Joey Bada$$ picks the best rap album ever made
(Credit: Jorund Foreland Pedersen)

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Joey Bada$$ picks the best rap album ever made

Joey Bada$$ is an overlooked emcee who can flawlessly deliver complex rhyme schemes and intricate flows. However, he has long been underappreciated. In 2022, the Brooklyn musician released his third album 2000. The project marked a decade since his first release in 2012, the 1999 mixtape.  

When Bada$$ released 1999, which boasted unforgettable songs such as ‘Waves’, he was unfairly and all too quickly dismissed by hip-hop. Then, as trap and its derivatives, such as drill, would go on to prosper and become the new sound of rap, Bada$$, with his J Dilla and Tribe Called Quest style beats, began to fade.

Bada$$ has a very original sound, which some have labelled as progressive rap. However, the sonics of his projects’ are undoubtedly inspired by East Coast legends such as Large Professor and Pete Rock, and his lyrics contain a conscious aspect.

With a soulful feel to his tracks, Bada$$ (real name Jo-Vaugn Scott) would not have been out of place in the era of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and The Roots. However, he has previously opened up about his favourite rappers.

Vaughn is a fan of the 1990s and, in an interview with NME, once revealed that Biggie Smalls’ ‘Juicy’ inspired him to rap, telling the journalist, “I feel like I was born with this [rapping] already instilled in me, but I can’t downplay who I’m inspired or influenced by, and Biggie is definitely one of the first. He was from Brooklyn, I’m from Brooklyn, my mum was a big fan and that was enough for me. ‘It was all a dream’, that’s all anybody needs to believe in themselves, know what I’m saying?”

Biggie Smalls is one of Vaughn’s favourite artists. However, Ready To Die is not one of his preferred albums, but in true Joey Bada$$ style, when asked by SPIN magazine what his favourite rap projects of all time are, the Brooklyn musician took everyone back to the 1990s.

Elaborating on his most cherished albums, Vaughn detailed, “Illmatic, It Was Written, Reasonable Doubt, Me Against the World. Those albums perfectly defined who those artists were at the time. It was like a time capsule. It’s just, you know, their minds, thoughts and emotions. It’s classic.”

You can listen to 2Pac’s Me Against The World below.