2017, Music

All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ (2017) by Joey Bada$$

This is east coast hip hop? I’m sure it’s dating me to say that this doesn’t sound east coast to me, but it really doesn’t.

I understand he’s from Brooklyn but, to my ears, this album sounds heavily influenced by the sound of ’90s west coast hip hop. There are no doubt lots of influences I don’t hear, as I don’t really listen to hip hop but, to the extent I can detect anything, it’s a west coast sound not an east coast one. (And that fits with the explicit reference to Ice Cube.)

Regardless of the source of the influences, I have always like the production I associate with east coast hip hop much more than the sounds of west coast hip hop. And so, basically immediately, I like this less than I might. (Also, one song sounds like Drake. Not Joey’s voice, of course, but the song itself.)

But, putting the overall vibe of the album aside, this is fine. Joey seems like a pretty decent rapper and the album is pretty political, which works for me. I’m never been a good judge of flow but he seems good enough.

The production is maybe not as uninteresting as I implied. I’m pretty sure I heard a keyboard solo in the background of one track, maybe “Y U Don’t Love Me? (Miss Amerikkka).” The credits don’t list anything so I guess it’s a sample but it’s a neat touch. I think the west coast vibe came from the sound overall but especially certain tracks, especially at the beginning of the record.

Some of his guests also help dispel my initial impression because I don’t associate these kinds of voices with the kinds of music I associate some of the production.

Anyway, I’m not sure I have much else to say. I would have stronger feelings if the production was a little closer to production styles I appreciate, I guess. But I think it’s fine.

On second thought. Maybe it’s better than I’m giving it credit.


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