Joey Bada$$ is in full-on promo mode ahead of the release of his sophomore album, All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$, due April 7 via Cinematic Music Group/Pro Era Records. On Monday (March 6), he unveils the video for his latest single “Land of the Free,” co-directed by Joey himself alongside Nathan Smith.
In the powerful video, Joey alternates between speaking to a group of children in a windy meadow and standing in solidarity with a group of black-clad adults in a desert with their hands chained together, building to a confrontation with a firing squad made up of white police officers and businessmen, who ruthlessly shoot several of the prisoners, before the video comes to a dark, fiery conclusion with Klan members standing before a burning cross. It’s a striking clip, a balance of light and dark that demands repeated viewings in order to process the imagery and symbolism it contains.
“Land of the Free” is the second single from AABA, following 2016’s soaring cut “Devastated,” which recently became Joey’s first-ever gold single. When the audio for the track was first released Jan. 19 — the day before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States — it made waves for its politically charged lyrics, particularly the lines, “Sorry America, I will not be your soldier/ Obama just wasn’t enough, I need some more closure/ And Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over.”
All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ serves as the follow-up to his debut album B4.Da.$$, which was released Jan. 20, 2015, the young MC’s 20th birthday. On Friday, Joey unveiled the new album title and release date with a 30-second teaser trailer, which showed him walking through the desert and shattering a glass rendering of the American flag with a baseball bat — foreshadowing the political overtones of AABA. He’s also coming off a year in which he made his official acting debut on the award-winning USA show Mr. Robot, which was recently picked up for a third season.
Check out the video for “Land of the Free” below.