A rapper with the voice of a revolutionary, Joey Bada$$, took his Brooklyn, New York flow to another level with his second album, ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$. This 12-track concept album is a step up from his 2015 release, B4.DA.$$. The album gives a passionate and thoughtful look into historical racism, oppression and mistreatment of African Americans. On the track “Babylon” Joey makes the connection between slavery and the modern day industrial prison complex by focusing on government systems that disenfranchise black communities.
“Sold us on stolen land…Fifty years later, still see my brother choked to death/ R.I.P. to Eric Garner, only right I show respect/ Nowaday they hangin us by a different tree/ Branches of government, I can name all three/ Judicial, legislative and executive.”
Joey covers a hundred plus years of history in just a few lines. The instrumentation on this track is reminiscent of 70’s R&B and Caribbean influences with guest artist Chronixx. One of the goals for this album was to create a concept which explains the history of African Americans while informing listeners of a forgotten history and remaining relevant by talking about the irrational killing of unarmed black men by the police. On the final track “Amerikkkan Idol” Joey talks about the attack on the character of young black men. “Look at what they did to me, can I get a witness please?/Justice never served, reparations never sent to me/It’s clear who the enemy, they declare war on the end of me/Assassinate my character, buryin’ my entity/But they can’t kill my energy, so when it’s said and done/They forever gon’ remember me.”
These two excerpts sum up the album by making century and decade-old struggles relevant to today. Joey has evolved and matured into one of the decade’s best rappers by focusing on controversial issues in an engaging way.
His sound has transformed from the old school 90’s hip hop-jazz style to a more modern and progressive set of sounds. “Land of the Free” seems to have some influence from indie rock groups such as Washed Out but it still retains an R&B vibe. His early and aggressive flow can be seen on tracks like “Rockabye Baby” and “Ring the Alarm,” both of which prove that Joey isn’t ditching his old style but rather evolving it.
The majority of the tracks have strong hooks and choruses with relaxed beats and a focus on the vocalist. The artist even branches out to show us that he can sing as well as he can rap. The instrumentation and beats on the album blend together into this concept album. . It would be unlikely to hear this album playing at a house party, as it’s a more sit-down, thought-provoking album. ALL AMERIKKKAN BADA$$is a dynamic album that continues to build on Joey’s legacy as the face of conscious rap and the modern Brooklyn rap scene.