How meeting one rapper changed Joe Bada$$’ life
(Credit: Jorund Foreland Pedersen)

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How meeting one rapper changed Joe Bada$$' life

Roc-A-Fella mogul and billionaire Jay-Z is one of the most revered MCs ever. Over his 25-year career, the lyricist has released 13 full-length studio albums, all of which have acquired legendary status. As a businessman and entrepreneur, the rhymer (real name Shawn Carter) struck deals with the NBA and NFL and managed to set up numerous businesses, including Roc Nation and Tidal. 

Carter’s unfathomable success created a sense of awe in the hip-hop community, especially in the streets of Brooklyn, where he began his empire. However, one Bedford-Stuyvesant rapper admired Jay-Z so much that when he met him, it changed his entire outlook on life. 

During a Debut Live interview with Carl Lamarre at Soho House, New York native Joey Bada$$ spoke on his experience meeting with Jay-Z for the first time at the age of 17 in 2012. Joey Bada$$ (real name Jo-Vaughn Scott) first surfaced in the early-2010s as one of New York’s most promising young prospects. As an independent artist and incredible lyricist, Scott put New York back on the map when he dropped his debut mixtape, 1999.

The buzz around Vaughn was so great that in 2012, he was invited to walk the hallways of the Roc Nation Offices following an invite to meet Jay-Z himself. In conversation with Lamarre, the Brooklyn act recalled, “Yo, I’m 17, and I already accomplished my wildest dream!”

He continued, “I remember going up in that elevator like, ‘If I’m meeting with Jay right now, I can do anything!” Vaughn revealed that since he was in elementary school, all he had dreamed of was meeting Jay-Z and insisted that his 2012 sit-down with Carter instilled a newfound sense of confidence in him.

Although Joey Bada$$ never ended up signing with Roc Nation, Jay-Z still remains an idol of his and in an appearance on The Breakfast Club last year, Vaughn revealed that reading Jay-Z’s book, Decoded, had a major influence on him.

Since his meeting with Jay-Z, Joey Bada$$ has released an array of projects including his Summer Knights, B4.Da.$$, All-Amerikkkan Badass, 2000, as well as his Light Pack and Too Lit EPs. You can hear Vaughn speak about the meeting below.