Joey Bada$$ – “A.A.B.A. (All-AmeriKKKan BadA$$)” review


After releasing his full-length debut B4.DA.$$ on his 20th birthday just a couple years ago, Pro Era member Joey Bada$$ is returning with his sophomore album. The intro track “Good Morning AmeriKKKa” is basically a minute & a half taste of what is to come. The song is basically Joey saying he wants to “free your mind” over a smooth instrumental from DJ Khalil. The next song “For My People” is a dedication to those who want a peaceful life & the saxes on here are just beautiful. The track after that “Temptation” talks about racism & the way he talks about it very personal. Especially when he starts asking for God’s help. The track “Land of the Free” came out on Joey’s 22nd birthday as well as the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration & the content of how AmeriKKKa is full of free loaders is still relevant now. The production is has a somber kinda funky vibe to it, too. The track “Devastated” sees Joey reminiscing about his pre-fame days & how patience was the key to his success over a spacey beat. The song “Y U Don’t Love Me? (Miss AmeriKKKa)” sees Joey basically asking why the government hates minorities & the gloomy beat goes PERFECTLY with what he’s saying. The song “Rockabye Baby” talks about how the system can’t control them over some ominous keys & I actually think ScHoolboy Q out-rapped Joey on here. The track “Ring the Alarm” talks about the “resurrection of real” hip hop & while the bridge from Meechy Darko was executed decently, I really love how Joey’s fellow Pro Era members Kirk Knight & Nyck Caution are trading lines with each other in the final verse. The song “Super Predator” with Styles P is basically a retaliation to the term with the same name, but the hook was kind of a turn off for me. The track “Babylon” talks about Joey’s desires to move far away from AmeriKKKa as possible over some militant drums as well as some saddening saxes. The Chronixx bridge fits in well, also. The penultimate track “Legendary” with J. Cole talks about how legends only multiply & the beat from Statik Selektah is jazzy as Hell. I also love how Joey inadvertently shouts me out during the hook too, lol! The album then closes out with “AmeriKKKan Idol”, where Joey’s simply saying “fuck you” to white supremacy & how the government’s trying to start a racial civil war over a somber guitar as well as some EXPLOSIVE drums. I also really love how the hook interpolates the classic Nas track “The World is Yours”. While I like the production on Joey’s last album a lot more, I’d say the content on here is WAY more superior than B4.DA.$$‘. Not only is it Joey’s most political work to date, but I think it’s much needed for us right now (especially with the very recent Syria missile strikes that occurred just the day before the album came out)

Score: 4/5

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