#3 Joey Bada$$ – B4.DA.$$ (Cinematic Music Group , Pro Era)

Our Rating

8 Wordplay

8 Lyrical genius

9 Boom-bap

8 Soul

8 Album cohesion

9 Replay

I read a review that described this album as someone stuck in the past holding onto a genre that was dead. So essentially I can confirm they were calling out that hip-hop must of died the day The Fugees crumbled. I closed the page and went back to bumping this release.

There is no doubt this guy is channeling the greats. Wu Tang, EPMD and The Fugees meet 2015 .  A homage is about paying respect and for me this is what the release is all about. Joey pays respect for the skill, production, mix and multis that built our culture.  He doesn’t hide that and many times calls out the memory hook to bring you back in – ‘two times’ on  Like Me  or ‘check my style ‘ on Big Dusty . Joey is from another time but a studied learner of this culture, so surely when he releases a debut he wants to call out the forces that brought him to the world. Do you think  DJ Premier would back him if he was fronting?

It’s a live album , plenty of jump around tracks like No.99 but also sprinkled with the crackling dust you used to sit back and nod your head to. Maverick Sabre appears yet again on a killer track On & On and like most of the rest of the album its a beautifully sampled arrangement highlighting Joey’s liquid flow.I t was the replay that gives this album such a high score . I came back to it again and again. It matured, like Joey , over time . This isnt his best im sure but I’m happy to wait for more.

So finally i come back to this point of why repeat the past when you can create the new. How often do we hear the same rhetoric about how hip-hop these days is awful, how rappers are popstars etc.? Yet when presented with an album based on the golden era people turn on it. To me , this is a refreshing trip into path we should have stayed on.

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