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Joey Bada$$

Bringing the Golden Age of hip-hop into the 21st century, New York rapper, actor, and producer Joey Bada$$ rose to fame by releasing a series of underground mixtapes and founding the hip-hop collective Pro Era. Influenced by Nas, Tupac, Black Thought, J Dilla, and others, he focused on insightful street tales and socio-political issues in his rhymes, smoothed out by sample-heavy production heard on official debut B4.DA.$$ (2015) and All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ (2017). Born Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Joey began performing under the name JayOhVee, but changed it to Joey Bada$$ before the Pro Era crew -- which also included Powers Pleasant, Capital STEEZ, and Dirty Sanchez -- signed to the Cinematic Music label in 2012. That same year, Joey made his solo debut with the mixtape 1999, which was followed in 2013 by the mixtape Summer Knights. Later that year he made his official debut when the Summer Knights EP landed, featuring four tracks from the mixtape of the same name. A Pro Era mixtape followed in early 2014, The Secc$ Tap.e, Vol. 2. The full-length B4.DA.$$ appeared in January 2015, filled with productions from the likes of Statik Selektah and DJ Premier alongside Pro Era's Kirk Knight and Chuck Strangers. Even more impressive, the album included a track where the Roots helped complete a lost beat from the late, great J. Dilla. In the years that followed, Joey collaborated with Korean hip-hop artist Tablo and British band Glass Animals. He also secured a recurring role in the second season of television thriller Mr. Robot. His sophomore long-player, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, arrived in 2017, and featured guest spots by ScHoolboy Q, Styles P, J.Cole, and others. The politically charged set included singles "Land of the Free" and "Rockabye Baby." In 2018, he marked the sixth anniversary of his debut mixtape 1999 by reissuing the album on vinyl. The Light Pack EP arrived in July 2020 as the rapper's first release for Columbia Records and included the songs "The Light," "No Explanation," and Shine."
© David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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