January 20 is a momentous occasion for both the music industry and young Joey Badass.
After a world tour spanning North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, this man has reached a milestone in his life that will resonate with him for the entirety of his career, and effectively change everything. Joey left his teenage years behind at the stroke of midnight in New York City, and became one of the youngest and most successful rappers in the game at twenty years old.
B4DAMONEY (B4.DA.$$) is Joey's debut studio album, consisting of fifteen titles and two bonus tracks that provide insights into his life, and of those around him, that contribute to the ever growing Bada$$ legacy. Since we're writing about history as it happens, it's important to realise where this individual has come from.
With a mother hailing from the volcanic Caribbean country of St. Lucia, and a father decorated with Jamaican heritage, Joey found his middle ground in the neighbourhood of Bed Stuy - Brooklyn, New York. This is the spot he was raised in, and where his chosen craft of rap would begin to flourish at a young age. High school meant that his clique Progressive Era (Pro Era) would find its footing, with the help of friends Capital Steez, CJ Fly and Powers Pleasant at the ready. Joey, along with Pro Era as a whole went on to sign with Cinematic Music Group over the course of 2010-2012.
After releasing his debut mixtape, and his most famous to date - 1999 - Joey shot to popularity across the country with artists reaching out to him for collaborations. The death of close friend and associate Capital Steeze on December 24, 2012 rocked Joey and his friends, who were well on their way to creating a movement as one entity. To this day, Steez - or Steelo as the boys refer to him - remains a key influence to the Pro Era goal of overall success in the hip-hop industry.
As Joey blows his candles out, you can rest assured that the next chapter of his career will set a benchmark for other young rappers in New York, around America and all over the globe. It is proof that with persistence, skill and the right kind of support, the unimaginable can, at times, become a reality. All the best goes to Badass, who has risen to the challenge and become one of the greats.
Happy 20th birthday. From Australia to Brooklyn, we salute.