Joey Bada$$ uses BET Hip Hop Awards to Take a Stand on Gun Violence

Joey Bada$$ BET Awards

Joey Bada$$ took full advantage of the 2022 BET Hip Hop Awards platform with an impassioned performance of Head High from his latest album 2000.  The soul-stirring track offered a powerful backdrop for Joey to hold the rap game accountable for numerous homicides across the years.  

Following a masterful vocal performance, Joey shared a succinct, spoken-word stance on gun violence in hip-hop.

As rappers, we gotta stop perpetuating our own genocide.  It’s a war going on inside and outside no man is safe from. How y’all rappers call yourselves real turnaround  tell these kids to kill each other? You see, the problem is we’re our biggest ops. I’m done pointing fingers at the judges and the cops. It’s time to take accountability, from Scott La Rock, Big L, Biggie and Pac, X to Nip, King Von to Pac, Young Dolph, now PNB Rock. How many more names I gotta drop?”  

Head High

Head High itself, produced by Statik Selektah, speaks to the importance of keeping one’s head up in spite of life’s hardships, specifically violence.  Joey speaks to his close-knit relationship with late rapper XXXtentacion, in a heart-felt second verse.  

Joey Bada$$ BET

In all white attire, Joey Bada$$ performed before dancers in all black.  Each dancer carried  the name of a slain emcee on their hoodie. A number by the name indicated the number of rappers lost to gun violence. 59 represented fallen rapper PNB Rock, who died last month in LA.  

This is one of the best, purest, realest tracks I’ve ever made and I’m fulfilled to finally share it with the world,” Joey shared during the 2000 album rollout. “This one is for Nip, X, Pop and every young black man who’s life was taken away way too soon. This is for everyone who has to navigate life daily with their head on a swivel.

Joey’s  plea to the culture to take ownership over lost lives was one of 2022 most moving moments for hip-hop.

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