Joey Bada$$-20 Miles Freestyle

joey badass
For most rappers, putting a track out from when they were 16 years old would suggest a rather large distance on the throwback, and for it to be one of precocious but untrained talent. Given that Joey’s only 18 right now, this isn’t exactly moving back too far, and hence there’s plenty of work here on par with his recent work.

Grabbing one of my favourite hip-hop productions of all-time in Mos Def’s Umi Says, Joey (under his previous JayOhVee moniker) lays down a strong 3 minute performance to do both the beat and his burgeoning reputation justice. Rather than adopt the relaxed style Mos brings on the original, Joey’s flow is sharp, rapid and full of tongue-twisting sentence enders, with that pacey flow clearly demonstrating the talent he now exhibits on a bigger stage. The lyricism goes a little in and out, but for a freestyle it’s without any breakdowns or faults, and of course its one area Joey improves significantly with each release to this day. A great release, and must listen for Pro Era fans.

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