By Roland Cody, Jr.

Rapper Joe Budden’s first album in more than three years puts him right back on the map.

No Love Lost is cold hard proof Joe Budden is no longer your average Joe. Joe Budden, one quarter of the Slaughterhouse crew, escalated his game to new heights with his first solo album in over three years. His long awaited album, No Love Lost, which officially hit the market Tuesday Feb. 5, brilliantly gives us a look both at Joe’s maturation and his struggles over the years. In numbers such as “Castles,” “Runaway,” and “My Time,” Joey gives us all of him with no features.

He talks about his battle with drugs, his struggles with loneliness and his dealing with his father not being in his life. It’s like one big confession, apology and “F you” all in one. He made sure not to leave the radio starving for hit single type joints with numbers such as “She Don’t Put it Down Like You” ft. Lil Wayne and Tank, “N.B.A.” ft. Wiz Khalifa and French Montana, and “Top of the World” ft. Kirko Bangz.

But being overshadowed by huge industry names like those was obviously  not something Joe was worried about. And he was right — he more than held his own amongst the industry heavyweights. With his unique style, flow, lyrical ability, delivery, and signature deep voice, Joe’s presence proved too much to contend with as he subtly dominated every track on this album.

And don’t think Joe spared us his comedic side either. He provided a quite hilarious interlude right before his sexy track “Switch Positions” ft. Omarion.

This well-balanced attack by Joe was definitely worth the wait, but Joe, if you’re reading, I urge you to never make us wait this long again. For now, though, there is absolutely no love lost.