B4DA$$ — JOEY BADA$$
Fuck this is gunna be hard…
Let’s just get to it, here are the top 5 badass tracks that we’ve been BUMPIN’:
5. “NO. 99”
“What’s my name? What’s my name?”
It’s pretty self explanitory.
4. “PAPER TRAIL$”
“Before the money, there was love // But before the money, it was tough”
One of the first cuts off the album, “PAPER TRAIL$” caught our attention right away. It is in essence, the main message behind B4DA$$ (BEFORE THE MONEY). As with any of us on our grind, before the money ever gets involved all there is, is love. The love and pure passion that fuels us to do what it is we do. However, though money; the root of all evil and people can/does make it much easier to continue to do what we do, we can’t ever fall victim to it. The money can’t ever be enough to change how and why we do it. And because “PAPER TRAIL$” represents so well what we; STEADY, stand for, face, and encounter today due to our youth, it easily makes the top list.
3. “ON & ON”
“Time don’t stand still, so you gotta move on”
Produced by Freddie Joachim (the same producer behind “WAVES”), Joachim and JOEY come through once again with a great track. Picturing his gravestone, JOEY does some self reflecting as he addresses his mortality. Joey contemplates on his life, his longevity and moreover, his career as a musical artist, giving us insight on how he wishes to be remembered once he’s gone. And like many of us, simply wants to be remembered for the legacy we’re all to leave behind someday.
2. “LIKE ME”
“It’s like every step bring me close to destiny // And every breathe I get closer to the death of me”
How do we even begin to unpack this. It was a crazy tough choice between this and “ON & ON” taking second but “LIKE ME” definitely takes it. On the track, JOEY describes the internal conflict he has between the person he is and whether or not he, as well as other “other hip hoppers” like him have a hope of salvation after they pass. He questions his own blessings from that of his other brothers such as the now late-PRO ERA member Capital STEEZ. BJ the Chicago Kid does an awesome job as a feature as his vocals only enhance the emotions of it. It’s the level of raw emotion created by the two of them together that just makes this song outstanding.
1. “CURRY CHICKEN”
“I gotcha back, ain’t gotta worry // Only thing I ask for is some curry”
Like JOEY says, “You got to give to get and then you give back”. No question about it, JOEY has put a great amount of both time and effort to his craft, and as a result, is now beginning to reap the fruits of his labor. However, aside from the fame and fortune, what JOEY wants most is to then be able give back to his parents.
Above all, “CURRY CHICKEN” hits closest to home. As individuals carving out our own paths, we too want our undoubtedly concerned parents to be at ease. We want them to know and understand that while we may seem to them as just young inexperienced knuckleheads, that we’re confident in ourselves — in that we got their backs. That after hours of being away in the shop/studio, like JOEY, all we want is to have a place to call home.
Though some might get all up in arms about what we’re about to say…fuck we’re just gunna say it. B4DA$$ to JOEY is ILLMATIC to Nas. We ain’t sayin it’s neccesarily better than “ILLMATIC” but, the album is without a doubt on its way to being a classic. Like “ILLMATIC”, B4DA$$ is just one of those albums you only want to listen to through headphones. It feels personal. On tracks such as O.C.B, it actually feels as if JOEY is home alone rapping to himself and you’re there watching. Anticipating the album, we like most, we’re definetely expecting more heavier hitting tracks like NO. 99. However, the lack of them didn’t change our opinion, JOEY still drops BARS from album start to finish. If anything we were pleasantly surprised. In fact, we think B4DA$$ is more than just a rap album.
B4DA$$ is hard, it’s gritty, it’s introspective but most of all, it’s “soulful. JOEY speaks on topics in a way that is relevant, relatable, and ultimately humanizing. It isn’t just an incredible rap album, it’s an incredible album. It transcends the genre.
Note: CHRIST CONSCIOUS was intentionally left out since its obviously a banger MUTHAA…
*Written by A. CHOU & CAL.