What were you doing at 19? Maybe you were working a 9 to 5 outside, or in a cramped office cubicle somewhere. You could of been studying to rock your dream job, or spending the last year of your teenage life getting buck wild and trying to juggle all three. Whatever it was you had on the go, it doesn't stack odds against the type of lifestyle that Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott has at the same age. You know the kid as Joey Bada$$.
Joey and the crew have just come off the back of a big festival tour, including Falls and Field Day. His shows were consistently vibrant back to back, aside from an unfortunate set at Field Day in Sydney in which Joe lost his voice during the first song. A crowd of disgruntled and disappointed punters cast a small shadow over the young prodigy's day, but it wasn't going to hamper his efforts when he came back to a sold out Hi-Fi bar on Wednesday night. Electric doesn't even come close to describing the atmosphere in the room on January 7.
Accompanied by fellow Pro Era associate CJ Fly, and one of Boston's most respected deejays - Statik Selektah - Joey took the stage at 11pm and spat his heart out, controlling the crowd well and lining up a round of tracks that had the walls shifting with the wave of hands.
After knocking out a range of tracks from his acclaimed mixtape 1999, Badass intertwined these with some new content, featuring a relatively new banger 'Christ Concious' which for me is a personal favourite. Not only through this song, but every other he delivered, he came with so much passion and energy that the vibe was contagious from the front barrier to the bar at the back. The Hi-Fi is a great venue for this kind of performance as well, because everyone is packed in and the acoustics resonate heavily throughout the joint. It was an absolute sweatbox, but then again if you're not perspiring at a show of this magnitude then you probably shouldn't be there.
"Long live Steelo" were words i heard numerous times throughout the night, and it's a pattern that has formed and will continue throughout all of Joey's shows no doubt. It's a tribute to close friend and rapper Capital Steez, who on the night of December 23, 2012, committed suicide in Manhattan. Steez was a very promising artist, and a co-founder alongside Joey in the Pro Era movement. When you experience this live show you can tell that this dude and his team are there for a much bigger purpose, and it's so good to see.
The focus and all round energy given off by Joey Badass is seriously something to acknowledge. At such a young age this emcee from Brooklyn, New York city has found himself on the other side of the world, with people that look to him as not only a rare talent, but a godsend for hip-hop. One thing is certain - he is taking no prisoners on the way up.
His debut album 'B4DAMONEY' will be released on January 20 this year, the same day as he turns 20. It's fair to say from that date forward, his life will never be the same again.
(Photos courtesy of lifewithoutandy)