“Badass” is a very popular word among my peers. When the word is stylized as “Bada$$,” though, it takes on a whole new meaning.
Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, better known by his stage name, Joey Bada$$, is only 19 years old. What have you done with the first 19 years of your life? He has two mix tapes, an album that’s about to drop, and two dollar signs to his name. His smooth flow and clever lyrics have been featured on recordings with Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, A$AP Rocky and Big K.R.I.T., to name a few. The young kangaroo Bada$$ performed in Minneapolis a little less than a year ago at the recently closed Epic. This past weekend, Bada$$, along with Kirk Knight and CJ Fly, performed at Mill City Nights. The venue wasn’t the only upgrade that came with Joey’s performance: his act improved accordingly.
Joey Bada$$’s upcoming album is cleverly named B4.DA.$$, decoded as ‘before the money.’ If he and his posse haven’t gotten paid yet, they certainly should expect to see more dollar signs in the near future. These guys can spit. Joey’s aforementioned smooth tone coupled with haunting yet, inspiring lyrics such as, “don’t sell rocks, seen the spectrum through the prisms” offer listeners a little more than guns, girls and ganja, and he knows it. When he’s rapping, you can see a fire in his eyes. He loves when the crowd responds to his rowdier beats, but it’s evident that he enjoys the audience’s intent listening just a little more. These sentiments are mature for anyone, much less a teenager.
A TEENAGER. This guy can’t even legally buy beer and yet he’s one of the most prominent up-and-coming rappers on the scene. Last Friday, he didn’t just entertain, he educated. Joey gave tribute to Capital Steez, a member of his group, PRO-ERA, who committed suicide at the young age of 19. Joey allowed his audience to recognize that what they were seeing wasn’t to be forgotten, that what they were hearing was real, intentioned music with a message and not just an image.
I hope more young rap artists like Joey Bada$$ emerge. I hope his ‘before the money’ tour really is before he gets paid, because Joey and his crew know what they’re doing, on stage and in the studio.