Sound Advice: Joey Bada$$ with Nyck Caution, Denzel Curry and Bishop Nehru

Saturday • Bogart’s

Oct 14, 2015 at 9:09 am
click to enlarge Joey Bada$$
Joey Bada$$

It’s one thing to call yourself a badass; it’s quite another to back that shit up. And it takes some serious stones to adopt the word as your surname and then switch out the “ss” with dollar signs. Joey Bada$$ has plenty of cred to back up that level of bravado.

Born in East Flatbush, N.Y. to a first-generation Caribbean family, Jo-Vaughn Scott was raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant and began writing songs and poems when he was 11. He attended the prestigious Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, where he enrolled as a theater major but shifted to the music program with an emphasis on Rap in ninth grade. Shortly thereafter, Scott founded the Progressive Era (aka Pro Era) collective with friends and classmates.

In 2010, the young Scott posted a video of himself freestyling on YouTube, which went viral. The clip made its way to Cinematic Music Group president Jonny Shipes, who signed the 15-year-old phenom and ultimately the entire Pro Era group.

Pro Era dropped The Secc$ Tap.e, its debut mixtape, in early 2012, followed four months later by Bada$$’s first solo mixtape, the critically acclaimed 1999. The success of The Secc$ Tap.e and the underground buzz generated by 1999 and its tracks like “Hardknock” and “Waves” pushed Bada$$ into the limelight. Hip Hop magazine/website Complex put 1999 in its annual top 40, and cited it as the best release of 2012. Before year’s end, Bada$$ released his sophomore mixtape, Rejex, a collection of songs left over from 1999.

After a breakthrough 2012, the following year saw Bada$$ make XXL Magazine’s venerated Freshman Class (alongside artists like Schoolboy Q and Action Bronson) and earn a BET Hip Hop Award nomination for Rookie of the Year. That summer, Pro Era garnered a slot on the popular “Under the Influence of Music” tour (headlined by Wiz Khalifa and A$AP Rocky) and released Bada$$’s Summer Knights mixtape (it was followed by an EP with the same title later in the year). Bada$$’s first solo full-length, the much anticipated and discussed B4.DA.$$, was finally released this year on Jan. 20, the rapper’s 20th birthday. The album (like some of his other material) was both knocked and praised for its classic-’90s-Hip Hop feel.

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