Joey Bada$$ - 2015
Joey Bada$$ may have fallen under The Doors curse. Jim Morrison and co. were the first big rock band that started the trend of being able to stay around based off of a first impression, and it's been haunting musicians ever since. Joey's first mixtape, 2012's 1999, is a modern classic, a record that uses dusty '90s beats and throwback raps that brought the Next Big Phenom title upon him. So how did Joey respond to such positive reaction? by dropping Summer Knights, his boring and underwhelming 2013 mixtape. He's now followed up with major label debut B4.DA.$$, an album that sits far back in second place in Joey's short discography. Not much is necissarily bad here, and upon first listen you may believe that this is the best thing he's ever put out. The production is cleaner and warmer, he's ditched that nasally flow that plauged much of his recent work, and the guest spots (Action Bronson, Raury, among others) shine.1999 was so great because it felt like a record that Joey made for himself, and the reason it is still miles ahead of B4.DA.$$ is because the album sounds like it was made for anyone but himself. Quite frankly, he seems to have this style that he's mastered, and is looking for a direction to go that will make it seem fresh again. He hasn't found it yet, and he's running out of time.
GENRES: HIP HOP, HARDCORE HIP HOP, BOOM BAP, EAST COAST HIP HOP, JAZZ RAP