No, I did not sleep on Joey Bada$$’s latest album, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$. Yes, I did take some time to fully digest this politically charged project.
This 12 track offering is exactly what the cover art for the album depicts – a big F U to the racial issues many Americans are facing today.
With features from Schoolboy Q, J.Cole, among others, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, is filled with feelings of anger, disappointment, optimism and defiance – it’s a roller coaster of emotions driven by racial inequality and bar after bar Joey does a hell of a job getting his message across.
The positive energy on “Devastated” makes it my favorite track off the album but there are plenty of stand outs including “Rockabye Baby” ft. Schoolboy Q, ‘Temptation” and “Y U Don’t Love Me?”
“I used to feel so devastated
At times, I thought we’d never make it
But now we on our way to greatness (greatness, greatness)
And all that ever took was patience
I-I-I used to feel so devastated (yeah)
At times I thought we’d never make it (yeah)
But now we on our way to greatness (yeah)
And all that ever took was patience (yeah)”
Rockabye Baby ft. Schoolboy Q
“Feel the energy surge through my veins when I flow
Mentally, I can never be controlled
No sympathy for foes, my enemies exposed
Will they remember me when I’m gone?
I say rockabye, rockabye, rockabye baby
Shotta boy, shotta boy, shotta go crazy
Me nuh play games, so please don’t play me
Look at what they made me”
“Now everybody got problems, yeah
But wouldn’t know what way to solve ’em
I really came up from the bottom
Strugglin’, my momma on her last dollar
Hustlin’ and I’ve been puttin’ in these hours
The government been tryna take away what’s ours
It’s really all about the money and the power
I just wanna see my people empowered
Uh, uh, tell me how we gon’ shape this vision
Complainin’ all day, but in the same condition
If you wanna make change, it’s gon’ take commitment
Some people enslaved by they religion
Can’t emancipate them from the mental prisons
What I seen through optics transform to wisdom
Watch me use my prophets, get ’em all to listen
I’ve been on a mission, ah”
Y U Don’t Love Me?
“Why you can’t recognize my stride?
Always gotta minimize my pride
Always gon’ criticize my moods
I can’t make one mistake, it’s no room
Feelin’ like I gotta leave real soon
I’ma say, “Namaste,” and just bloom
But for now, let you run away from the truths
Since you can do anything you want to, anyway, uh
Know some things I ain’t supposed to know
It’s way deeper than just bein’ emotional
Some things you just couldn’t keep on the low
Now I’m free, by the truth, I can’t be controlled, no more
Nothin’ like I used to be back before
Know it must hurt for you to see me evolve
Why you gotta kick me down on all fours?
Why you can’t stand to see me stand tall?
Tell me why we got a war?
Why we gotta fight? Why we always gotta spar for?
Why the cops always gotta get called?
Why you always tryna see me in trouble with the law?
I guess some things will never change
Locked in the cycle, tryna break the chains
Handcuffs so tight, nearly slit my veins
This what tough love feels like, feel my pain, uh”
It’s a bold move to dedicate an entire album to such a controversial subject but I also believe it’s very necessary to use ones talents to amplify our feelings and thoughts. I guarantee you Joey Bada$$ has opened up a few minds out there thanks to his music.
Take a seat and listen to All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ with an open heart & open mind.