The latest installment of the Joey BadA$$ discography officially dropped yesterday (4/7) but some fans heard it earlier. Some fans though waited impatiently for the release and refused to listen to the leaked version, like myself. It. was. torture. But I did it and I’m glad I did. It was hard to not look at reviews of the album before I had heard what great political anarchy Joey had promised, but I did take a peak at DJ Booth’s article that broke each song down, and it slightly broke my heart because the article didn’t make it seem like the guys over there really loved the album.
BUT that didn’t stop me, I’ve been a fan of Joey since I saw him play SXSW a few years back. His style has always intrigued me; his lyrics are raw and he’s never been afraid to send a message. AABA (ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$) is his thoughts on today and his way of getting involved with the continuous inequality the black community faces.
His message is incredibly strong throughout the entire album. In some interviews Joey has received negative feedback about AABA because he “isn’t doing anything new” and I don’t disagree, but I feel that this album was needed, really needed in the music industry right now. So many artists have released songs saying “fuck Trump” but very few have taken the time to release and entire album on how they feel about the last 10 years; including the disbelief that Obama did what he could for the country. It’s no longer about color, it’s about coming together and getting over the bullshit, taking politics out of the way to be a nation that is no longer stuck in the 1960s socially.
The album is a 12-track melodic stance on our nation, filled with 1990s RnB/Hip Hop feels. During my first listen, I didn’t realize songs had switched because the first track (Good morning Amerikkka) and the second (For My People) blended so well. That I think is the best thing an artist can create, flow between tracks.
The third song, Temptation, just gave me all the feels and it’s definitely my favorite song on the album. I think Joey choosing a child’s voice to open the song was incredible. I think we sometimes forget the kids in this battle, we definitely remember the teenagers, like Trayvon, but the younger children are often forgotten.
We have already been heard Land of the Free and Devastated, but I didn’t skip those, because you know…
Y U Don’t Love Me, Ring the Alarm, Super Predator, Babylon and Amerikkkan Idol were natural Joey songs, they sound very similar to his original work (Hilary $wank, LongLiveSteelo), which I appreciated. Joey has mastered his personal rap style and I while I wouldn’t mind seeing him experiment musically, I’m glad he didn’t for this album. AABA needs to be applauded for the language presented, and remembered that Joey did this album because he felt he needed too, not because he’s just simply releasing another project.
The rest of the album was great, but I will be totally honest, I really did not enjoy Legendary (feat. J Cole), which is unfortunate. At times I couldn’t tell the artists apart and the song just felt forgettable (as i’m writing this i’m trying to remember what it was about).
Overall, this album did not disappoint. For where I am personally in my music journey, this album was exactly what I needed and I don’t think any other artist could have done this better. There are definitely people out across the internet who disagree and aren’t enjoying this as much as I am, and all I can say is fuck ’em. Also #FCKTrump.