1999 – Joey Bada$$ – 8.3

The 2012 debut mixtape from New York’s Joey Bada$$ is a jazz rap feast and one of the more impressive debuts this decade. While jazz rap may not be my favourite sub genre of rap, there’s no doubt that when it’s done well it makes for a very pleasant listening experience. Which is what this mixtape delivers in full. An hour of funky jazz style rap tracks with some personal messages and structurally sound rhymes. This tape doesn’t sound like it was made in 2012, it sounds straight out of the 90’s in the golden age of east coast hip hop. You can definitely hear the influences from Nas, MF Doom, Wu-Tang Clan, J Dilla, A Tribe Called Quest and Jay Z. The highlight for me is the smooth and easy listening production. Joey sticks with the same formula throughout, which sounds great but can be susceptible to having a number of songs merge together so at some points you can’t tell one track for another. The production isn’t the only big highlight though, there are some great lines scattered throughout this tape too. For a debut this is a great opener. If I was ever in the mood for a change of pace to what I usually listen to, if I wanted a different vibe I would definitely have this tape at the top of that list.

1. Summer Knights – 8.1
2. Waves – 8.3
3. FromdaTomb$ – 8.5
4. Survival Tactics – 8.4
5. Killuminati – 8.3
6. Hardknock – 8.4
7. World Domination – 8.2
8. Pennyroyal – 8.2
9. Funky Ho’$ – 8.1
10. Daily Routine – 8
11. Snakes – 8.3
12. Don’t Front – 8.5
13. Righteous Minds – 8
14. Where It’$ At? – 8.1
15. Third Eye Shit – 8