Like Me

Album: B4.DA.$$ (2015)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Joey Bada$$ addressing various issues affecting those who are born black in America. "My way of protesting is through my music," he told Mother Jones. "With this new found stature I have this voice where if I say something, a lot of people listen to it."
  • BJ the Chicago Kid joins Bada$$ on the refrain. The singer-songwriter is best known for crooning the hook on Schoolboy Q's hit tune "Studio."
  • The Roots provided the instrumentation. The hook-up with the hip hop/neo soul band may have earned Bada$$ a gig on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The rapper premiered the song on the January 13, 2015 episode of the talk show backed by The Roots, who are, of course, its house band.
  • The song's music video addresses the American police's relationship with black youth. We see Bada$$, the innocent victim of an armed robber, ending up being the target of police brutality. "The hot-headed guy, he gets killed by the police with a gun in his hand," the rapper explained to Mother Jones. "And me, the cool guy, who is away from all the violence, I still end up being mixed in the loop — just being a victim because of my surroundings or where I'm from."

    Bada$$ added that he wants to be optimistic that relations with the police can improve. "I pray that there is hope, but even the fact that I have to dream like that is what's disturbing," he said. "My message is that it can happen to any one of us."

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