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Joey Bada$$ – “No. 99″ (prod. Statik Selektah)

New TracksContributor JonesComment

What makes Joey Bada$$ such an interesting MC at the moment is, not surprisingly, his combination of youth and talent. This combination leaves us with a technically gifted rapper who is currently at the most crucial moment in his career. While he certainly deserves to succeed, there is always a chance that that simply doesn't happen--if you think he isn't smart enough to know this, diagram his internal rhymes and ask yourself that question again. The result? Joey is a with a highly skilled artist earnestly putting over 100 percent effort into everything that he does. On "No. 99," Bada$$ doesn't make it sound easy. He's consciously making what he's doing sound as difficult as possible. At the midway point, he swaps 90's style New York delivery for off the wall Jah inspired rapping akin to Kendrick Lamar's recent style. All the while, he treats the beat as merely a suggestion for the ways his words should play with the time signature. Similarly, the 90's Boom bap intertwines with the more modern bassline lurching behind it. We end up with a microcosm of Joey Bada$$ himself: reverent and irreverent at once. Yet all the while, he's unbelievably entertaining while he's making his statements.

- Garrett Cottingham

Joey Bada$$ - "Big Dusty" (prod. Kirk Knight)

New TracksadminComment

New York MC Joey Bada$$ brings the first single from his highly-anticipated commercial debut, B4DA$$. A lot like a song or two from his last tape, Joey is coming off aggressive on this new single, "Big Dusty." Very aggressive! I'd go as far as to say there are moments where his flow reminds me of the late Capital STEEZ.

Aside from that, I'm not finding anything too exciting about the single. Joey's bars are sharp as usual, but the hook is pretty underwhelming, and I can't say that Kirk Knight's ethereal production matches the tone of Joey's delivery that well.

Still, I'm looking forward to seeing how big Joey does it on this new LP. I guess my biggest fear is that he'll spend too much time in his comfort zone, which I think he does to a degree on this track. The biggest surprise this track offered was a beat change on the bridge, which was paired with a pretty ominous mantra: "Cause bitches lie, niggas lie, numbers, too."

At this point, it's pretty clear Joey has no intention of giving this album a commercial sound, which is fine, but he seems hesitant to take the kind of adventurous or experimental plunge his underground status allows him to.

Joey Bada$$- "Enter the Void" ft. Ab-Soul

New Tracksadmin2 Comments

The Progressive Era and Black Hippy cohorts Joey Bad and Soulo coming together on this new titled "Enter the Void." While Ab-Soul sounds as dope as ever, bringing socially aware rhymes together with weird and pompous abstractions, Joey sounds great on a track that sounds a bit less mired in hip hop nostalgia. Hoping these guys cross paths again in the future. Props to Lee Bannon on the production.

CJ Fly- "The Beat Grinder" ft. Capital STEEZ

New TracksNicholas KindrachukComment

Pro Era Mc's CJ Fly and Capital STEEZ are probably best known for their featured songs on the Joey Badass mixtape 1999 that blew up from the songs "Survival Tactics" and "Hardknock".

Now that the hype around that tape has died down these two are looking to steal a bit of the spotlight for themselves. They definitely have my attention rapping over one of my favorite Madlib beats and they totally hold their own on it, too. They don't have the most exciting flows out there by any stretch, but it's easy to see that they will only improve from where they are now. Just like with their tracks on the 1999 tape they have a lot of clever wordplay that makes them feel more distinct in comparison to other rappers in a similar age range. These two do sound good together and if they are working on a mixtape together I will gladly give it a listen.

Joey Bada$$- 1999

New Tracksadmin1 Comment

Download: Joey Bada$$- 1999 New York rapper Joey Bada$$ drops a pretty telling line at the start of his new mixtape, 1999:

"It's been a minute since they seen a style with no gimmicks."

A no BS approach has pretty much been what's been so appealing about this 17-year-old since he and his posse called Pro Era have been getting some attention on the blog-o-sphere. While I'm sure some will come around and call this kid's style old hat, I personally fail to see what's so dated about raw lyricism, mature storytelling, and a great flow.

The production on here, for the most part, is lifted from some pretty familiar places, which has its positives and negatives. Instrumentals from MF DOOM, J Dilla, Statik Selektah, and Freddie Joachim are all over this thing. Still, Joey is charismatic enough to bring his own flavor on some of these beats, for sure.

Download this 1999 tape via the link above, and check the cover art below: