate stage presence throughout the skits, while also finding time to bring out frequent collaborator Fabolous.
Having just released his latest mixtape, A Loose Quarter, which features him having more bars than a phone with good reception, Budden kicked off his headlining set with “Words of a Chameleon.” But the Mood God made it clear that the performance isn’t intended for his most recent supporters. “New fans, I love you guys. But, it’s really not about y’all right now,” he jokingly clarified.
In the wake of that statement, Budden hit the crowd with gems off his renowned Mood Muzik series, “Are You In the Mood Yet?,” “Sober Up,” and “The Hard Part,” before switching it up to the verses he spit alongside his Slaughterhouse brethren (“Hammer Dance” and “Shady 2.0 BET Cypher”). What’s more, as entertaining as he was kicking rhymes, his interludes were comical. One reoccurring issue Budden quipped about throughout the show was the lighting, as he wanted the lights to accord with his tracks, and most, if not all, know how moody his songs are by now.
For “Russian Roulette,” he felt it deserved partial darkness, as it featured Budden addressing false rumors of beef with Fabolous, Tahiry and more. The Jersey native has never been the one to lose his tongue on personal matters, as he made clear to his current girlfriend Kaylin before performing the next song of the night. “I want to try this record,” Budden disclosed. “Don’t get it confused because how this song sounds. It is indeed half of a love song. Kaylin thinks every time I say that the song is about her. I had songs about you, and this song ain’t about you.”
Even so, he did have one song for Kaylin; it was none other than his 2003 club banger “Pump It Up,” causing uproar of laughter. More, he kept the short-lived theme of singles going by transiting to his newest one, “She Don’t Put It Down Like You.” To perform the track, he brought out Emanny to cover Tank’s part and sing his own track, and Fabolous to perform “Want You Back,” after completing “Off 2 the Races.”
The performance was over an hour long and would also feature “So Hard,” “So Good” and “Exxxes.” After, Budden shared a heart to heart with his fans.
“I like to think that I’m one of the few people left as far as MCs go that put you guys first and foremost,” Joey voiced. “There are no labels without y’all. There are no videos without y’all. There’s no radio. There are no shows. There’s not any of the fuck shit that these rap niggas cherish so much without y’all.”
While never the most animated, Budden’s cadence and delivery stayed intact as a live artist. Plus his wordy verses were conveyed without many flaws. A true master of his craft, and certainly one of the “few people left as far as MCs” go. —Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)