Joey Bada$$ Discusses The Process Behind Creating “Survivors Guilt”

Joey Bada$$ opened up about one of the songs off his new album.

After some delays, Joey Bada$$ has finally returned with his first album in five years, 2000. The 14-song project is filled to the brim with classic Joey bars and a lot of big name features, including Diddy, Westside Gunn, Chris Brown, and JID.

In a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1’s New Music Daily, Bada$$ discussed the thought process behind one of the more emotional tracks on the album, “Survivors Guilt.” The song was produced by Rahki and is a tribute to Pro Era member Capital STEEZ, who passed away in 2012, and Joey’s older cousin Junior B, Joey’s tour manager who passed away in 2014.

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Joey told Lowe that the track helped him get a lot off his chest. “It was incredibly therapeutic,” Bada$$ said. “Even just the way that it started. I just started writing the song. I was in the shower one day, and a rhyme scheme had came to me. It was something along the lines of rich and rotten, and I started to dive deep into that whole idea of how my life is, where it’s at now.”

Joey said the title of the song came from a recent revelation. “At the time when I made the song, I had realized that I’ve been affected by this thing called survivor’s guilt,” he explained. “And it hit so close to home because when I first came out, I was trying to bring everybody along with me. I was trying to put my whole team on my back in hopes that they could receive the same success that I was receiving.”

He discussed how the guilt weighed on him. “As years went by and it started to be more clearer than ever that I was the guy who had the success, and I might be the only guy to have that, that put a huge pressure on my shoulders,” he continued. “Just the way it had me feeling and moving for a lot of years, without realizing that’s what was affecting me. Me feeling like, all right, if my homies can’t come with me, then I can’t go… it was incredibly therapeutic for me to even come to that point of self-awareness.”

Bada$$ hopes the song can help others work through similar emotions. “Then on another level, to be able to put that into words where I could release them,” he said. “Because just making the song alone was enough for me. But now sharing it with the world and having it hit close to home for people, or people saying that it’s relatable to things that they’ve been through, that’s the ultimate reward.”

Check out the interview below.


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