Jay-Z’s exclamations of “He’s only 16!!!” during Young Chris’ turn on the mic in the Hot 97 studios some 11 years ago immediately came to mind after watching Joey Bada$$ perform the opening verse of “Survival Tactics.” A year older than the former Young Gun was during his coming out party in NY, Brooklyn native Joey possesses the same sort of charisma and preternatural ability that made the would be King of New York scream with awe and pride. In the Coodie & Chike-directed “Survival Tactics” video, youthful energy and skill combine with an aural and visual presentation that hearkens to a long forgotten era, but yet still feels new.
On the second release from his upcoming project 1999, “Waves” the BK badass proves that he’s not just teenage angst and defiance. Dulling the edge a bit with lush strings and keys, Joey still cuts deep with ruminations on his past, present and future, tinged with the hope and vulnerability that most 17-year-olds try to hide under a shell of frigid apathy.