New album by Joey Bada$$ includes Zianna Oliphant speech from Charlotte City Council meeting

By Cameron Lee

April 7, 2017

Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott also known as Joey Bada$$ released his highly anticipated follow-up to B4.Da.$$ today. The 22-year-old Brooklyn-born rapper has gained massive popularity over the last few years with his rare golden era flow, politically-charged and thought-provoking lyrics. He’s been on quite the promotional circuit for his sophomore full-length album All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ with appearances on Colbert, Complex Sneaker Shopping, Power 106, and mentions in pretty much every credible music publication in the country.

The album includes features on a mellow jazz-inspired song with Fayetteville, North Carolina’s J.Cole, a standard TDE-style west coast bounce track with ScHoolboy Q, and an instrumentally sound and soothing vintage New York subway headphone rap with Styles P of The Lox. The album brings his original brand of shrewd and streetwise raps with tons of emotional and intellectual observations of social culture and race relations in America.

Zianna Oliphant via

J. Cole is not the only connection to North Carolina. In the song “TEMPTATION,” he uses excerpts from the inspiring and emotional speech by Zianna Oliphant, the young 9-year-old girl that captured the hearts of so many people back in September from the national media coverage of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte. The song starts with Oliphant’s words at the Charlotte City Council meeting, “I come here today to talk about how I feel, and I feel like that we are treated differently than other people, and I don’t like how we are treated. Just because of our color it doesn’t mean anything to me.” The song expresses an ongoing motif in the album, which is a humble resilience and frustration of social injustice and a cry for change. But it’s not just about race relations, “If you wanna make change, it’s gon’ take commitment. Some people enslaved by they religion. Can’t emancipate them from the mental prisons. What I seen through optics transform to wisdom,” he says later in the song.

Full speech by Zianna Oliphant at Charlotte City Council meeting in September:

Oliphant’s speech is also used later in the song when a lady from the council meeting shouts defiantly, “Do not stop!” and Zianna Oliphant continues with “We are black people and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. We shouldn’t have to protest because y’all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to and have rights.”

Listen to the song “TEMPTATION” by Joey Bada$$ from the album ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$.

Read next:

In this article