Assuming you probably don’t know me, I’ve been a Joe Budden fan since I was 13-years-old. However, his lyrics didn’t really resonate with me until my 14-year-old-self didn’t want to get out of bed anymore and cried every morning because I didn’t want to face another day at school. Some would tell me depression was a phase, but it had completely taken over my whole life. After a situation occurred (that I won’t explain for the protection of the other party and I’m honestly not ready to tell the world yet), I completely went damn shut down and went damn near insane. The girls who I thought were my friends withheld vital information that could’ve made this situation do a whole 360, I went from a straight A student to settling for B’s and C’s, I wasn’t eating which resulted in me losing 7 pounds a week and I literally felt like my own parents didn’t love me – and with those thoughts, I felt worthless.

The first Joe Budden song I ever heard was “Dear Diary.” Produced by WMS Sultan, I knew I was going to like the record off Budden’s delivery alone. He sounded so angry and I wanted to know why.

Looking for sun, all I see is the hail/How I’m gon’ trust? All I see is betrayal/ It’s like they keep trying more and more to subdue me/ And only you understand, signed by yours truly

Now, I could’ve gone through every single line on this record and tell you how it related to my life, but then this editorial would never end; but what I can say is that I had finally found someone who understood me. Depending on the situation you’re in, you tend to push people away and feel like everyone’s against you once depression is in the mix. I was in it deep and really had no one in the end. So, I would literally go to school, come home, do homework and go to bed. It was the worst and most lonesome routine ever.

Since finding “Dear Diary,” I went back into Joe’s catalog and found the record that changed me forever.

Sometimes I need a hug, real shit, pain shared is pain lessened.

You’re probably wondering how in the world a 14-year-old had the mental capacity or intelligence to understand what a 20-something-year-old with an old soul was going through. Hey, I don’t know either; but, what I did know is, I wasn’t the only one who had a black cloud following them every step of the way.

Normally it’s just me and my lonely mind, everyone’s storm is different so this forecast is only mine.

This record holds a special place in my heart. Not only because it once again correlated with my life perfectly, but I was able to watch Joe record this and more records through many late-night studio sessions aired on Blog TV. I bumped this record at least once a week for four years straight.

Fast forwarding to college, I finally felt like I could breathe again; and so, did Joe (kinda). It was like we were telepathically going through the same shit, just different scenarios. The drugs, the alcohol, all to feel numb and be happy like the people around us were. But, in the end, we felt nothing but alone.

However, going through what I went through and watching Joe go what he went through, I’ve learned that pain doesn’t last forever; and though he’s documented what he’s going/gone through via music, I’m sure he thinks all the time, “How the fuck did I get through all that?” I feel that way every time I read an old journal entry or a poem I wrote. But it’s nice to have it all written down, so when life is sweet, you’ll remember that if you could get through that, you could get through just about anything.

As Joe Budden embarks on a new journey over at Complex, I get to prepare for all my summer fun before going to Boston University for Masters in Social Work (crazy, right?). Isn’t life bitter sweet?

By Law.

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