Haitian American In The News Music

Rapper Joey Bada$$ New Video Features A Haitian Vodou Ceremony Directed by Kerby Jean-Raymond

Joey Bada$$
The Light Music Video/ Source Instagram

Rapper Joey Bada$$ is back with a three-track trilogy, titled The Light Pack. Serving as his first solo releases since the drop of All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ back in 2017, “The Light,” “No Explanation,” and “Shine together make up The Light Pack EP, which touches on the rapper’s time away from music.

“This is mumble rap extermination/This is godly interpolation,” Joey tweeted shortly before the project dropped. The lyrics are featured on “The Light.”

“The Light” is accompanied by a music video directed by Haitian-American designer Kerby Jean-Raymond founder of Pyer Moss and Levi Turne. The visual finds Joey attending a real traditional Haitian Vodou ceremony in a church basement in Brooklyn conducted by Manbo’s Sabine Blaizin (Manbo Sou Pwen), Mahalia Stines (Sipote Bon Manbo Dagimenfo), and Gina Dorestan (Dantor Minan Bon Manbo Dagimenfo). The video also includes a prayer vigil by Florence Jean-Joseph Florence John and Sabine Blaizin. From there, Joey walks through the streets of New York, empowered and guided by altars and practitioners scattered along the way.

According to High Snobiety, Jean-Raymond largely inspired the rapper to learn more about Haitian religious rituals, which ultimately led him to participate in the ceremony. The scenes from the video include real-life footage of Joey at the ceremony.

Kerby Jean-Raymond and Joey / Source Instagram

“Nothing about the ceremony was fake, because of COVID, we couldn’t have a full-blown 7 to 8-hour ceremony, but we did the shortened version of the prayer and the Rgleman. There was such positive energy and we didn’t bypass any of the Lwas, instead, we did a salute Minokan,” said Mahalia Stines.

“My purpose with this visual is to inspire Black people to realize their power and take it back, as I did. Don’t be afraid of who you are, that’s their job. We are magic,” Joey Bada$$ said.

‘The Light’ is meant to represent the “soul”. Bada$$ acknowledges previous bouts of self-doubt (“I admit it I was gone for a lil minute / It’s like I lost my glow”) before regaining his belief (“My inner light was dimmin’ / Now I got my mojo back”) and sense of his purpose: “Unstoppable if it’s divinely guided / I’m like Mahatma Gandhi meets Muhammad Ali / Trapped in a rapper’s body”.

The Light Pack EP also features the tracks “Shine,” and “No Explanation,” featuring Pusha T.

You can watch “The Light” video below.

The Light Music Video/ Source Instagram
The Light Music Video/ Source Instagram
Joey Bada$$ 
The Light Music Video/ Source Instagram

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