Album Review: All Amerikkkan Bada$$
Album by Joey Bada$$ released on April 7th, 2017
"It's the, all American badass. Who ya mad at? You ain't have to ask that."
Track 1: GOOD MORNING AMERIKKKA (Rating: 8/10)
This is a great intro track for this album. Beginning the listening experience by telling the listener to "wake up" while simultaneously saying good morning to America, or as Joey Bada$$ and some other black men, including myself, like to refer to it, Amerikkka. Though this track is only a little over a minute and a half, Joey still manages to mention about a lot, including police brutality and the misuse of knowledge.
Track 2: FOR MY PEOPLE (Rating: 8/10)
A great transition from the intro track, this track has a smooth vibe, something that would play in the background while you and a close friend sit and talk about your life goals. Joey talks about wanting to be the very best he can at his craft. His flow over this beat has a '90s feel to it, like he's speaking directly to you every time he rhymes. A really solid track.
Track 3: TEMPTATION (Rating: 8.5/10)
This track begins and ends with a powerful sample: a little girl speaking about how she feels her people, black people, are treated. Joey speaks on the stagnant position of Black America, saying that it's going to take hard work to make things better, and mentioning that we have to save our children. At the end of the track, the little girl is crying as she voices her opinion on how her people are being undervalued in "Amerikkka", keeping up with the album's reoccurring theme.
Track 4: LAND OF THE FREE (Rating: 8/10)
The first thing that caught my attention on this track was the beat. As soon as the bass started bumping, the beat sounded like a variation of "Juicy" by Biggie. Aside from the beat, Joey spits bars about the state of the country, Amerikkka. "Trickery in the system, put my niggas in prison, all our history hidden, ain't no liberty given..." is just a short example of the things that Joey brings to light on this track. The chorus uses a play on the old saying "land of the free", calling the United States the land of the free for the freeloaders. This track is solid and has a good message.
Track 5: DEVASTATED (Rating: 7.5/10)
This is the first track that Joey put out as a single for this album. It's more of a radio track, which you can honestly hear, but that doesn't make it weak. Joey speaks about his come up and current success on this track, given the title. He speaks on how he was devastated at first, but now everything is falling into place in his life.
Track 6: Y U DON'T LOVE ME? (MISS AMERIKKKA) (Rating: 7.5/10)
This track is smooth, the beat is another one of those summer night, sit back and relax types. In this track, Joey is speaking to Amerikkka as a black man, asking why they, or she, as Miss Amerikkka, doesn't love him. The chorus repeats a lot in this track for it to be only a little over three minutes, but the story is strong and relatable enough to keep it strong in my opinion.
Track 7: ROCKABYE BABY (feat. Schoolboy Q) (Rating: 9/10)
This track is one of the album's strongest. The beat is hard, and Joey comes in hitting. He speaks on black men sticking together, with a good line on unity, "Protect my blood, look out for my cuz...". The highlight of this track is Schoolboy Q in my opinion. Q came in and murdered this beat, flowing the way he always does. I don't wanna speak on what he says much because it might ruin it for you.
Track 8: RING THE ALARM (feat. Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight, & Meechy Darko) (Rating: 8/10)
This track has a beat that sounds it would be in a scary movie, but not in a bad way. The production on this track is solid, all of the different parts of the beat come in one after the other as the track begins. Joey seems to be showing off his rap skills on this one, as he has double meanings and multiple plays on words as he spits his bars. While I'm not familiar with the featured artists, they also have really solid bars, with a great line that disses the entire "Soundcloud rap" community with a line, "...It ain't even 'bout the bars, they bumpin' whatever slaps now, all I hear is ad-lib rappin' on my SoundCloud!"
Track 9: SUPER PREDATOR (feat. Styles P)
This is what New York rap truly is. Joey when and got a NY legend in Styles P, and started flowing over a great beat produced by Statik Selektah. Joey even gives a bar in honor of The Notorious B.I.G., using his famous line from "Juicy", "turned my negative to a positive and it's all...". Styles P comes in like it's still 1998, giving the track an ever more surreal NY rap feel. Just a perfect track for what Joey Bada$$ represents in this generation.
Track 10: BABYLON (feat. Chronixx) (Rating: 7/10)
This is a smooth track, with a decent transition from the fade out of "Super Predator". Joey speaks on how he fears for his people every day in this society, and how the establishment doesn't care about his people.
Track 11: LEGENDARY (feat. J. Cole) (Rating: 9.5/10)
Whenever you get J. Cole featured on a track, you can't go wrong. Joey seamlessly fits his flow on this beat, speaking about how he's trying to be the best he can be in not only hip-hop, but in his life and as a man. J. Cole comes in and speaks about life and how he feels about being in his position in the rap game. I don't wanna give too much out about the feature, because if you haven't heard it yet, its best to hear it from him first.
Track 12: AMERIKKKAN IDOL (Rating: 7.5/10)
This is a decent outro track, with Joey explaining at the end of it how Amerikkka is feeding the people lies, and to wake up and research things yourself.
I feel like All Amerikkkan Bada$$ is the album that the youth needed, a NY version of what Kendrick Lamar was trying to do when he released To Pimp A Butterfly. This album is phenomenal, full of great bars and a really important message for the black community in the United States. This is the type of rap that New York needs to get back to. Joey Bada$$ is only 22 years old, so there's plenty of great hip-hop in his future.
Album Rating: 8.5/10