"Down Bad" is a posse cut featuring Dreamville artists J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, and Johnny Venus (of Earthgang). The quartet drop bars about their younger days when they were "down bad." Each recounts how they escaped their impoverished circumstances by means of rap music.
The song also features a guest verse by Atlanta rapper Young Nudy. The track represents his first time working with each of the other four artists.
The beat comes courtesy of Plass. The Atlanta producer has also worked with the likes of Beyoncé ("Formation") and Kendrick Lamar ("HUMBLE.").
Plass' beat pays homage to "Rebel Without A Pause," the 1987 song by Public Enemy. Though it sounds similar, it is not a direct sample of the classic rap tune.
The song was recorded for the Dreamville artists compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III. Recording sessions for the record took place in Atlanta for ten days from January 6, 2019.
John Lennon's lead guitar work on Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" proved to be his final creative act. It was upon their return home after completing laying down the track that Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman.