Joey Bada$$ Says Recording With DJ Premier Helped Him Grow
Joey Bada$$ speaks on working with a group as opposed to recording as a solo act, says he's never tried to sound like a '90s rapper.
Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ recently had the opportunity to collaborate with recognized Hip Hop producer DJ Premier on his Summer Knights record “Unorthodox.” And, according to the Pro Era spitter, working with Premier was an experience he went into hoping to both grow and learn from.
Joey Bada$$ also commented on the Gang Starr beatsmith’s desire to also help him learn from their experience working in the studio together.
“It’s like, 'Pinch me 'cause I may be dreaming,'” said Joey. “Just being there alone, I could feel like the presence of all the greats that came through before me. Just even in that booth, I was like ‘Yo, imagine all the cats that recorded here on this very mic.’ So, I’m like ‘Yo, I just gotta just come correct.’ The vibe there we kinda both knew what we had to do. I gotta take the best from the situation. I gotta grow and I gotta learn. And he was like, ‘Yo, I gotta school this young cat. I really wanna see him do good.'”
The Brooklyn rapper also touched briefly on his nostalgia-heavy music and again clarified that he’s not trying to sound like a '90s rapper with his music. “It’s not like I sit at home like, ‘Yo shit, I want to be a 90s rapper,’" he says. "'Cause it’s definitely like 2013 last time I checked.”
Joey later broke down his writing technique as he explained how he battles writer's block and the qualities he hopes to work on in the future.
“I never like to really limit myself,” said the 1999 rapper. “How I avoid writer's block is always switching it up. You know, always switching up my structure. Sometimes I will be walking and a melody will come to my head and I’m like, ‘Alright, so I’m just gonna keep repeating and keep adding on.’ Or I might be feeling another way. Maybe I just wanna draw something out. I wanna actually illustrate a picture to the listener…All aspects of writing I would like to work on more. It’s always room for improvement, but definitely just song structures period. Bridge and hook and verse.”
Although Joey Bada$$ is known to some as a solo act, the rapper has both toured and recorded with his Brooklyn-based crew, Pro Era. And according to Joey, he at times prefers to work with his crew as opposed to recording solo.
“When we rocking with the crew, it’s just more than just one person contributing ideas,” said the rapper. “It’s really easy to get things done because it’s like if I got a verse and you got a verse and he got a hook, the song’s done. You know? And it’s way more fun to work when you actually have somebody involved.”
Joey Bada$$ kicked off his solo career with the release of last year’s 1999 mixtape. That mixtape was followed by this year’s release of Summer Knights, the project which features “Unorthodox,” the rapper’s collab with DJ Premier.
Joey spoke on his collaboration with Premier at the top of the year, during an interview on Shade 45’s Sway In The Morning. He said the opportunity was "a dream come true."
“Shout out to Mountain Dew and Green Label Sound for linking that up," he said. "I did a one-off single deal with Mountain Dew and they just hooked that up for me. I was like, 'I'll do this for you, and we just gon' get you in the studio with Premier.' That's how it happened. It was like a dream come true."