Rap's brightest young star gets dressed up in Topman for our exclusive shoot and we investigate why his forthcoming debut is one of hip hop's most anticipated albums of 2014

Words By Chantelle Symester

Photography By Kim Reenberg

Styling By Gemma Boner

Any hip hop fan worth their salt will be familiar with the name Joey Bada$$ by now. Over the last few years the independent rapper has managed to establish himself as one of hip hop’s most interesting and talented rising stars. So it was a no-brainer that we at Topman invited Joey to get dressed up in our finest wares for an exclusive fashion shoot.

The soon-to-be 19 year-old (his birthday is on the 20 January), New York native first launched into the mainstream musical consciousness way back in 2012 when his debut mixtape 1999 became an unqualified success - critics and fans' ears perked up to hear little JayOhVee spit melodic flows over production reminiscent of the early 90s sounds pioneered by old school rap groups like Tribe Called Quest and De La. The result was on the money - fresh, honest and intelligent - a complete departure from the commercial hip hop doing the rounds at the time. His follow up mixtape Summer Knights a year later cemented him as more than just hype, ready to be quickly forgotten, instead it showed off his raw talent and lyrical agility and skill.



For many die-hard fans his forthcoming debut B4.Da.$$ release date can’t seem come quick enough, but UK fans can revel in the fact that the rapper has been announced as support for UK electronic duo Disclosure this spring. So go get your tickets quick!



HERE'S 5 REASONS WHY WE RATE MR BADA$$


1. HE'S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC
No sign of a multi-million pound deal for now for this teen, who has been courted by everyone from Roc Nation to Universal… Bada$$ professed his dislike for the big gun record labels in a spate of tweets last month (see below).



2. HE'S PART OF ONE OF THE HOTTEST RAP CREWS IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW
He founded Progressive Era aka Pro Era with his childhood friends the late Capital Steez, CJ Fly and Powers Pleasant back in high school.

3. HE'S THE LEADER OF THE PACK
Joey leads the ranks of a newer spawn of burgeoning rap stars, which include A$AP Nast and Chance the Rapper, breaking through and catching the attention of the mainstream.

4. HE'S ALREADY WORKED WITH SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN RAP
From DJ Premier to Q Tip to MF Doom... Joey has worked with notable hip hop legends - we can't wait to hear who will be featured on his album.

5. HIS LYRICS ARE ON POINT
'It’s been a minute since they seen a style with no gimmicks'...

 

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