Joey Bada$$ - ‘ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$’

8/10

Apart from Kendrick Lamar, there is no other name in contemporary US hip-hop that has managed to eloquently portray and understand the political turmoil America has found itself in over the last few years. With his 2015 debut album 'B4.DA.$$' taking on bold subjects like police brutality, Black Lives Matter, and the then upcoming US elections all under the caveat of monster production, this second studio release sees him adopt a more nostalgic sound but with the same venom in his lyrics.

When you first switch on ‘ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$’, you are treated to a sound that conjures up memories of Dr Dre's 'The Chronic'. That laid-back LA groove has penetrated the flow of this new record, which sometimes creates an odd juxtaposition for Joey's politically-charged verses. But really it becomes clear that this lesser bass-heavy sound is simply to give more focus to the rapper's own lyrics, which are tight and moving throughout.

It doesn't seem that the anger and activism on his debut has made it through to his sophomore record, instead opting for a deflated yet optimistic disposition that urges actions through intelligence and rigour. It certainly is a quick maturity of his sound and shows that Joey Bada$$ not only moves with the times, but always looking for more engaging ways people can digest his message.

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