Joey Bada$$ & Statik Selektah Address Knee-Jerk ’90s Hip-Hop Comparisons (Video)

Since his 2010 arrival Joey Bada$$ has been often compared to the 1990s litany of East Coast MCs. The Brooklyn, New York MC is not a fan of being always considered a throwback, when the Pro Era MC has worked to prove himself as an original. Similarly, DJ/producer Statik Selektah feels some of the same criticism.

Hosting a conversation in Croatia, thanks to Noisey’s “Back and Forth” series, Joey and his longtime collaborator begin with an open-ended discussion on misconceptions. “You know what I think the biggest misconception about me is: how I can only make ’90s-sounding music,” Joey reflected, beach-side. “Cuzz, I do real shit, that’s it. I only do what I feel in my heart; I can do anything. I can do Trap shit. I can do what [the media] calls ‘classic Hip-Hop.’ People just haven’t experienced real lyricism over real soulful beats since the ’90s, so they don’t have any [comparison].”

In 2015, Joey released his studio debut album, B4.Da.$$. The Sony Red-backed release was a Top 5 debut, featuring three Statik productions, along with contributions from DJ Premier, The Roots, J Dilla, and others. Joey, who is 20 years old, has also worked with ’90s rhyme veterans such as Buckshot, AZ, Raekwon, and Black Thought.

Statik weighs in that he too, feels slighted by critics. Joey compares music journalists to law enforcement. “These people need IQ tests to prove that they’re worthy to protect the people, and to review music.”

Also in the vignette, the pair reveal that they first worked together for 2012’s “Don’t Front,” on Joey’s 1999 mixtape. The pair adds that the song only took five to 10 minutes for the Pro Era MC to record. Additionally, Bada$$ recalls meeting Jay Z in his Roc Nation offices, getting star-struck—an experience that Selektah says he can relate to, upon meeting the multi-platinum rhyme icon.

Care of MetaCritic, Joey Bada$$’s B4.Da.$$ maintains a score of 74, while Statik Selektah’s just-released Lucky 7 has a score of 69.

Do you think Joey and Statik’s frustrations are well-founded?

Related: Joey Bada$$ & Big K.R.I.T. Hope That You’re Listening To These Jewels (Audio)