Considering everything he’s contributed to the game, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Joey Bada$$ is only 24 years old. Yet the Brooklyn rapper has used his time wisely, amassing a respectable discography of solo albums, collective projects, and unexpected songwriting credits to his name. Today, Joey has decided to look back on where it all began, which is to say, the release of his acclaimed mixtape 1999. With features from Capital Steez, Kirk Knight, CJ Fly, Nyck Caution, and more, 1999 quickly caught on with both critics and fans alike, instantly placing Joey at the forefront of a New York movement – a charismatic young rapper fuelled by Old Head energy.
“7 years ago today it all started. A kid from East Flatbush, Brooklyn released his debut mixtape to the world and nothing was the same since,” begins Badmon, in a heartfelt reflection. “Also just want to say thank you all for believing and supporting me in this long journey. Without your continued support and encouragement I’m not sure where I’d be in this world. Your love and passion for me never goes unnoticed. I know sometimes I could be neglectful towards some of you guys but it’s just the Aquarius in me wanting to be free to do whatever I please.”
In his closing statement, he expresses a desire to move forward in new and unexplored musical directions, daring to defy expectation and escape the confine of his comfort zone. “And if you can’t respect that, your whole perspective is WACK but is still all Love,” writes Joey, before promising that new music is well on the way. Of course, he’s likely referring to a solo project, as Beast Coast’s Escape From New York is only a few weeks old. Still, it’s nice to see Joey open up to his fanbase, and it’s likely the gesture will not go unnoticed. Happy birthday to 1999!