Inspired by classic Brooklyn hip-hop, 2000 is an album that juxtaposes themes of confidence with grief over the loss of loved ones through a rise to fame in a prominent career.
After a five-year hiatus, Joey Badass is back with the sequel to his highly acclaimed album 1999. 2000 contains 14 tracks for a total runtime of just under an hour and is filled with expert production (much of this due to Statik Selektah) and clever writing.
This album captures the essence of classic Brooklyn hip-hop and modernizes it to fit Joey’s own personal style. Furthermore, it demonstrates Joey’s growth and maturation as an artist since that initial album, which was recorded back when he was just 17. It’s a stepping stone of his career as he reflects on how far he has come since his initial success.
Features across the album are mostly really good. Larry June, Westside Gunn, and Diddy fit perfectly into the project and really play off of Joey well. The JID feature leaves a bit to be desired but isn’t bad by any means.
However, Chris Brown and Capella Grey don’t mix well with Joey at all and are the main reasons why Welcome Back is the weakest on the album. It simply doesn’t fit the theme and sounds more like a Chris Brown song featuring Joey than what it actually is.
Something Joey does really well is executing album progression. Album progression is when a project has a clearly defined beginning, carries an underlying theme throughout, and concludes this theme in a meaningful way.
The album progression in 2000 tells the story of Joey himself and how the trials he faced when he was younger (like losing close friends) affected him on his rise to fame in the music industry.
“The Baddest” introduces us to where Joey is at now. He comes into the project on a high and full of confidence. As the tracks go on, however, we go behind the curtain and get a glimpse into the demons that he’s faced and is currently facing.
It’s not until the song “Survivors Guilt” that Joey strips back all the bravado and simply tells it all as a cohesive story. It’s a masterfully written track with a beat that’s both simple but rich with texture; easily the best on the album.
The album concludes with the song “Written in the Stars” which is the perfect summation of the album. It’s where Joey comes to an acceptance of his past and acknowledges everyone and everything that helped him get to where he’s at today.
The song is full of lush instrumentation and is soothing to the ear. Diddy wraps up the song and album with a toast to Joey, symbolizing a passing of the torch. It’s an impactful way to end the album and a fitting one at that.
This album may not have the most chart appeal and likely won’t break any streaming records, but it’s an album that embodies New York hip-hop which is definitely worth something. Joey’s given us a solid sequel to his famed album 1999 and shown us how much he’s grown since then.