Joey Bada$$ is a throwback to an era that might not ever return. Much like fellow New Yorker Roc Marciano, Bada$$ is working within an aesthetic that hasn’t sounded contemporary for at least 15 years. When considering that he’s still only 17, you wonder if Joey Bada$$ might be intent on resurrecting what nerds refer to as hip hop’s “golden age”. But so far it hasn’t really felt like Joey has anything to prove – likely because his debut mixtape 1999 sounded so damn effortless in its execution. With smooth beats sampled from obscure jazz records and an even smoother veteran-sounding flow, Joey crafted a tape that probably made a lot of middle-aged Wu-Tang/Native Tongues purists cry tears of joy. What’s interesting about his new track “Enter the Void” is that the production sounds very 2012, and it kind of feels like the anomaly in his young discography.
The Ab-Soul feature makes sense because the beat sounds very Ab-Soul. His underrated LP Control System flew under the radar this past summer, likely because his Black Hippy peers Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar both possess better voices and more dynamic flow. But Ab-Soul is an intensely introspective rapper that should not be knocked. These two rappers are different and they hail from opposite coasts, so it’s pretty cool for them to meet each other halfway in terms of rapping on “Enter the Void”. The verses consist of typical battle-rap bragging and nothing much else, which works because these guys are from different realms. The beat creeps in an Alchemist sort of way and when Joey takes the mic it becomes clear that these two MCs are confident and competent. Check out Joey Bada$$’s awesome video for “Fromdatomb$” below.