“B4.DA.$$” Joey Bad@$$ Album Review

todayApril 17, 2015 70

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By: Zach Rowley
Music Reviewer

Artist: Joey Bad@$$
Album: B4.DA.$$
Label: Cinematic Music Group
Release Date: Jan. 20, 2015

Joey Bad@$$ Courtesy of:
Joey Bad@$$
Courtesy of:

Joey Bad@$$ is a 20 year old hip hop artist hailing from the East Coast. Nearing the end of 2010, he created quite the buzz with his single “Survival Tactics” featuring Capital Steez, and was able to catch the eyes and ears of Cinematic Music Group, specifically, Big K.R.I.T. Soon after his “Survival Tactics” Youtube video went viral, Joey released the mixtape, 1999. The mixtape alone could be considered one of the best works of art to surface in hip hop for years to come.

After listening to tracks by the Brooklyn native, the “Golden Age” of hip hop can be heard through and through. He drops knowledge on the struggle of being brought up in the slums as well as political corruption, which are key topics of hip hop’s roots. In a time where conscious rap wasn’t flying off the shelves, very few artist could reach levels of recognition for speaking on real topics. Luckily, Joey Bad@$$ stayed true to his roots and continued to release records of substance. In the meantime, Joey, and the rest of his Pro Era crew, continued to put out several mixtapes, solo and collaborative combined.

Many years after his first mixtape, Joey Bad@$$ delivers B4.DA.$$, his first debut album, in late January 2015. The album holds 17 songs and nearly 10 features, ranging from BJ the Chicago Kid to Action Bronson. More notably, Bad@$$ has been known to rhyme over some of the best 90s-feel instrumentals by producers like MF Doom to J Dilla. No corners were cut in producing “B4.DA.$$” either. Famous producers, DJ Premier, Statik Selektah, and even The Roots were involved. Pro Era members laced the album with beats as well, of course.

Continuing his style, B4.DA.$$. has a very personal connection to it. Songs “Black Beetles”, “Hazeus View” and “O.C.B.” reach out to touch the subjects of his two lost friends and group members. “Hazeus View” is one of the deeper tracks, focusing on his relevance to Earth and if his actions will be enough to impress God at the pearly gates. As for singles, “Like Me” is one that stands out the most. The conscious lyrics of “Like Me” paint the perfect picture of the constant tragedies of unnecessary violence in society.

Along with his usual over the top wordplay, the double entendre monster continues to show off his skills as an artist all through the album. Even though this is his first official album, the young emcee gives hope of improving with each rhyme, leaving hip hop heads hungry for more.

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