Joey Bada$$ Has Released The Best Album Of His Career
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Today (July 22), Joey Bada$$ released his third album. However, 2000 is really a thematic sequel to his breakthrough mixtape, 1999. A decade-plus after one of the most definitive tapes of the 2010s, this album marks Joey’s best. It features J.I.D, Westside Gunn, Larry June, Chris Brown, and Diddy. While boasting about reaching eight figures, pushing Porsche 911’s, and having an award-winning film career, Joey has no issue tapping into his Hip-Hop roots.
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Atop the AFH playlist is 2000‘s opener, “The Baddest.” Diddy campaigns for Joey Bada$$ while reviving some classic Bad Boy Records adlibs. Then, over a piano beat, Badmon breaks into verse, and he’s reached a new level in all facets. “I can take five years off ’cause my sh*t is timeless / My core got my back so I’m standing on my promise / These ni**as only backed by they label, they all spineless / I’m backed by popular demand and on that timing / I’m popped out, 2012, y’all wasn’t outside then / Ten years later, tell me why y’all still hiding / Ni**as know who greater, f*ck your favorite, I’m the greatest.” Then the beat builds to reference Grand Puba’s “I Like It” and Debarge at the same time. Notably, Brand Nubian’s Grand Puba is another MC who made an album called 2000. The 1995 Elektra Records LP continues the popular single Joey and Diddy reference.
Joey ranks himself among peers, and revisits a class he was compared against a decade ago. “Who the best MCs? Kenny, Joey, and Cole / The holy trinity, it’s that nine-fives in affinity / Energy knowing when I’m gone and forever remember me.” At the close of the standout opener, Puffy returns to reference Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya?” some more. Joey clearly aimed to up the ante five years after ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADAS$$, which was still named among AFH‘s best of 2017.
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Elsewhere on the playlist, “Make Me Feel” is one of six Statik Selektah productions on 2000. The 1982 producer sets a smooth, R&B-driven canvas for the MC to be bold and real. “When opportunity meets preparation, I’m goin’ off like a detonation / I want it all, f*ck a reparation / I do it all with no hesitation / F*ck a punchline, I hit ’em with a combination like this sh*t was second nature / Layin’ down the law like this sh*t is legislature / Alligator jaws sayin’ ain’t nobody greater / I bow my head and do my numbers like it’s nothin’ major / Over time, I’ve been too humble, time to up the wager,” touts Badmon. After some time out of the Hip-Hop spotlight, Joey is motivated to win. “Ten thousand hours in, I was tryna make it count / Investin’ ten percent of whatever in my bank account / Just in case we see bad weather, I hit a nice amount / You don’t really lose on stocks, never, ‘less you take ’em out / Thinkin’ ’bout puttin’ some equity in another house / Thin line between brevity and longevity / One thing I never sacrifice is integrity / I ain’t nothin’ like these rappers that’s in disparity / None of these ni**as is seein’ me, just for clarity.” He mourns his 1999 collaborator and Pro Era brother Capital Steez in the next lyric. Another 2000 moment, “Survivors Guilt,” is largely dedicated to Steez.
The AFH playlist currently features other new music from Joey Bada$$, including recent collaborations with Black Thought, Danger Mouse, Russ, and DJ Premier, as well as a single alongside Chance The Rapper.
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#BonusBeat: A 2012 Ambrosia For Heads interview with Joey Bada$$ that features Capital STEEZ appearing alongside the members of Pro Era:
Press image by Waqas Ghani provided by Orienteer.