Joey Bada$$

Joey Bada$$

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Essential Albums

  • 1999


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About Joey Bada$$

“I feel responsible to speak for people who don’t have a voice,” Joey Bada$$ told Apple Music in 2017, and the Brooklyn rapper’s music reflects this commitment. Born Jo-Vaughn Scott in 1995, Bada$$ has been repping his borough and New York City forefathers like Nas and Big L since he released his 2012 mixtape 1999 when he was just 17. Thanks to his bottomless reservoir of issues-minded lyricism over boom-bap beats (“Survival Tactics”) and joyful Native Tongues-style flowing (“Waves”), it became an instant classic in hip-hop circles. By 2015’s B4.Da.$$, his political perspective had broadened, as he tackled greed (“Paper Trail$,” which nods to Wu-Tang Clan) and the struggle to stay hopeful in a world that wants to see you fail (“Like Me”). And he’s done it all while remaining independent, thanks to the growth of the collective he co-founded, Pro Era, an assemblage of rappers and producers who grew up together in Brooklyn and whose projects include their own record label and clothing line. Over time, Joey’s music has expanded in style and production—for instance, 2017’s “Devastated” contains elements of trap and a rock-inflected shouted hook—but his focus on sophisticated narratives about life as a black man in America and giving voice to the voiceless isn’t changing one bit.

Brooklyn, NY, United States of America
January 20, 1995

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