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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Hello and welcome to Footnotez. Footnotez is a weekly music blog. Music is a reflection of the human heartbeat and one of the most important forms of expression. This blog will be primarily composed of three different types of posts:

Album/Single Reviews- Footnotez will be reviewing the latest albums and singles of various music artists. These reviews will encompass a array of genres done weekly. Each album/single reviewed will be provided with a rating from 0-10 (with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest).

Spotlight- This series will showcase the music of artists who are producing quality work despite being relatively unknown by the mainstream. Spotlight will mostly focus on contemporary music acts, but occasionally will include artists who became under-appreciated as time passed.

Percussive Discussion- In posts under this title I will provide my analysis and opinion on a multitude of musical topics. As previously stated, music is so much more than organized sound and this series will expand on its greater effects on culture.

Without further ado, my first review will be on B4.DA.$$ by Joey Bada$$.

On January 20th, Joey Bada$$ released his highly anticipated debut album on his 20th birthday. Joey Bada$$, a New York based emcee, has been building a buzz in the underground hip-hop scene for a couple of years.

The album begins with Save the Children where Joey Bada$$ displays his clever wordplay over a sample-based, vintage sounding beat. Tracks like this have became Joey’s signature sound in his young career. He then switches his focus to the importance of money on Greenbax and Paper Trail$, continuing to rap hungry bars over gritty production. Throughout this album’s entirety Joey shows he is a witty wordsmith capable of crafting music reminiscent of golden-era hip-hop. He is braggadocios about his lyrical ability while providing an uplifting message of black empowerment over highly compressed drums and samples. Throughout his career Joey has stuck to this formula consistently with little deviation. It is due to this that this album can at times sound redundant. His influences are very apparent and songs in the middle of this album appear directionless. He literally is just rapping about how well he can rap (a la Rakim).

Despite this, the best moments of this album come when he does deviate from this formula. On Curry, track 15 on the album, Joey discusses his personal life and how despite becoming famous he always puts his relationship with his family first. This is an intimate look at Joey’s personal life that listeners have not been previously exposed to. This song also aided in creating a more humble and human side to his persona. Another highlight on this album is its closer Teach Me. This is a dance track that places emphasis on groovy production and a romance story as opposed to proving how good of a rapper Joey Bada$$ is. It was an unexpected ending to a diverse, well produced album. If Joey’s purpose was to prove he can rap with the best of them while also broadening his musical output, then he did just that.

Album Rating: 8/10

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