Joey Bada$$ is a Brooklyn native of Caribbean descent, known for his boom-bap raps. Recently, however, in a bid to escape the box the industry has been trying to put him in, he has been experimenting with different sounds.

The Metro Boomin-produced, Nyck Caution track ‘What’s Understood’ and one of the lead singles from his debut album B4.DA.$$, ‘Teach Me’, share similarities with new track ‘Devastated’. Much like these past two tracks, ‘Devastated’ is a single which some may say is far from the ‘Badmon’s style, and upon first listen I was a little disappointed.

The beat was great, with a lovely summer vibe, but the lyrical content and delivery made it feel like Swae Lee (Rae Sremmurd) ghost-wrote it. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I expect more quality from the CEO of pro era. It seemed like Joey might have been selling out, and the blogs very much felt that way.

However, after coming back from a particularly abysmal situation in a game of Monopoly, that was the only song that came to mind. And it all clicked. While my rise to power might not have been anywhere near as significant as Joey’s, I was able to at least sympathise with the lyrical content and his choice to sing rather than rap.

“From a performance standpoint, vocally Joey stands out with a particularly entertaining singing voice”

It’s almost like a pro era anthem celebrating how far they’ve come, because, while every rapper likes to boast lines about how they are gonna make it and they have to blow, I doubt all rappers fully believe that all the time. This is why I’m sure many rappers, including those in the pro era camp, can relate to the lyrics on the hook: “I used to be so devastated, at times I thought we’d never make it, but now we on the way to greatness.”

From a performance standpoint, vocally Joey stands out with a particularly entertaining singing voice, which I hope returns a few times on the album. This is the perfect summer track (especially for those 4-3 comeback wins on FIFA) and I’d advise you to give it a listen on Soundcloud and support it when it drops on iTunes.

If you’re a Joey Bada$$ fan that does not like the direction of the track, remember, not every rapper wants to make super lyrical deep tracks all the time; monotony is boring. But do not fear, as I back the young CEO to come back with some bars for the sophomore album.

Joshua Ogunmokun

Josh is currently listening to ‘Fly by Alien’ by VANT

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