Brooklyn MC Joey Bada$$ comes off a little round around the edges on his new track and music video, but there's a heart-breaking sincerity in his words on "Hardknock." The instrumental behind him and the featured CJ Fly is forlorn, pushing a chord progression you've probably picked up on in a number of songs--now that I think of it, the instrumental actually reminds me of the Roots' "Tip The Scale" a bit--and Joey laments about the crossroads he's at in his life. Does he continue a downward spiral, or choose the path of stability and goodness? There's pressure pushing in both directions, and Joey and Fly come across like two souls beaten by the difficulty of such a choice.
Look for Bada$$'s forthcoming 1999 project, which will drop on June 12th.