Chance The Rapper & Joey Bada$$ Are Back In Mixtape Mode

A decade ago, in 2012, two of Hip-Hop’s most exciting new voices were Chance The Rapper and Joey Bada$$. From Chicago, Illinois and Brooklyn, New York, respectively, these two MCs each brought something fresh to Hip-Hop, while honoring time-tested traditions.

In the decade since his mixtape debut 10 Day, Chance has gone on to make history—winning Grammy Awards, being a pioneer in the modern independent trends, and earning platinum plaques through working with some of the biggest names in music. Joey, who released 1999 that same year, has dropped back-to-back Top 5 albums, and appear on two gold singles—alongside A$AP Rocky and XXXTentacion, respectively. Joey has also balanced a highly-respected acting career that’s led to Oscar gold.

Joey Bada$$’s Interview About His 1999 Mixtape (Video)

Both Joey and Chance are in a transitional spirit—nine years after they linked for “Wendy-N-Becky.” Joey is preparing 2000, a sequel to 1999, that was expected last week—but was reportedly delayed due to last minute sample issues. Chance has begun releasing a string of singles that have more in common thematically with his acclaimed Coloring Book than his more recent The Big Day LP. Each artist is aware of their revolutionary mixtape legacy, and looking to steer their recording careers back to the roots.

The two MCs link for “The Highs & The Lows,” part of an exhibit at Art Basel in Switzerland, which opened this week and is one of the biggest art-market moments of the year. The video single, produced by Chance and DexLvL, finds these artists back—and rapping anything but basic. They travel to Venice and Paris, kick it together, and have a joyful moment that could feel just as much 2012 as 2022.

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I’m an emotional rollercoaster / With highs so high, could put Bol Bol on a poster / But when the bread get low like four loaves in a toaster/ Or the shoulders can get cold as ten toes in Nova Scotia / Some days I hold a grudge, some days I Holy Ghost her / Some days I just ghost her, some days I’m supposed to / The crib feel like a gunfight, but them strollers, that’s the holster,” begins Chance. The song’s co-producer also tackles its relatable chorus: “To talk about the highs and lows, the ups and downs / The friends that I had to hide to come around / They told me that I knew you’d always come around / Come around, come around, come around, come around / To work out the highs and lows, the ups and downs / No need to hide disguises comin’ down.

Joey enters to kick a verse that leaves marks. “I was feelin’ lifeless, I had to cut my vices / Now the feelin’ that I feel is priceless / In the spirit, want me to be righteous / But I know I might just relapse, get sucked in these devices / Got so used to feedback, I couldn’t tell what mines is / Sometimes all the outside noise just really blinds us / Beware, believe none of what you see and half of what you hear / The best things in life on the opposite side of fear / I swear I see it clear, like after the storm / Still, you can’t stop the rain like the Loose Ends’ song / My word is bond like James, yo, I couldn’t complain / ‘Cause even when I did, ni**as really couldn’t feel my pain / That’s the type of sh*t to drive a ni**a insane / Wanna be numb, now your thumb back flickin’ the flame / Back to square one, tryna overcome what you became / Like they was right, I guess you’re never gon’ change.

Joey Bada$$ – Wendy -N- Becky ft Chance the Rapper

These MCs are in fighting form for a busy second half of 2022 ahead.

#BonusBeat: A 2012 Ambrosia For Heads interview with Joey Bada$$ about 1999: