Is Joey BADA$$, the ballyhooed 17-year-old Brooklyn MC, the ghost of “real hip-hop” past returned to take back the throne from impostors drunk on ho’s, weed, and greed?
Maybe. Maybe not. One song does not a savior make. One song, however, can raise the hopes of the faithful.
That song in Joey BADA$$’s case is “Survival Tactics” featuring Pro Era teammate Capital STEEZ, off the former’s soon-to-be released mixtape, 1999. Both rappers evoke an urban realism that feels primal, authentic, and now. Even if their “now” sounds like the mid-1990s, “Survival Tactics” rises above mere imitation.