Joey Badass Says He Drew From Real-Life Experiences For His ‘Power Book III’ Role

Ahead of the season premiere of Power Book III: Raising Kanan tonight, Joey Badass spoke with HipHopDX about his role. On the show, Joey plays a drug kingpin named Kadeem “Unique” Mathis.

Joey‘s performance has received much praise, and in the interview, he said he drew from real-life experiences of witnessing drug deals growing up in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn.

“I always been around that stuff, but I never took that path because it was right there,” Joey said. “I wanted to challenge myself to do other things, and then I had good older cousins and family that pushed me to not do that because they were doing it. It would’ve been easy for me to do it, but they wanted to see better for their little cousin and nephew…So it was easy to just kind of pull from those experiences that I’ve had or those observations that I made as a kid.”

Over the years, Joey has built an impressive acting resume, with stints on Mr. Robot, Grown-ish, and Wu-Tang: An American Saga. Elsewhere in the interview, Joey said that acting, to him, comes as easily as making music.

“Acting, in general, comes pretty instinctively to me…just in a way where you kind of go somewhere else. Like on that stage, I gotta go into superstar mode. I’m still here but it’s like a superstar hangover, but when I’m home, it’s a different vibe where I’m chill.”

Season 2 of Power Book III: Raising Kanan premieres tonight at 9 p.m. EST on Starz.

Joey Badass’ newest album, 2000, is out now via Columbia Records. Stream it here.