ALBUM REVIEW: Joey Bada$$ - BA.DA.$$

JOEY BADA$$ ... BA.DA.$$ (Music Division)
JOEY BADA$$ ... BA.DA.$$ (Music Division)

ITS template may have been set a decade earlier, yet many regard the 1990s as a time in which hip-hop enjoyed its golden era.

This certainly seems to be true in the case of this 20-year-old New Yorker, whose debut album practically bows at the feet of Nas, The Notorious B.I.G. et al.

It’s not just its sound - which perhaps intentionally mimics the former’s masterpiece Illmatic - but also its lyrics, which come littered with none-too-subtle references to heroes who peaked before he’d even been born.

There are times when this debt can be overbearing, but by and large raw talent is enough to see him through, with a roll call of excellent producers providing further backing to his accomplished and diverse flow.

It’s not vital or forward thinking, though with standouts like Hazeus View and Run Up on Ya it’s a nostalgia trip worth taking. 7/10. AW