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Joey Bada$$

Rapper, actor, producer, and founder of the Pro Era collective, Brooklyn-born Joey Bada$$ is among the more prominent voices to have arisen from 2010s rap. Influenced by Nas, Tupac, Black Thought, and other foundational figures of golden age rap, Bada$$ brought his own personality to insightful street tales and sociopolitical rhymes, smoothing out his sound with sample-heavy production and mellow, '90s-informed beats. Critically acclaimed mixtapes such as 2012's 1999 led to Top Ten-charting albums like his 2015 debut, B4.DA.$$, and its 2017 follow-up, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$. At the turn of the decade, he focused on roles in television shows such as Mr. Robot, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, and Power. He returned with his third studio album, 2000, in 2022. 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. In 2016, he also secured a recurring role on the television thriller Mr. Robot during the show's second season, with appearances through the final season in 2019. His sophomore long-player, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, arrived in 2017, and featured guest spots by ScHoolboy Q, Styles P, J.Cole, and others. The politically charged set included the singles "Land of the Free" and "Rockabye Baby." In 2018, he marked the sixth anniversary of debut mixtape 1999 by reissuing the set on vinyl. Joey also continued to make his mark on the small screen, scoring roles on Boomerang, Grown-ish, and Wu-Tang: An American Saga. The Light Pack EP arrived in July 2020 as the rapper's first release for Columbia Records and included the songs "The Light," "No Explanation," and "Shine." The following year, Bada$$ released the single "THE REV3NGE" and joined the cast of 50 Cent's crime drama Power Book III: Raising Kanan. In July of 2022, his third album, 2000, was released. 2000 featured guest appearances from JID, Larry June, Diddy, and others, and debuted at the number 25 slot on the Billboard top 200 charts. "Fallin'" appeared in 2023.
© David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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