Joey Bada$$ – Summer Knights (Mixtape)
Of course when Joey Bada$$ dropped the highly regarded 1999 mixtape, he entered into a hip-hop environment heavily saturated with Maybach-glorifying party anthems – the same summer which saw “Pop That” and “I Don’t Like” rise to prominence as the preferred sounds to which we consumed copious amounts of rosé. 1999 stood in stark contrast to its contemporary releases, positing an authentic, unapologetically vintage rap aesthetic for the future, and laced with the witty lyrics of one 17-year-old Flatbush native. A year’s time has given young Bada$$ a wealth of experience though, including songs with DJ Premier, a nationwide tour with his PRO ERA pals, and the pain of his great comrade’s untimely passing. Taking a step back to understand the weighty magnitude of these experiences makes today’s release of his Summer Knights mixtape all the more impressive. At a glance, the tape already makes fun of cultural nuances in songs like “Death Of YOLO,” develops his previous sound to incorporate reggae in “My Yout,” and features production from some of the best names of the business. All these qualities would seem to make Summer Knights undeniable, but that’s ultimately up to the listener. Conveniently, the mixtape is available for streaming below.