Joe Budden‘s comeback isn’t really a comeback at all. As the song, “Hiatus,” suggests it’s nothing but patiently waiting for a real chance to shine. This is what was tangible from the listening session earlier this week at New York City’s Plumm Lounge.

Mood Musik 3 isn’t “music in vain” – yet, the Jersey devilish emcee allowed a special and curious collective into the mind of a still hungry rapper. With his release from Def Jam, the public’s “Ventilation” – a sigh of relief – eagerly anticipates Joey’s rise to his rightful place amongst the top sellers in the game.

Dramatics aside – beef and all that – the album listening for Joe Budden started off slow at first, with DJ On Point spinning all the classic club jams from the late 90s through to the 2000s. With guests Joell Ortiz, Lenny S., Mixtape Kings and even Benzino in attendance, Joey ran through the highlights from the album, whetting the crowd’s appetite.

Keeping the mood light, before Joe introduced each track, he would sarcastically state that they were about to play songs from his freshmen debut Joe Budden. “This next track we’re about to play is called ‘Pump It Up,’ this shit is so dope, that I just had to release it again,” was a joke from the party’s host.

“Talk To Em” an indirect/direct diss towards his former boss, Jay-Z, balances along the lines of border line disrespectful and friendly competition. “Warfare,” reminiscent of Jadakiss and Styles P’s “We Gon Make It” – on Hip Hop steroids, showcased Budden and Ortiz destroying each 16 bar gap they were assigned. Even though there wasn’t a lot of explanation given before each song, by closely paying attention to the tracks playing, you could grasp what Budden was going through at that particular time.

Highlights include the self-examination track, “Ventiliation,” a lyrical rollercoaster ride called, “Hiatus,” and the somber dedication to Stack Bundles called, “Send Him Our Love.” Joey really goes in and laments on the death of his friend and makes those who live a BET life sober and realize how real this rap game can become.

Taking a break from previewing the street LP, Joey reminded the listeners of his recent celebrity spades trophy. “I got a table in the trunk and a deck of cards on me right now, who wants it” he asserted boastfully. The rapper kept talking about the album to a minimum though, and let the music speak.

“Roll Call,” which places Budden in the “disgruntled Def Jam artist” lane captivates the feelings of a neglected quality artist who believes his talents surpass 85 percent of what’s played on media outlets today. This is however, an indirect diss towards President Carter, shows how annoyed Joe was with his previous label home.

Yet, as the star of the show stood in the spotlight, the track – “Family Reunion” with Fabolous, Hitchcock and now nemesis – Ransom – didn’t even rain on Joe’s parade. Even though when the tape does drop, Ransom’s verse may be taken off or musically defaced in some way, the song is one definitely to look out for.

Although not all of the songs were previewed, the night, with its musical and celebrity guests and all was worthy of attention. Perhaps as a toast to label freedom, it’s not very often that listening sessions are held for mixtapes.

The 19 tracks of Mood Musik 3 are as follows:

1. Intro Track

2. Hiatus

3. Ventilation

4. Talk to Em

5. Warfare

6. Dear Diary

7. Get No Younger

8. Inside of Me

9. Killa BH Skit

10. Send Him Our Love

11. Family Reunion

12. 5th Gear

13. Roll Call

14. Secrets

15. All of Me

16. Folder’s Brother

17. I’m Serious (Long Way to Go)

18. Thou Shall Not Fall

19. Still My Hood

Mood Musik 3 is set to release in mid-December, and is available through online retailers.

Additional Reporting by LowKey.