Return of Joey Bada$$

Return of Joey Bada$$

by Caesar Cepeda, Reporter

Finally, after a 5 year wait, aside from a few singles sprinkled over the years, Joey Bada$$ has released his third solo studio album this year. The album “2000” is a continuation of his debut mixtape “1999” which he released 10 years prior aged just 17.


The album consists of features from artist Diddy, Westside Gunn, Larry June, Chris Brown, Capella Gray, and J.I.D.


Since Joey has entered the hip-hop game expectations for everything he releases have been extremely high. In a 2018 interview with Rob Markman on Genius he was asked if being painted as the champion and poster boy of the boom bap era and golden era of hip-hop put pressure on him considering he’s not from that generation of artist. Which he replied “At first, it was something that I was proud of. As I started progressing through my career, I started seeing it as something that people were using to marginalize me”


He added “You don’t want anybody to tell you how to paint your picture” this highlights the importance individuality Joey takes into thought when he writes his music. All the lyrics he writes are first hand accounts of his life experiences and what he’s lived through being raised in the New York borough of Brooklyn.


“Survivors Guilt” the 13th track off of his newest album is a clear cut example as it’s Joey’s account of the hardships of dealing with the grief of his late best friend and hip-hop partner Capital Steez. 


In the song he writes “We was just two kids tryna make it out the bottom, Now I’m rich and rotten, every day I think about him, It’s survivor’s guilt” The entire song is Joey’s feeling of guilt and sadness in regards to Capital STEEZ’s death. Steez and Joey were friends who met in High School and dreamt of making it big by laying complex and creative rhymes over laid back jazzy beats.


When talking to HipHopDX in 2015 Joey said I was a leader my whole life, but when I met Capital STEEZ he was the first person I ever followed”. The two had a very special relationship that transpired more than just music. They were each other’s mentors and best friends.


Joey’s fan base continues to be one of the most loyal in hip-hop, always expressing their support for whatever he puts out. The rapper has tested his talents in other professions and decided to not just limited himself into making music, the Oscar winning actor starred in Netflix’s ‘Two Distant Stranger’ where fans and media praised his acting talent in a short that discussed racial discrimination in the police force.


The drop of the new album saw Joey go back to his roots, the foundation of his musical sound. While he never drifted too distant from what exposed him to the masses this album could be the closest we get to what made us fans of the ‘1999’ style associated with him.


Joey Bada$$ at the age of 27 has concreted his place in the conversation for best MC’s of our generation. Considered a veteran by most aged only 27 Joey has plenty of time to grow and evolve not only as musician, actor, but in whatever new challenge he aspires to take on.