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Reviews

Joey Bada$$ “2000” Album Review

2000

Joey Bada$$

  • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Release Date: 2022-07-22
  • Explicitness: explicit
  • Country: USA
  • Track Count: 14
  • ℗ 2022 Pro Era / Cinematic Music Group, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a D

2000 is the latest studio album from rapper and lyricist Joey Badass. Coming five years after his last studio album, the decent-enough All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, 2000 is an album that a large chunk of hip-hop fans have been impatiently waiting for. While the wait was still probably a bit too long overall, 2000 is ultimately an extremely strong release from one of rap’s most underestimated emcees.

First things first, 2000 comes out at an important time in Joey’s career. As of this record’s release, the rapper’s debut mixtape, 1999, turns a decade old. It only takes a look at the title of Joey’s latest album to see what he’s going for thematically.

2000 is implied to be the demonstration of Joey’s artistic evolution over the course of a full decade of making music. While 2000 isn’t exactly superior to 1999, the former does succeed in showing just how much the rapper in question has grown over the years.

Album Cover Art

Joey Bada$$ &Quot;2000&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, August 13, 2022

The album art is inspired by his debut mixtape, the 2012 classic 1999. That cover depicted two kids skateboarding across a graffiti-strewn wall; this time out, Joey can be seen posing for a snap in front of a bodega in a matching dark-green outfit, with the color of his hat complementing his white sneakers while he is draped in gold jewelry shining amidst the tableau.

Tracks and Features

On the Diddy-featured intro “The Baddest,” Joey looks back on his first decade in music, placing himself among the likes of Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole with an unfazed chill, amplified by the lush piano interpolation of DeBarge’s “I Like It”: “You niggas thought I was finished? I’m offended/I’m just getting replenished/MCs gettin’ diminished when I’m in attendance.”

Producer Chuck Strangers’ loud snares and flailing trumpet in “Brand New 911” blend with the sharpness and tone of bars like “They resent me ’cause I’m counting all these blessings heaven sent me.” As impressive as the bars are the features, including Westside Gunn, and his signature “Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom” adlibs on the song.

His words cut deeper when he dips back into autobiography, recalling his cousin writing his first rap for him on “Where I Belong” or talking about passing down good traits to his daughter on “Written in the Stars.” When the flow and feelings combine, as they do on the gut-wrenching Capital STEEZ ode “Survivors Guilt,” it becomes easy to root for Joey.

Every rapper could have spitballed the bland boasts in “Cruise Control” and “Zipcodes,” which are both replete with them. Guest Larry June immediately overshadows Joey’s basic swagger on the “One of Us,” setting the bar for rappers who make luxury sound as accessible as using Face ID to check in.

In the love ballad “Welcome Back,” Joey raps about having an affair with the soon-to-be fiancée of the poor guy from the “One of Us” skit who calls him and begs him not to sleep with her. Chris Brown and Capella Grey are bring the singing and harmonizing juice on this one.

And that’s separate from the just plain bad bars sprinkled across the album—“Swimming mainstream like a hip-hop-potomus” from “Eulogy” and “My stock like a teenage cock, it stay up” from “Written in the Stars” are tortured metaphors that should’ve never left his Notes app. This is one of those songs that give you that “feeling”, reminding you of why you fell in love with hip-hop.

He follows the same formula on “Wanna Be Loved” featuring J.I.D and “Make Me Feel”, providing hip-hop heads with a bit of nostalgia and yearning for a lost period and sound in hip-hop.

Tracklist

NO Title Time
1 The Baddest (feat. Diddy) 2:43
2 Make Me Feel 2:57
3 Where I Belong 3:08
4 Brand New 911 (feat. Westside Gunn) 2:58
5 Cruise Control 3:26
6 Eulogy 4:04
7 Zipcodes 4:27
8 One of Us (feat. Larry June) 4:02
9 Welcome Back (feat. Chris Brown & Capella Grey) 3:42
10 Show Me 3:40
11 Wanna Be Loved (feat. JID) 3:35
12 Head High 3:00
13 Survivors Guilt 5:52
14 Written in the Stars 5:12

Album Theme

The LP is directly tied to the 10th anniversary of 1999. It’s a considerable amount of buildup considering that Joey is doing the bare minimum: meeting his standard for rapping and expanding his horizons just far enough to properly integrate into the modern hip-hop rat race.

Production Credits

Taking care of production on the project include: BBEARDED, Cardiak, Chuck Strangers, DopeBoyzMuzic, Dreamlife Beats, Erick the Architect, Kirk Knight, Mark Borino, Marz, MarvinoBeats, McClenney, Mike WiLL Made-It, Rahki, Sal Dali, Sean C & LV & Statik Selektah.

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