Joey Bada$$ – “Survival Tactics” ft. Capital STEEZ
“It’s like six million ways to die, my nigga choose one,” laments Joey Bada$$ on this 1999 highlight. As far as skateboard rap goes, Bada$$ flies past his kush-flaunting, id-driven peers. The difference? Whereas other ’90s aping hip hop artists use the decade as a platform for simple boasting, Bada$$ digs deeper, unearthing a degree of social consciousness not seen since the likes of Public Enemy or The Roots, back when The Roots were still a hungry act without a residency on Jimmy Fallon.
While Tyler, the Creator daydreams about stabbing “Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus,” and A$AP Rocky prides himself on the ability to “fuck the bitch you’re next to,” Bada$$ emerges as an angry warrior out for blood. With a middle finger toward the president and a short temper for “students falling victim to the institution,” it becomes increasingly clear that Bada$$ is no ordinary 17 year old. When was the last time you heard a rapper name-check King Arthur?