The Pro Era frontman recently released the official visual for “Like Me” featuring BJ the Chicago Kid.
The concept of Joey Bada$$’ latest music video, “Like Me”, spawned from a vision the 20-year-old rapper had over a year ago.
Within the visual – which is directed by Bada$$ and Nathan R. Smith – Bada$$ becomes a victim of police brutality, as he’s gunned down in the middle of the street with his hands up.
Although this narrative is fictional, the music video was inspired by several real accounts – Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant – involving unarmed, young, Black males dying due to police action.
HipHopDX caught up with Joey Bad during NBA All-Star weekend at Stage 48 in New York City to talk about “Like Me,” the music video he’s calling the “video of the year.”
“I had the song for over a year now, so I pretty much just been sitting with my vision for over a year, and everyday I would just build up on it,” he explained. “It was something I would see, a picture I was trying to paint and every time somebody would ask me, ‘Yo, what’s your vision?’ I couldn’t properly explain it. The visual is my explanation.”
Instead of premiering the music video for “Like Me” on a Hip Hop-oriented platform, Bada$$ opted for Mother Jones, which specializes in political and social justice reporting. Incidents similar to the one acted out by Bada$$ in the video have been covered extensively on the website.
The execution-style death of 22-year-old Oscar Grant received widespread attention when the film Fruitvale Station was released in 2013. Bada$$ says the movie inspired his music video and affected him immensely.
“When I watched that I cried because of how innocent and how inconvenient of the truth it was, you know?” he said. “It really made me emotional and I really wanted to express that’s how us young brothas feel.”
Like Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant, Bada$$ (born Jo-Vaughn Scott) is a Black, adolescent male.
Unlike the aforementioned individuals, Bada$$ was not gunned down during his most recent run-in with law enforcement, which took place in Australia. But at home, in Brooklyn and beyond, Bada$$ is aware of the danger in dealing with police.
“My main message throughout it all was the fact that I feel like this could happen to anyone of us,” he said.
Check out the “Like Me” video below:
That #LIKEME visual is out now go check that out!!! #videooftheyear #B4DAMONEY #awareness
For more Joey Bada$$ coverage, watch the following DX Daily: