Paper Trail$ is a track off of Joey Bada$$’s debut album, B4.Da.$$. It’s the third track on the album & one of many tracks on the album with a music video. Paper Trail$ is about what the title says, money, but not the shallow take on money that most rappers apply in their songs. The music video gives the song better meaning, the video shows the pros & cons of following paper trails.
Joey begins the video with an intro quote to the mini-movie that is the music video. “They say money is the root of all evil, I say it’s the root of all people. Because at the end of everyday no matter a black, white, or blue collar worker. We still share that same common search for, that paper trail.”
The first scene of the music video shows Joey’s search for paper trails, he’s gambling with two other two friends or men outside in New York. Joey wins the game of gambling with dice and takes one of the friend’s shoes for his earnings.
Joey then takes the shoes he won from the gambling & gives the shoes to a local hustler. After Joey gives him the shoes, the hustler gives Joey money to make the exchange complete.
After the exchange between Joey and the hustler, the next scene shows Joey’s mother getting into an arguement with her boss at her job. After the arguement it’s implied that Joey’s mother is fired from her job.
A young man with dreads from the neighborhood runs into local hustler outside & is stepped to by the hustler and his friend. The young man with the dreads steps down & walks away but felt scared and disrespected.
After getting the money from the local hustler, Joey walks past a music store and buys a microphine. With the money left over Joey gives the rest of the money to his mother after she got fired from her job.
Later that night the young man with the dreads follows the local hustler down a street and pulls a gun out on the hustler. They get into a fight over control of the gun, the young man with the dreads wins, he then shoots and kills the local hustler.
After the young man with the dreads kills the local hustler he takes the shoes that Joey gave him earlier that day. The video shows the common search of paper trails of Joey, Joey’s mother, the local hustler, & the young man with the dreads. As Joey realized throughout the song, viewers of the music video also realize that money is not the root of all evil, it’s the root of all people.