Newcomer Joe Budden aims to quickly make a name for himself with this self-titled debut for Def Jam.

Newcomer Joe Budden aims to quickly make a name for himself with this self-titled debut for Def Jam. A veteran of the mix-tape circuit, the Jersey City, N.J., native is an able MC who blends witty one-liners with sharp metaphors. Showing respect for hip-hop's heritage, much of the album has an old-school feel. Budden's current single, the Kool & the Gang-sampling "Pump It Up," is very reminiscent of early-'90s hip-hop, complete with a call-and-response hook. Budden specifically pays homage to the music of his youth with the nostalgic "#1." Throughout, he proves that he is an MC with the promise of longevity.—RH