B4. DA.$$

B4. DA.$$

Music CD - 2015
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Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Cinematic Music Group, [2015]
Characteristics: 1 audio disc (62 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet
Alternative Title: Badass
Other Standard Identifier: 693461238527


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JCLEdwardR Jun 03, 2017

A great album that will give each hip-hop head what they're looking for. If you are a fan of old school hip-hop, rap, early-2000s, or today's music scene, this album will hit all of those chords. Joey Badass has created a timeless album that will for multiple listens.

May 08, 2015

B4.DA.$$ was released on January 20th of 2015. There are 17 total tracks on this LP, including the two bonus tracks. The album kicks off with "Save The Children" which talks about the struggle of the street life for people, especially kids who are born or grew up in their local projects. "Green Bax" is an introlude with kids who are supposed to be Joey and his friend. They talk about "selling candy, getting money" which represents kids learning early on how to make fast illegal money, in order to get by in the projects. These themes are brought up very often throughout the entire LP. Joey has been praised as well as criticized for his 90's influenced sound. From his boom bap type craving for beats, to his historical hip hop references, that many of this generation may not have been exposed to. These elements can definitely be heard in this LP. Sonically this album is more than ear candy. The line up of producers are a great bunch, from the legendary DJ Premier, to Pro Era's very own Statik Selektah who, personally in my opinion delivers the best beat on the entire LP, off the track "Curry Chicken". Production wise this album is like a polished up, reskinned and remastered nostalgic trip down New York hip hop's memory lane. Some examples of this include tracks like, "Piece of Mind" which resembles New York hip hop legend Nas' "One Love" track off of his 1994 debut, "Illmatic". The resemblance lies in the layout of the song. For example Joey uses a recorded phone call to his buddy who is serving time in jail for the opening and closing of the track "Piece of Mind". Nas did the same on One Love, but instead he wrote the song so it would fit into the concept of a letter. Joey even samples some lyrics from "One Love" in his third verse on Piece of Mind, Joey raps "Word is bond stay strong, out in New York, the same shit is going on". This song is talking about the recent up in the trend of unjust arrests and unfair treatment from Police, which supposedly Joey's friend fell victim to. Joey also pays homage to late legends who were originally from New York such as Big Pun, 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, and Big L, while flaunting his lyrical skill and play on words. This can be seen in some of his lyrics from the song "On & On" where he pays respects to his late friend and Pro Era group member, "Capital Steez". "I guess there really is a heaven for us hip hoppers, I really miss my partner, but I know he with Big Poppa, 2 Pacs, and the big L rolled proper And that's a big pun, know that I'mma join him when my time come". Some of his lyrics in tracks like "Paper Trail$" seem inspired by classic songs. In "Paper Trail$" Joey raps "Cash ruin everything around me" which is inspired by Wu-Tang's "C.R.E.A.M." song which stands for Cash. Rules. Everything. Around. Me. The aggressiveness in his voice as well as his complex lyrical abilities on many tracks such as "Big Dusty" and "Christ Conscious" which can be found on this LP, remind me of the first time I popped in Wu-Tang's debut 36 Chambers. His lyrics aren't the only thing bringing back memories however, some of his beat selections scream with a golden age of hip hop influence. Speaking of which, Joey has quite a few producers on this LP as well. One of them includes the legend who helped make a name for legendary rapper Nas, on his Illmatic debut, DJ Premier. Premier produced only one track on B4.DA.$$, this being "Paper Trail$", however this beat seems to sound a little unfamiliar compared to Premier's past productions. That being said this in no way is a negative, as the beat fit perfectly with style and sound of Joey. The only thing I can say I did not enjoy on "B4.DA.$$", was the 17th track, "Teach Me". This album is great from start to finish. From the production to the lyrics. In my opinion this album is a near work of perfection. I'd say it is this generation's version of 36 Chambers, mixed with Illmatic. This album gets a 9/10. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of hip hop.


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