Contributed by Intern Writer – @bamtoofly
Joey Badasss is a prodigy, let’s just call it what it is. Since the Brooklyn native bust out on the scene 6 years ago, one thing that was undeniable was that when he opened his mouth to spit was that he oozed with talent literally light years ahead of him.
Influenced by 90’s rap, his sound quite never fit his stereotypical “target audience”. His skill and lyricism has always been an issue. But after a while, one questions was his style so nostalgic that he wouldn’t be able to adapt or relate to his peers? It feels like Joey Badass had been around for like 10 years but crazy to realize that he is only 22 and on his second studio album.
It’s been two years since his debut album “B4.DA.$$” that garnered mixed reviews but still sold respectable amount especially without any major label backing. On his debut album, he showed flashes of his charm, which landed him a cult fan base – which stemmed from the mixtape he put out prior.
His sophomore effort, All Amerikkkan BadA$$, is by far his most balanced and well thought project to date. BadA$$ shows growth from a young Brooklyn boy with an old soul to a now grown man seeing social injustice firsthand. The overall theme of the album is Joey addressing the political and main racial societal issues today.
From the first track and on he hits us with smooth, soulful undertone and samples in which he even sings the hook on some songs. This experimental style seems to carry through the album without Joey losing any of the trademark wordplay fans have come to know.
The features include J Cole, School Q, Styles P and more who all add their own personal flavor and blend effortlessly with the theme of the album.The stand out tracks to me are “Amerikkan Idol” and “Babylon” which he raps
“I’m out for dead presidents to represent me, ’cause I never knew a live one that represent me”.
The best comparison of his album to me would be Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp a Butterfly”. It has that same peaceful protest vibe. I think that’s the biggest flaw of the album is the attitude and tone in which he attaches throughout the album, it undermines the whole effort in which Badass attempts to highlight – being black today. Post election with Trump winning to the police treatment in recent years to minorities, America is mad and fed up and that’s the attitude i expected to get with this album.
Ironically everything around the album is super aggressive from the dope ass artwork cover where he has two middle fingers to America, having “kkk” infused in the middle of America on the title to even having every track on the album in ALL CAPS. Everything, except for the music. I was waiting for that gritty, rough Joey Badass I’ve heard on past mixtapes, but instead got a verbal hug saying “America it’s gonna be alright”.
All that being said it’s still a great album that any rap fan should should take a listen to. I applaud him for being so young and understanding his platform to recognize a problem that is apparent in today’s society. While not a household name just quite yet, Joey Badass definitely is trending up to the next Brooklyn legend in the rap game.