Hot Track of the Week: "Amerikkkan Idol" by Joey Bada$$
By Lukas Yeshitla
The outro to Joey Bada$$’s album All-Amerikkkan Badass, is a six minute piece of art that amazingly closes and wraps up the themes of Joey’s best project yet. His album is a testimony to black life in America, and uncovers the oppression black people face every day in America. The clever use of the term Amerikkkan highlights Joey’s views on America and the white supremacy that dooms all blacks. Through top notch songs like Land of the Free and Rockabye Baby, Joey Bada$$ uses crushing lyrics and heavy beats to tackle the issue of racism in America, but the song "Amerikkkan Idol" is the perfect icing on the cake.
"Amerikkkan Idol" stars off with an aggressive rap uncovering Joey’s life in America, and the struggle for many blacks. In the first verse Joey raps, “Patrol throughout the town, and they judgin just cause my skin color is brown, and for that, they wanna leave me dead in the ground, and have the nerve to blame it all on my background, sorry white Amerikkka but I’m about to blackout, got a message for the world and I won’t back out”. There are many other lines throughout the next couple verses that continue to illustrate how life hasn’t changed for blacks even after the end of Jim Crow and the civil rights movement. Through his powerful lyrics, Joey is trying to spread awareness to the fact that America is not a post-racist society, and is one where black life is not cared for.
Joey follows the strong first verse with a hook that highlights that since he has been alive, there hasn’t been a President that has been there for him, and that the only presidents he looks up to are the dead one’s that give him motivation. The hook, which seemed simple at first, was very compelling to me because it illustrated how blacks are not supported or in the interest of the government, so there only escape from their situation is through getting rich, any means necessary. After the jazzy and real hook, Joey comes hot with a distorted verse that could be the best one on the album, if not his best. In the closing verse, Joey speaks directly to all his listeners by wrapping up his thoughts about white supremacy in America, and what we must do as ethical civilians to end it.
"Amerikkkan Idol" and the album as a whole is a big wake up call to America, and sheds light on many of the issues in our country. Joey Bada$$ finally proved he’s a talented lyricist because his last album was somewhat of a flop, but the verses on "Amerikkkan Idol" alone highlight how important he is to hip-hop. Hopefully the album and the song get more attention because it teaches all listeners a lesson through great lyrics.