Over the last few years, Joey Bada$$ has made rhyming over grimy, boom-bap beats his forte. It's gotten him far: He's built a dedicated fanbase; released a handful of projects; helped usher his crew, Pro Era, into hip-hop's consciousness; and carried on a historically New York sound beloved by many. But that typically unwavering connection to a specific style has also earned criticism.
On his new single, "Devastated," Joey pivots from that sound, instead opting for a smoother, spacier, more melodic vibe. It's surely a shift for the Brooklyn native, but the result makes it a worthwhile risk. Joey's hook on the track — produced by Adam Pallin, Kirk Knight, and Powers Pleasant — is catchy, but not at the expense of the graceful lyricism of his verses.
The positivity of the production spills into Badmon's rhymes, too. As he belts on the chorus: "I used to feel so devastated / At times I thought we'd never make it, yeah / But now we on our way to greatness / And all that ever took was patience."
Hopefully this means a new Joey album is on the way.