9. 1999- Joey Bad A$$

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When I was 17, I was worrying if girls liked me (still do that though), listening to the White Stripes and trying as hard as I could to push my curfew to its limit. Joey Bad A$$ on the other hand, has released two mixtapes, had tracks produced by the MF Doom and has appeared on both Mac Miller and A$AP Rocky tracks before he reached 18 years old. There is no way to describe that other than as tremendously ambitious and impressive. The best part is, he is that good. Joey Bad A$$ sounds like he has been rapping for 15 years; his style has the kind of flow that usually takes years to perfect and his voice sounds wise beyond his years, full of depth and passion. I think the excitement around him comes straight from the fact that even though he is so young, he sounds so assured of himself and he is aware of the effect his voice has on the masses. People love him for being young, but they love him more for attempting to bring back 90’s style of rap. The beats he chooses to rap over are relaxed and very reminiscent of A Tribe Called Quest and Mos Def. Hip- hop from the 90’s is the golden era of rap and any time a rapper, (and a young rapper at that) can emulate that style well will guarantee success.  Joey Bad A$$ keeps things current though, talking about The Based God and having MF Doom do beats for him. This balance between a throw back to the golden age and a nod to current society allows him to cater to every hip-hop fan from 40 year olds that were there with Dr. Dre, to fans like me, who are older than young Joey. There are few hip-hop stars that are this good at crossing eras like they’re busy streets and I think that’s why I am so impressed with Joey Bad A$$. Every time I listen to his music I am excited for the future of rap, with people like him and the members of Black Hippy and Big K.R.I.T. out there, I know there is hope for an emergence of even more rap that both reaches the masses and connects people over many social boundaries. If a 17 year old can make music like this, then I have faith that many other amazing things can happen in the world and Joey Bad A$$ just helps represent all that hope to me.

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About J.STOR

Music= Lyf
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