by Carla Bynum
Since then, he has been featured on several of our favorite songs and released another mixtape and two albums, the latest being his sophomore studio album ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$. The album was released on April 7th via Pro Era Records and Cinematic Music Group. The album is the follow up to his 2015 release B4.Da.$$.
“FOR MY PEOPLE” continues with the theme of racism in America by focusing on issues black people face daily. He realizes how difficult it is to survive in a lethal world and wonders who will be a hero for black people and take a stand. With his platform, he has the perfect opportunity to shed light on issues in the black community.
Everybody has problems to face in their lives and Joey finds himself overwhelmed because he’s trying to deal with his issues on his own. On the track “TEMPTATION,” he acknowledges that he’s been living recklessly and he calls on the Lord to help him. He also raps about the depressing feeling of constantly losing people to the streets and police brutality. The song begins and ends with an excerpt from a speech given by nine-year-old Zianna Oliphant in September 2016 at a council meeting being held following the murder of Keith Lamont Scott by police, a father of seven, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The album’s second single “LAND OF THE FREE” was release on January 20th. While Joey feels that he is misunderstood, he is a strong believer in evoking change. He believes that no matter what problems we all face in the world, we can’t promote change until we change ourselves and our mentality. If we want things to change, we have to do something about it and not only sit around and complain. He also raps about the corruption of the government and their effects on the black community.
The album was led by the sing “DEVASTED,” which was released on May 26, 2016. He used to feel devastated because he never thought he would be able to follow his dreams or make it as a rapper. His patience and determination have allowed him to do what he loves and continue on his journey to greatness.
Joey evaluates the way America treats black people on the track “Y U DON’T LOVE ME? (MISS AMERIKKKA).” He wonders why black people are constantly misjudged and treated like we are less than and don’t matter. He feels like the whole country has turned on black people. Why can’t “America” recognize the good instead of the bad? Why is there so much unfair criticism put on people of color? Perhaps we will never find out. The song’s outro is taken from Ralph Bakshi’s 1975 film “Coonskin.”
Schoolboy Q joins Joey on the track “ROCKABYE BABY” where they reflect on their past growing up in the streets gang banging and selling drugs to their place in society now as a small percentage of black men (people) who have reached financial freedom.
Joey, Meechy Darko, Nyck Caution, and Kirk Knight challenge all the fakes out there to “RING THE ALARM” if they want to go to war with them lyrically because they consider themselves among the best.
Styles P joins Joey on the track “SUPER PREDATOR,” which is a term that has recently been brought back into the limelight during the 2016 presidential election. Hilary Clinton previously used the term to refer to black youth during a speech in 1996. Joey and Styles both challenge the idea that black youth are super predators.
On the track “BABYLON,” Joey feels lonely at the top and has contemplated running away from the fame. The song features reggae artist Chronixx.
J Cole is one of the hottest rappers in the game so it’s no surprise that Joey has been a fan for years. Cole joins him on the penultimate track “LEGENDARY,” a song about finding peace and happiness. The duo raps about their spirituality and how they hope their futures produce the same peace they acquired in their lives now.
The album closes with the track “AMERIKKKAN IDOL.” Joey raps about his disdain for the government and their desire to erase his people. The third and final verse perfectly sums up the entire album.
“What the government is doin’ amongst our people is downright evil, Disturbin’, but not surprisin’, that’s for certain…They want us to rebel, so it makes it easier for them to kill us and put us in jails. Alton Sterlings are happenin’ every day in this country and around the world.”
And that’s only a small percentage of what Joey had to say. He doesn’t hold back and lets all his feelings out on the track. He raps about how they are poisoning us through our food and chemical warfare as well as economic suffering. At the rate we are going, he believes we will all be doomed soon. And he’s likely right.
In an interview with WiLD 94.1 radio station, Joey Bada$$ described this album as powerful and I honestly can’t think of a better way to describe the album. He doesn’t stray away from issues that plague black people in America and I am here for it.
I’m almost ashamed to admit that I was late to the Joey Bada$$ train. I never gave his music a fair chance until recently and I’m happy I did. He is a wise for someone who is only 22 years-old and his music is so raw and real. Joey Bada$$ has gained a new fan and his album will definitely be on repeat.
Recommended Tracks: “Y U DON’T LOVE ME? (MISS AMERIKKKA),” “LEGENDARY,” “TEMPTATION,” “ROCKABYE BABY” “AMERIKKAN IDOL”