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If I could spend an entire day listening and analyzing “Land of the Free” by Joey Bada$$, I would. As seen often in the realm of rap, the issues regarding racism and violence against African Americans is apparent. Joey tackles the same issues, however, adding a political twist to his point of view. The song “Land of the Free” processes a good visual representation of the struggles minorities deal with, specifically police brutality while the lyrics provide insight into the issues that exist in America as a whole.

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The original theme of the song which discusses is the current political issues residing in the American government, is almost completely masked by the direct message of police brutality in the music video. The heavy focus on police brutality is one of the key elements of the song that lead to its popularity. The issues surrounding police brutality get notable recognition and sparks outrage and protests nationwide allowing audiences to have a special connection to this song. In the video, minorities, however mostly African Americans stand in line while a line of white police officers open fire. The significance of this scene comes from a number of black individuals who were killed as a result of police brutality. The fact that all the individuals standing with no defense places emphasis on the fact that majority of the people killed were unarmed. Personally, the most chilling scene is the end of the music video, a man in a KKK costume stands in front of a burning cross. He removes his cone hood and replaces it with a police cap. Clearly, Joey relates the actions of the police officers to that of the KKK, where lives of innocent black people are taken for no purpose other than hatred over the color of their skin.

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Not only does the music video place a lot of emphasis on the violence against African Americans, but the lyrics in the song itself showcases the inner struggles of being black in America from a political standpoint. There are many references to a corrupt government lead by corrupt politicians. In the song, there is a reference to Donald Trump implying he is simply not ready to be president considering his lack of experience, however, I think there is a deeper message to this that relates back to the issue of race in America. In the line prior to the mention of Donald Trump, Joey says, “Obama just wasn’t enough I need some more closure.” To me, this seems to be explaining that one black president didn’t erase the impact, pain, and suffering of the three hundred years of slavery in American history, nor did it prevent or lessen the presence of institutionalized racism and systematic prejudice in present day America.

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Overall, the impact that Joey Bada$$ left after releasing not only “Land of the Free”, but also the rest of his album “All-Amerikkkan Bada$$” left many in shock and gained massive appreciation. Many rappers discuss similar issues as Joey, notably Kendrick Lamar, however, his lyrical usage in “Land of Free” set himself apart from other artists for his creative, intellectual and impactful word choice that carries a heavy message.