Joey Bada$$ & J. Cole Release A Legendary Collabo About Empowering Ourselves & Others (Audio)
Three days away from the release of All Amerikkkan Bada$$, his first album since 2015’s B4.DA.$$, and Joey Bada$$ is having a busy week. A performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert has been followed swiftly by the apparent leak of what is likely the most anticipated collaboration on his new album: “Legendary,” with J. Cole.
Today (April 4), the song has appeared online, and it is a Jazz-driven, somber, and poetic examination of being young, Black, self-loving, and ambitious in the United States of Amerikkka. “Up and away, jump on a plane, get on my wave right now/I want you to believe not only in me but have some faith in yourself/I wish you peace and good health, happinesses and wealth,” raps Joey in the opening verse. He also reflects on the obstacles in life, particularly those facing his community. “This life, I’m living it out, damn right my vision is now/Don’t let them imprison yourself, build the strength to break out/My brother’s at the brick house, the undercover stakeout/Can’t you see it’s a trap? The type of shit I think ’bout.” He gets progressively more emotional as time goes on, eventually spitting “it’s clear we’re living in hell, the life of a Black male/Right out the womb you come out, and it’s a bunch of blackmail.”
J. Cole offers up an equally poignant and introspective verse, saying “life happens like tides, one minute you’re low and feeling shallow/then all of a sudden, you rise/Just ride the wave, I say to myself.” He also takes an outward, extended look at life, asking things of himself and his audience. “How much does a man need? How much can he horde before it’s greed?/How can a rich father teach humbleness to his seed?” He goes on to put forth some truly thought-provoking questions that could have only been arrived to with some profound soul-searching on his part.
Other features on All Amerikkkan Bada$$ include ScHoolboy Q and Styles P.