The Best of Underground Hip-Hop

"I don’t drink too much, I know the bud wiser."

- Joey Bada$$

“I’m telling you man, Joey Bada$$ can change the course of time. If he’s 17, there are no boundaries of how he can influence a 14-year-old. What Tribe and Public Enemy and Brand Nubian did for me as a 15-year-old, he can do the same thing.”

- 9th Wonder

Joey Bada$$ & Ab-Soul being arrested after a concert for smoking weed. Fuck the police.

"He told me never to forget, and never to force it. To embrace this time and glorious moments."

- Joey Bada$$

Pro Era

Joey Bada$$ - Feather (prod. by Nujabes)

This was recorded three years ago when Joey Bada$$ first started making his own hip-hop at the age of 15. You can actually tell how much he improved in just a year by comparing this to the music he made at 16. The instrumental for Feather is also my second favorite Nujabes production. I’ve used it a couple times for my mashups, such as Tupac - Hold On To A Feather (Nujabes Mashup). I also enjoy that at 0:29 his voice clearly cracks, “keep my he-EAd to the sky”, further exemplifying just how young he is.

"Lil’ nigga came up, 15; I snatched the microphone.
Better than these dudes that got twice my testosterone.”

Joey Bada$$ is the truth.

(Source: kendricklamar-duckworth)

Joey Bada$$ - Two Lips (Prod. by J Dilla)

Joey Bada$$ has stated before in an interview that J Dilla is his all time favorite producer. So you can imagine why it’s an especially big deal for him, given that unlike the two songs Where It’$ At and Snakes off of his mixtape 1999 that utilize J Dilla beats, Two Lips boasts a completely unreleased instrumental from the legendary producer, courtesy of Maureen Yancey (aka J Dilla’s mother). She is also the founder of the J Dilla Foundation, and is using the seven-inch record sales of this song to help further fund the foundation’s goal, which is to provide instruments and music lessons for less fortunate children. I would link the site where you can buy them at, but in just two days after being released on Black Friday everything is already sold out.

The instrumental definitely possesses that J Dilla vibe with its muddy drums and whimsical keyboard. Joey also delivers some really incredible lyricism. He’s still only 18, yet many of his verses, such as with Bird’s Eye View, represent some of the most distinguished in the game right now. The ending is magnificent and particularly appropriate being spit over a Dilla beat. Here are the lyrics.

"He told me never to forget, and never to force it. To embrace this time and glorious moments. ‘Cuz you could die in a second, so open up within before I get to dissectin’. I woke up again, but this time forgettin’. Scratchin’ my chin, like ‘that was rather interestin”. I turn to the small coffee table on the right. Pick up my pen and turn on my thinkin’ light….Having somersaulted my eyelids, awaken from a dream to perceive that I live.”

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My Song Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Statik Selektah - Bird’s Eye View (ft. Raekwon, Joey Bada$$ & Black Thought)

The genius behind Bird’s Eye View lies mostly within its well crafted lyrics and their vividly raw delivery. Statik Selektah’s beat has many commendable qualities, but it unfortunately stays much more constant than it needs to. This song represents a significant event in 18-year-old Joey Bada$$’s career. Not only is he making his first official collab with Wu-Tang & The Roots, but he readily holds his own with one of his most potent verses ever. I actually like his verse slightly more than Raekwon’s, which speaks for itself. Overall though Black Thought steals the show. This song definitively proves Joey Bada$$ is only getting better and is here to stay. This is my favorite song off of Statik Selektah’s new album Extended Play.

"Watching the game from a bird’s eye view. They say it’s hard to keep trust so my third eye grew. Chakras open, binocular scoping, sour smoking. Hoping my best buzz ain’t only in it for the tokens."

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My Song Rating: 9.6 out of 10