Throughout a handful of interludes across Joey Bada$$’s 2000—two of which feature words from Diddy and Nas—it’s not hard to picture Bada$$ holding court in a smoky jazz lounge, an untied bow tie hanging against the lapels of his tuxedo and a drink occupying whichever hand isn’t clutching the mic. Between songs that draw influence from the catalogs of celebrated Big Willie-style philosophers like Nas, JAY-Z, and The Notorious B.I.G., Bada$$ positions himself as a performer from a bygone era—someone happy to tell the stories of his life, just as long as there are people around to listen. As talented an MC as he is, there’ll likely always be butts in the seats, but 2000, specifically, speaks to Bada$$’s legacy. The MC calls on beatsmiths like Statik Selektah, Mike WiLL Made-It, Sean C & LV, and then also his Pro Era brethren Kirk Knight and Chuck Strangers, who deliver contemporary takes on the late-’90s boom bap and R&B that inspired his career-making 2012 mixtape 1999, while Bada$$ himself raps about making good on his potential, women in his life, and maybe most surprisingly, the heart-wrenching loss of friend and Pro Era MC Capital Steez. 2000 is no sequel to 1999, to be clear. It’s a body of work that further solidifies Bada$$ as both curator and MC, an artist who would’ve carved himself a place in music history regardless of era.