Joey Bada$$ ‘All – AmeriKKKan Bada$$’
Bada$$ is back with his sophomore album All – AmeriKKKan Bada$$. After 2015’s B4.DA.$$ , Joey released Devastated a year later, without saying a word about his upcoming record. This track signaled the change in the rapper’s sound and apparently set the tone for AABA’s vibes. Groovy and politically charged, All – AmeriKKKan Bada$$ is both an ode and a confession – timely and timeless just as the rapper had said. The vibes are real, it’s packed with emotion and when you listen to it in one sitting it creates an immersive experience that it feels bigger than life – the message, the beats, everything. Groovy as hell too.
Land of the Free kickstarted the hype for this record and Rockabye Baby featuring ScHoolboy Q only fueled the fire. Both songs were proof of the rapper’s growth and social awareness – Joey put aside his metaphors (double entendre master) and smart wordplay in order to deliver a strong, clear statement that everyone can understand. We knew what to expect the moment we saw “Ameri – KKK- an” – politics, middle fingers raised to Donald Trump and the struggles of black people in a corrupted, cruel and misjudging world. Joey is known as a conscious rapper, his spirituality and focus on the human being and it’s condition followed by a balance between light and dark state of mind rather than the holy trinity of pussy-money-weed is taken a step forward on this album.
The real side of me, just the human side of me was feeling connected to it cause I felt so close to it. The musician side of me started feeling responsible, and not responsible for what was happening, but responsible on how we can change it, how we could bring more awareness to certain situations. This project, it’s about my experience as a black man in America, but it’s not just my experience. It’s your experience. Our brothers. I felt like I was responsible to make this music and deliver this message.
Bada$$ stated that AABA was made from scratch, the process consisting of him leading everyone – from musicians to producers on the path of his vision, instinct and message he wished to send. With tracks like Good Morning AmeriKKKa, For My People and AmeriKKKan Idol all gravitating around the same concept – the struggles of black people in America and injustice – that go hand in hand with songs like Temptation and Legendary that are a bit more personal alongside Babylon & Super Predator being all about his relationship with his homeland, the kind of tough love depicted in Y U don’t love me?(Miss Amerikkka). Rockabye Baby and Ring The Alarm are true to Joey’s sound in the past, with aggressive flows and sharp bars. This combination highlights the rapper’s versatility
Joey Bada$$ changed the game on his way to change the world and we can see a shift in his artistry as well. The instrumentals, vibes and lyrics defy his age and at only 22 the rapper is more aware of his surroundings than most artists today that are older than him. All – AmeriKKKan Bada$$ is a statement through and through. The growth of Joey as an artist and individual is present in the instrumentals, lyrics and message – we can all take something from this album. Being able to make a whole record to send just one important message is a difficult task and AABA is a successful attempt.
“I always grow as an artist, but on this one I felt it visibly, physically and internally. Not only did I create it different but the subject matter is pretty much in line throughout the whole project.”
Joey managed to transcend every category his music was put in – from rapping over boom-bap beats and smart one-liners on 1999, Summer Knights and B4.DA.$$ to finding the courage to be real about what’s going on in the world at this moment over groovy instrumentals on this album. The musicality and theme of this album are the first things that will get you attention and you’ll find yourself immersed into his tale. The album is uplifting in a way, even though it shows the cruel side of life as a black man. The first half of the album slowly introduces you to today’s reality with snippets of little Zianna Olliphant’s moving speech in Temptation and the second half is cast in a darker kind of light cast by Ring the Alarm‘s aggressiveness and AmeriKKKan Idol’s final monologue addressing the government’s plans and the need to rebel on a mental level rather than treating violence with violence.
All – AmeriKKKan Bada$$ is a risky project. Being in the spotlight and having all eyes on you and your upcoming project and delivering such a powerful, with no suppressed opinion or feeling kind of record is a small gamble. However, feeling responsible and acting on that feeling is an artist’s mission and Joey Bada$$ took it farther on this album. For some it might seem all over the place. The fact that it’s just so politically charged could lead to listeners viewing this as a call for a violent uprising when it actually is an act of standing up for black people, a middle finger to injustice, corruption and it also encourages a mental revolution, a shift in people’s minds instead of a violent one.
All – AmeriKKKan Bada$$ is already a classic for many reason and once you listen to it you’ll find these reasons yourself. The maturity is undeniable, the message is crystal clear – he feels responsible to speak about what’s going on, honestly and without being afraid of backlash. Joey delivered once again, his promises honored – AABA speaks for itself and acts as a statement. It’s the Badmon’s first attempt at making a record with one solid theme and the result is pleasing and effective to say the least. All – AmeriKKKan Bada$$ is filled with undeniably good music, groovy vibes and skillful lyricism – if this is how Joey Bada$$ sound and message look like at 22, the future is bright for the young rapper and being already compared to the likes of Kendrick Lamar is nothing but a compliment.
It’s for my people, tryin’ stay alive and just stay peaceful
So hard to survive a world so lethal
Who will take the stand and be our hero
Stream it NOW!