It was pretty easy to assume that Joey Bada$$’s new album was going to politically charged. His singles that preceded the album were pretty political, and the Brooklyn rapper has always had a bit of a political history, rapping about police brutality and growing up as a young black man in a white world. Speaking of political, there was a time when a selfie of Malia Obama wearing a Pro Era (Joey’s group) shirt surfaced in 2015, which obviously caused a lot of anger from the Right because Joey Bada$$ is a black man who doesn’t appreciate the system.
Getting back on topic, our assumptions were absolutely true. Joey’s album, ALL AMERIKKKAN BADA$$, contains a “Fuck Donald Trump” along with many more messages about fighting the system that keeps blacks and other minorities enslaved through laws. Political rap isn’t new. It’s been around for as long as the genre has been around. But, in today’s times under the Trump administration, this album is relevant, current, real. It isn’t Lupe Fiasco’s political albums during the Obama Administration that went underappreciated. There wasn’t a market for those albums; Plus, Lupe played an anti-Obama song during an inauguration party, which wasn’t cool. But Joey’s album has been released at a time that people really need it. And, it’s just generally very, very listenable.
When YG released “Fuck Donald Trump,” we knew politics were going to spike in hip hop and rap. YG, a rubber band beat using, robbing your crew, and taking your girl rapper, was the last person that anyone expected to release a song like that. Then Tribe Called Quest released their phenomenal politically charged come-back album that opposed Donald Trump. Even Ty Dolla $ign released a (bad) album advocating for Hillary Clinton.
I still have my reservations. I miss the consistently off-beat 1999 Joey, but that’s a style preference. The message is awesome. Keep evolving and keep getting better, and maybe (please) rap offbeat more again, please.
Now, it’s almost time for Kendrick Lamar’s followup of one of the greatest albums, no pieces of art, of all time, To Pimp a Butterfly, which will absolutely be politically charged and possibly THE greatest album of all time (I’m fangirling). But actually, Kendrick is the Tupac of our generation.
Don’t @ me.
“Fifty years later, still see my brothers choked to death/R.I.P. to Eric Garner, only right I show respect/Nowaday they hangin’ us by a different tree/Branches of the government, I can name all three/Judicial, legislative and executive/Lock your pops away, your moms, then next the kids/It’s all consecutive.”