Edge, Music

Joey Bada$$ comments on current political climate with new album ‘All-Amerikkkan Bada$$’

“Who will take a stand and be our hero?” asked Joey Bada$$ on “For My People,” a track from his second album, “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$.” The hero may not be Bada$$, but at least he is inspiring the hero in us all.

On “Land of the Free,” the album’s centerpiece, Bada$$ raps, “We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.” The song is a critique of Trump and the “land of the free.” Bada$$ raps, “Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over.” The Brooklyn rapper said on Genius.com that “Land of the Free” was influenced by psychologist Umar Johnson, Malcom X and Marcus Garvey.

“Land of the Free” serves as an introduction to the themes of the album, which include oppression, racism, police brutality and criticism of Trump-era America. Besides addressing social ills, “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$” also includes themes of happiness, unity, Pan-Africanism and a brighter future.

The highlight song of the album is “Temptation,” which samples Zianna Oliphant, a nine-year-old girl who made a speech crying out against racism. Bada$$ raps with a sense of urgency and persistence, while the Kirk Knight beat is peaceful and meditative. “Temptation” confronts racism and discrimination in order to bring change. This song, and the album in general, is a call to act, to rebel, to unite and to bring peace and equality to the nation.

The album is good but misses great by a few feet. There are a few disappointments, yet, for the most part, Bada$$ delivers what his fans demand. However, the most surprising disappointment ironically is the J. Cole-featured “Legendary.” Cole, whose “4 Your Eyez Only” album recently went platinum, delivers a forgetful verse alongside Bada$$’s static verse on an insipid beat.

The most emblematic song of the album is “Amerikkkan Idol” because it is insightful and demanding and contains a piece of every theme of the album. The third verse on it may be Bada$$’s best verse on the album.

Through the years, Bada$$ has been speaking on social issues with lyrical prowess. His first mixtape, “1999,” introduced Bada$$ as one of this generation’s most talented artists. While “1999” was his best and most popular album, “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$” is his most important.

With this album, Bada$$ presents an album that can be seen as a combination of Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” and Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet.” Although “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$” is not on the same level of these classic hip-hop albums, it is important to note Bada$$’s message and passion. “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$” is an attempt to correct the problems in society, and it is successful in bringing attention to the issues while providing a quality sonic backdrop.

Rating: 4/5 stars

See Joey Bada$$ live at Rolling Loud May 5-7 at Bayfront Park in Miami.

April 13, 2017

Reporters

Tristan Niskanen


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Joey Bada$$ comments on current political climate with new album ‘All-Amerikkkan Bada$$’”

  1. Protege says:

    This was a GREAT article! I’m going to go buy ge album just to listen to it! Keep up the good work!

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The night after FIU gave away a game to the University of Miami with a ninth-inning passed ball that ...

Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Allison left the University of Miami football program on Tuesday. ...

Closer Frankie Bartow stared into the Panthers’ dugout immediately after fanning the final batter of ...

Go ahead. Try telling former University of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya that his critics say he gets ...

University of Miami redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Allison, who left the Hurricanes football pro ...

UM marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with a reading of names and recollections of a survivor. ...

A recent paper argues that not only have researchers just scratched the surface of analyzing the Ama ...

The period of the first 100 days in office is a telling gauge for a president's full term in th ...

UM students, staff and faculty join the worldwide march to end men’s violence against women. ...

Greek Week at the University of Miami is committed to raising money and awareness for United Cerebra ...

Images from @CanesMensTennis win over Boston College. ...

Sinead Lohan and Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team were both among the ni ...

The University of Miami track and field team will wrap up the 2017 outdoor track and field regular s ...

The Miami Hurricanes travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass., for a weekend series with host Boston College b ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team is set to return to the Rome Tennis Center at Berry C ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.