Every now and then, a different rapper lays claim to being the King of New York. More often than not, the title is one of self-designation, the crown forged from a combination of mythos, ego and momentary attention. The understood consensus is there’ve been several dynasties over the nearly 50 years of Hip Hop's existence, each anointed via their undeniable skills and ability to capture the zeitgeist: The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, JAY-Z, Big Pun, probably Jadakiss at some point.
His latest finds him tempering his boom-bap revivalism with surprisingly mainstream elements in this sequel to 2012's 1999 Sequels can often paint an interesting picture of artistic development: Eminem's transition from musical shock-jock to a radio-friendly Rihanna collaborator, Aphex Twin drifting further out towards the avant-garde, and now Joey Bada$$ tempering his boom-bap revivalism with surprisingly mainstream elements in this sequel to 2012's 1999. The meta-narrative is present right from the start with some otherwise perfunctory Diddy ad-libs, and continues with appearances from Mike Will Made It and Chris Brown. The former's production on Cruise Control is full of lush bassy goodness, while the less said about Brown's syrupy melisma on Welcome Back the better.
Almost 10 years on from '1999', the breakout mixtape that introduced the world to Joey Bada$$, the Brooklyn native has returned to our speakers for his third studio album '2000'. An emotive release complete with features from some of hip-hop's iconic names including Westside Gunn, SiR and JID. '2000' showcases some of Joey Bada$$'s best talents, encompassing spectacular sampling and a beating east coast sound.