Joey Badass is back after two years, with his second studio album 'All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$'. There is clear progression from his debut effort in 2015 'B4.DA.$$' as his new project comes in politically charged during very shaky times in America and all over the world. Joey also experiments with new instrumentation on beats, and his vocal delivery.
On 'GOOD MORNING AMERICA' Joey speaks on the oppression of black people, retaliation, and while all of it's going on, people are sleep or don't care. Joey is also sure to touch on false promises in America for blacks.
Joey surprised me on 'For My People' I didn't think he had it in him to delivery a chorus over a wavy jazz beat. He makes it clear he wants to excel, and pave the way for his people, primarily providing for his future children and taking care of his mother.
'Temptation' is a funky, different type of Joey, with an emotional speech from a little black girl on the intro and outo.
'Land of the Free' is the lead single where Joey talks about what a lot of black people feel and know, especially about most of us having the last name of the people who 'owned' our ancestors.
Much like Temptation, 'Devastated' is different. Core Joey fans were not on board with this being released as a single because it seems like Joey is trying to appeal to a more pop rap scene. Like the four previous tracks mentioned, it's one of my favorites. Joey talks about a time where he had a 'We gon get it' mindset while feeling devastated that he'd never make it, pre-fame worries. Joey lets you know about how hard work and patience was all it took.
On 'Y U Don't Love Me (Miss Amerikka) - Joey asks America the same questions a person may ask their parents of significant other when they're fed up with their bullshit.
'RockAbye Baby' features ScHoolboy Q and is the hardest hitting song on the album. Joey and Q rap about being involved in gangs, and they worked with what they were given by the government, drugs and guns.
Joey keeps the change of pace going with 'Ring the Alarm' ft. PRO ERA'S own Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight, and Flatbush Zombies' Meechy Darko. A Beast Coast Cipher with shots fired at ad-lib rappers.
'Super Predator' features The Lox's Styles P. Produced by Statik Selektah so I knew I'd like it. I get Tribe vibes. P speaks on blacks not getting their due for being responsible for America being built, while Joey spits to similar lyrics that stick to what he's been saying on the whole album.
'Babylon' features Chronixx. Joey's fed up lyrics with hardcore delivery somehow fit with the softer beat.
'Legendary' ft. J. Cole is one of my favorites. First ever Joey x Cole collab, with Cole using Joey's 'Waves' beat back in late 2016 for a remix as a bit of a promotion for his at that time upcoming album, I should have seen this coming. I love seeing this given that Tribe (Q-Tip) said on their final album last year 'We Got It from Here... Thank you 4 Your Service' that Joey and Cole along with Earl and Kendrick are the leaders of the new generation. I've never heard recent Cole sound so clear and focused, I haven't felt him like this since Forest Hills. He's worried about whether he's living life right. Joey talks about how black babies are born with a # waiting for them in prison.
The final track 'All-Amerikkkan Idol' is where Joey keeps it political, but also speaks on how being back home isn't smart or safe for him anymore because he's an idol with a message now, not the young wanna be anymore, he's more than a celebrity. 'Dead presidents to represent me cuz I've never known a live one that represent me' which is interesting to hear given that Obama was in for eight years. Joey speaks a lot on the outro about what America is and simultaneously isn't hiding, and what people aren't doing, some doing nothing, and what is being done isn't right or enough. He also reminds people that it's not just America, oppression happens everyday around the world, it just isn't shown.
This was a welcome change of pace from Joey, it may just be better than 'B4.DA.$$'. It definitely has more to say.