Joey Badass: Takin’ It Back to the Old School
By Jessica Wilkerson
It is not uncommon to be led onto catchy dance moves and warm-hearted playful flows showcasing the future attitude or lifestyle one wants. The reflection to the old days of the hip-hop seems to have vanished like the drying out of flossy icicles sweating outside a cup of water.
Joey Bada$$’ World Domination tour came to Fort Lauderdale’s Revolution Live last Saturday promising to bring out the traditional hip-hop beats and flows seen in the circa ’94. Saturday’s line up of a clan of “Beast Coast” youngsters stretching from New Yorkers Nyck Caution, Bishop Nehru and Joey Bada$$ to Florida resident Denzel Curry. Nyck Caution, the energized ProEra member rap artist with a Bombs over Baghdad hype, peppered the crowd to join the prodigious of flaming glows of miniature light sabers tilting like window wipers in a light drizzle of rain.
Introducing the tour, his mix to Drake’s “0 to 1000” set the tone of this power trip: gruesome unalloyed boom bap beats over electrifying modern or jazz ensemble progressive era samples appealing to the 20 something audience.
Though he is characterized with an innocent demeanor, Bishop Nehru’s out of the box thinking towards society and other reflective thoughts, froze the World Domination tour crowd into silence. Amongst those were people who came — not to see an artist verge into self-discovery but — to wind to down and delve into music appreciating head bobbing.
Surrounding the theme of classic hip-hop, this show did not only hasty portray the brutal truth of modern day casualties commonly lionized by Biggie and N.W.A., but also the effortless projection of imagination.
Denzel Curry’s aggressive fire of “Ultimate” broadcasted against Boondock-like graphics and tie-dyed tees, contrasted to Nehru’s serious and raw cut performance including his joint “Users”.
Known to be an introvert, Nehru’s brief interaction with the crowd seemed awkward as if he dazed back into the comfort of his home: eyes closed, misplaced shoes flaunting noir socks accompanying his plain laid back ebony attire and a thin Avatar: The Last Airbender strip rushing down like a street connecting bouldering rocks of sleek black hair pulled oppositely into two French braids. His ability to pull out mathematically congruent rhymes and sundry projects with MF Doom and an indelible guidance as a Mass Appeals recording artist under Nas, convey his extroverted collaborative and diverse actions in becoming a household name.
Joey Bada$$ complements the previous acts, portraying not only earthly graphics mirroring — fans cavorting towards a suggested silhouette of Bada$$ — the typical concert experience of his shows, but also the organic meat of the Golden Era. A jazz junkie channeling his New York roots, Bada$$ has made a name for himself through his lauded mixtape 1999, and EP, Summer Knights. Now at the mere age of 20, branding himself and his Mark Echo clothing line, Bada$$ exhales puffs of B4.Da.$$ verses like a storm of kush. For much of his set Dj Statik Selek and pools of light dipped in kaleidoscope essence, supported Bada$$ on Revolution’s beaten up solid wood stage.
An attempt to dig out underground hip hop into the open air of today’s mainstream, Bada$$ confronts in his Summer Knights track on 1999, that for hip hop fans “it’s been a minute since they seen a style with no gimmicks.” His flow and style do not seem contriving, as he presents a soul to his music that most artists in this age lack. Bada$$ claims to have no schemes under his wing, but is targeting elements of the late 80s and early 90s limiting the hip-hop genre the steps it needs to move forward?
Many current mainstream rappers, attack on two or three lines, just to get a trend out. This effort to make money is something many artists and even human beings strive for, but the method chosen is the where the heart is most visible. This tour laid down the grounds of a possibly rising future of hopefully a new golden era of hip-hop.
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