Neo-Brooklyn spitter Joey Bada$$ doesn’t in the least try to hide his love for all that is vintage New York boom-bap. Of course, there are the jaded among you that believe the uber lyrical 18-year-old is merely hitching his wagon onto the powerful force that is nostalgia. But the good part about being a “bad ass” is you tend to go the direction that is the least traveled. Like East Coast throwback a-alike Action Bronson, young Joey continues to follow his blunts-and-Timberland muse, of which shines brightly on the Lee Bannon-produced cut “My Jeep.”
The sparse piano track, which features Flatbush Zombies’ Chuck Strangers and Meechy Darko, and The Underachievers’ Issa Gold, is light years away from a game-changing statement. And that’s okay because “My Jeep” is just a few kids flipping rhymes about getting some action in the whip. “Switching lanes, I’m swerving, getting brains, I’m learning…” kicks off Bada$$. And in case you didn’t get the Karrine Steffans-certified metaphor: “If you crash, no pussy cats get caskets…” Really, this is the type of spirited, no frills head-nodder that would have made it onto a DJ S&S tape in the early ‘90s before hip-hop became an homogenized soundtrack for Middle America.
“My Jeep” even comes complete with an ‘Ol Dirty Bastard-like wild man take by the aforementioned Darko, who threatens to steal the whole damn thing with just one absurd line (“MCM jacket, gold teeth like I’m Jerome!”). Sure, the chorus nod to R. Kelly’s 1995 single “You Remind Me of Something” is a freaking no brainer. But Joey Bada$$ is just here to rap his ass off. Nothing wrong with that.—Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)