Joey Bada$$ has returned with his sophomore effort entitled All-Amerikkkan Bada$$. It has been two years since Joey released his debut album B4.DA.$$ and many things have changed. The political climate, racial tensions, and most importantly Joey himself are vastly different in the two years that have passed. This leaves us with Joey being much more mature since the last time we connected with him.

Something has to be said about Joey Bada$$, at 22 he sounds very much like a veteran on the microphone. It is easy to forget that he’s been torching microphones since the tender age of 16. It is that level of experience and perspective that he brings to All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ that makes this record special. There is a fiery approach to this record that can be seen by its cover art and the title of the project. This album is incredibly intentional and focused by design. The length is a mere 12 tracks long which effectively leaves zero room for filler cuts. The short length of the project means that Joey needed to maximize the runtime of All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ and indeed he does. All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ provides us with precise and intentional lyrical themes from Joey.  This is not a showcase of lyrical dexterity just for the sake of displaying his wordplay. Make no mistake, double entendres are abundantly present but that is not the focus of the project. Instead, Joey wisely chooses to focus on the impact and meaning behind the words he strings together. The result is an album that feels like a reflection of Joey’s acension towards the top of Hip-hop while dealing with a world troubled with racial and political tensions. One gets the sense that Joey Bada$$ feels a responsibility to use his platform and reach to say something of substance. These themes are exemplified in the tracks  “For My People”, “Temptation”, and especially  “Babylon”. There is a weight and level of meaning behind these songs that people sorely need to hear right now.

The production and guest features on All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ are incredibly fitting and support the themes of the album quite well. Joey clearly has an ear for the right beats and there are no missteps here. The production ranges from smooth and atmospheric to the traditional dusty boom bap throwbacks we expect from a Joey Bada$$ project. The features on All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ are few but are placed meaningfully. The highlights include J.Cole, Styles P, Schoolboy Q, and some of the Pro Era crew including Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution. The track that will likely garner the most attention is “Legendary” with J. Cole. These two are modern day Hip-hop juggernauts and it is a real treat to hear Joey and Cole trade verses and come together for the chorus. Additionaly, the track “Super Predator” is pure Hip-hop bliss. Joey and Styles P represent vastly different eras of Hip-hop and it is remarkable to hear how comfortable they sound together on a track. The track “Rockabye Baby” with Schoolboy Q showcases some of the grimiest and hard hitting production I’ve heard in a long time. The all out lyrical assault from Joey and Schoolboy Q is no different, this is the track for the hardcore Hip-hop fan on All-Amerikkkan Bada$$. The posse cut on this album comes with “Ring The Alarm” and this serves as a great Pro Era nod. With all that being said, there is a level of quality and options here for all kinds of Joey Bada$$ fans to enjoy and get attached to.

Joey Bada$$ has achieved something great with All-Amerikkkan Bada$$. For one, he has managed to avoid the dreaded sophomore jinx in Hip-hop, that so many before him have fallen victim to. Secondly, Joey has delivered a project laced with powerful political and racial themes without sounding preachy or out of touch. Lastly, Joey has expanded his toolset and has shown tremendous growth as an artist. It would have been incredibly easy for Joey to take the safe route and put out a project that offered more of the same that was present on his debut album. Instead he took a chance and decided to make a statement with All-Amerikkkan Bada$$. The themes presented here are touchy subjects but he approaches them gracefully and makes the listener reflect upon what is being said. With this only being his second official effort, it appears that the future for Joey Bada$$ is insanely bright. All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ is a stellar album that demands your attention and should not be missed. My personal favorite tracks on All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ are “For My People”, “Temptation”, “Super Predator”, “Babylon” and “Legendary”. Purchase a physical copy of All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ here Purchase a digital copy of All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ here

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