Weekly Retro: 1/6/14 – Old is Better When New and Joey Bada$$ Rips a Verse

I decided not to do any year-end wrap-up stuff because a write-up for each album would be a lot of work (one reason most pubs do their year-end lists in early/mid December or wait until January) and because I haven’t listened to enough of what came out during 2013. Obvious albums like Killer Mike and El-P’s Run The Jewels are still waiting in my queue so it doesn’t feel at all right to try to sum up 2013. Not even calling it “my favorites” as opposed to “best” would solve the problem.

Since the last retro, I’ve written up Danny Brown’s Old and Joey Bada$$’ 1999. While Old is a great intro/retrospective album, it’s not the sort of thing that I’ll play top-to-bottom anymore. Some of the songs stopped being entertaining after digesting the album as a biography. Either they’re depressing, the drug-party topic isn’t for me, or they have terrible features. On that note, props to Freddie Gibbs for turning in the only good guest verse on Old. I’ve definitely got to pay more attention to that guy.

1999 left me with much more mixed thoughts. Joey expertly captured the feel of 90s boom-bap but didn’t really update the sound, leaving me bored to pieces when listening intently. So I googled around for thoughts on 1999 and found some older East Coast heads trying to explain Joey’s relevance. The consensus was that he’s a young rapper who actually respects the boom-bap style and isn’t weird like his peers. So his acclaim is more for what he isn’t, one of the many young New York rappers with a decidely non-New York sound, than what he is. For those guys, and for anyone else wondering what all the fuss is about, I’m going to share one of the verses that forced me to pay attention to this kid. This is from Statik Selektah’s Extended Play mixtape, from the song Bird’s Eye View (lyrics from Rap Genius with minor edits by me)

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 buds ain’t only in it for the tokens
Cause they say it’s who you joking with, chokin’ potent with
Tag team the joker chicks, the ones who do some bogus shit
Act cool on the strip, but want to put two in your hip
Macking jewels in your whips, booming your hits, screwing your bitch
Froze under my toes, bitches where my penis is
Kicking it since the womb, now you see what the fetus is
And what the fetus is? Would these niggas feed us shit?
Rob a nigga for his number 2’s to put my feet in, shit
Flow slippery, rise to the tippity top
I’mma make hot drops, make snakes history
Dreams of living civilly in Sicily
Laughing with a fan like

How can anyone still ignore him after seeing/hearing that lyricism?! Be sure to click that link to see the awesome Raekwon and Black Thought verses that surrounded this one.

9 thoughts on “Weekly Retro: 1/6/14 – Old is Better When New and Joey Bada$$ Rips a Verse”

  1. I think you are dead on with Old, but I have always viewed Joey differently. I first heard that guy in 1 Train and let me tell you that verse was terrible. Then I decided to hear 1999 and was impressed because I came in with low expectations. I also saw that you watch deadendhiphop, you officially won me over with that stuff. I saw a post that said whether to give logic another chance or not, it is kind of harsh, but I have to say no because he doesnt bring anything new or unique to the table. He just improves on flows already there.

    1. Haha I thought his 1 Train verse was decent but CLEARLY one of the worst of the bunch. The lyricism mostly sucked but the sentiment of the verse’ second half was nice. So besides being relatively impressed, do you really like 1999? Do/did you still play it a few weeks after first listen?

      Deadendhiphop is dope because they give real opinions, negative or positive. I wish they’d go more in-depth sometimes though… Hearing “it bangs in the whip” gets old hehe. I’m glad I’m not the only one not drinking Logic’s Koolaid. They seem to love him over on DEHH

          1. I recently saw someone post a comment that said that Feefo looked like Magilla Gorilla and I can never see him the same way hahahaha. Anyway, I also revisited one of Logic’s projects recently and unfortunately it didn’t grow on me at all.

          2. Haha he kinda does. I recently got back into watching their vids, had quit for the above reason for a long while. Anyway I think I oughta do a quick shot on a Logic release

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