The Brooklyn based rapper made his solo return over the weekend, releasing his first solo material for the first time since 2017.
Joey is known for his profound lyricism and his modern boom-bap approach to hip hop, and he continues to display both of his strengths on his new three track EP, The Light Pack. The songs, while all varied, all deal with Joey finding his inner voice during a time of national turmoil.
“The Light” is the only track on the EP to receive video treatment, as the video opens with Joey undergoing a traditional voodoo ceremony “in search of rebirth.” After the vibrant and dynamic ceremony, Joey reflects on his spirituality, as he admits, “I was gone for a lil minute / It’s like I lost my glow, yo / my inner light was dimmin’.” As he struts through the streets of his native New York City, Joey confidently proclaims, “This is mumble rap extermination / this is godly interpolation,” as the simplistic yet heavy production style allows Joey’s lyrical ability to shine through.
The second track on the EP, “No Explanation,” features fellow New York City rapper Pusha T, and displays a much jazzier style of production. While Joey opens boasting about his prowess and success on the mic, he adds, “But I got other things on my mind that’s much bigger / Like being a voice to this voiceless generation.” Pusha adds even more lyrical depth to the track, as the piano-driven production adds a layer of musical depth that makes the track exciting from beginning to end.
The EP’s final track, “Shine,” is a perfect track for Joey to display his modern boom bap approach that helped propel him into mainstream hip hop. The beat, a sample of Roy Ayer’s soulful classic “Everybody Loves The Sunshine,” is bouncy and bright, which allows Joey to playfully spit bar after bar with ease. Joey opens with the 2 bar punchline, “Yeah, this be them young OG vibes, think like I’m Steve Jobs / Malachite stone, see the world all through steez eyes,” and only continues to build on his lyrics and rhyme scheme from there. “Shine” is an overall uplifting song, and is the perfect end to Joey’s masterful EP.
Joey’s return to solo work is more than welcoming, especially in such turbulent times as these. His lyrical ability combined with his social consciousness allows him to be a bright voice in a dark space, and a voice that is worth listening to. While Joey didn’t directly rap about any of the social injustices that have occurred recently, Joey’s messages of rebirth and inner light hold high significance in times of struggle, and his EP can serve as a comforting tool for those who may need some external light to help find their inner light.
Listen to Joey Bada$$’s new EP The Light Pack below: