It’s crazy to me that it’s been four years since Joey Bada$$’s second studio album, “ALL-AMERI
KKKAN BADA$$“. It’s even crazier to think he just celebrated his 26th birthday on January 20th. It seems like Joey has been around Hip Hop for years despite his young age. From his classic mixtape debut “1999” to his first studio album “B4.DA.$$”, his presence has been felt around Hip Hop for years. He’s worked with producers like Statik Selektah and DJ Premier. Rapped on songs with the late Mac Miller and A$AP Rocky. He’s acted in short films and even has a role in Mr. Robot. But if you’re reading this post, you probably know all of this. Today, we’re here to talk about Joey Bada$$’ new single “Let it Breathe” produced by Statik Selektah.
“Let it Breathe”
Joey Bada$$’ new single brings us back to what he’s best at: spitting bars over classic Hip Hop production. The song itself was released to celebrate Joey’s 26th birthday. Produced by long-time collaborator Statik Selektah, Joey heralds his own triumphant return into music. Bars like “Want you to celebrate me like I’m dead already//Like this crown up on my head is heavy//Put my picture in the dictionary next to legendary” serve as a reminder that he’s still lethal on the mic. Throughout the song, Joey drops jewels while continuing to flex his vocal muscles. It’s almost as he’s using “Let it Breathe” as a lyrical exercise. It proves that the Badmon is still one of the illest dudes on the mic today.
“I came in this at seventeen and gave the game a weddin’ ring
We been honeymoonin’ since, I think it’s time to settle in
Go against the God, you could never win
I take ’em deep within to a place that they ain’t never been”
Joey kicks off the song with a brief intro detailing the purchase of his dream car, a Porsche 911 (also featured in the video). Joey is a 26-year-old successful adult but in his heart and soul, he’s still a kid living his dream and the joy is apparent. The aspect I love most about this track though is the homage he throws to two of his heroes: Jay-Z and Nas. During a break in the action, Joey raps “let that shit breathe” in a cadence that screams of Nas and Hova’s song “Success.” Joey ends the track with “I don’t wanna waste no time//I just wanna take what’s mine, gonna take what’s, uh (The world is yours)” in a more overt homage to Nas.
Throughout the song, Joey drops gems and words of wisdom in his lyrics. He spits lines like ” Swear to God, I’m never worried (Never)//’Cause that’s how you live the misery twice” or “bein’ humble was the worst mistake I ever made//Not knowin’ my worth was the biggest price I ever paid.” Those lines highlight the fact that the next stage of Joey’s career begins now. He’s no longer an up-and-coming rapper. He’s an established artist and a household name. His legacy as an emcee will be written with the music he gives us next. If ‘Let it Breathe” is a harbinger of what’s come, then I think we’re in for a classic. In 2020, Joey gave us the “The Light Pack” which was welcomed but ultimately felt like a tease. Joey Bada$$’ new single, however, feels like a sign of more to come.