Joey Badass

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Joey Badass
Joey Bada$$ 11.jpg
Joey Badass in 2013
Background information
Birth name Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott
Born (1995-01-20) January 20, 1995 (age 23)
Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, actor
Years active 2010–present
Associated acts

Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott (born January 20, 1995),[2] better known by his stage name Joey Badass (stylized as Joey Bada$$), is an American hip hop recording artist and actor. Raised in Bed-Stuy, a neighbourhood of Brooklyn in New York City, he is a co-founder of the hip-hop collective Pro Era, with whom he has released three mixtapes. Badass released his debut mixtape, 1999, in June 2012 to critical acclaim and recognition, followed by Rejex in September, and Summer Knights on July 1, 2013. His debut studio album, B4.DA.$$, was released January 20, 2015.

Early life

Jo-Vaughn Scott was born on January 20, 1995, and was the first of his immediate Caribbean family to be born in the United States.[3] His family originated from the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean on his mother's side.[4] He is Jamaican on his father's side.[5] He was born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He was raised in Bed-Stuy and attended the Edward R. Murrow High School.[6] He originally enrolled at Edward R. Murrow to study acting, but transitioned towards music around the time of 9th grade, with a focus on rapping.[7]

He started rapping under the name "JayOhVee", but eventually changed it to Joey Badass. He says that the name change is due to the media's focus on rappers with more cynical names. Badass said it was "what sounded cool at the time, what fit [his] mood".[8] Badass claims to have first started writing poetry and songs at the age of 11.[8][9] He formed the collective known as Progressive Era, or Pro Era for short, in high school with classmates Capital Steez, CJ Fly and Powers Pleasant.[8][10][11][12]

Musical career

2010–12: Signing to Cinematic Music

In October 2010, Badass uploaded a video of himself freestyling to video-sharing website YouTube. The video was re-posted on to American hip hop site World Star Hip Hop and caught the attention of Jonny Shipes, the president of Cinematic Music Group and manager of Big K.R.I.T. & Smoke DZA. Shipes contacted Badass through Twitter and shortly became his manager. The Pro Era collective have since signed with the label.[8][9]

In early 2012, Badass and Capital Steez released a video for "Survival Tactics" via their YouTube channel "PROfckingERA", which samples the 2000 Fold song of the same name by Styles of Beyond. In February 2012, Pro Era released their debut mixtape entitled The Seccs Tape.[13] On March 21, 2012, MTV News featured Badass's verse from the video during a RapFix Live segment and subsequently appeared as a featured guest on Sucker Free the following month. The song was succeeded with the video premiere of "Hardknock" featuring CJ Fly on MTV2.[14][15][16]

2012: 1999 and rise in popularity

Joey Badass performing in June 2012.

On June 12, 2012 Badass released his debut solo mixtape 1999. A video for the song "Waves" was released in June 2012. The mixtape immediately increased Badass's popularity in the underground scene.[17][18] The mixtape was named the 38th best album of 2012 by Complex Magazine[19] and the best mixtape of 2012 by[20] On September 6 of the same year, he released another mixtape titled Rejex, which featured all the tracks that did not make it on the 1999 mixtape.[21]

Subsequently, American rapper Mac Miller reached out to Badass through Twitter to collaborate. Badass appeared on the song "America" and opened for Miller at the Roseland Ballroom in April 2012.[8] Along with headliner Juicy J, Badass and Pro Era performed on The Smoker's Club's One Hazy Summer Tour, presented by Ecko Unltd. and The 30-date tour began in July 2012.[22] He was featured on the posse cut track "1 Train" off ASAP Rocky's album Long.Live.ASAP (2013) which also features Action Bronson, Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, Big K.R.I.T., and Danny Brown.

In December 2012 it was rumored that Badass would be signing to Jay-Z's Roc Nation record label.[23][24] However, in January 2013, Badass dispelled the rumors saying he would rather stay independent than sign to a major label for the time being.[25] On December 21, 2012, Pro Era released the P.E.E.P: The aPROcalypse mixtape.[26] On December 24, 2012, it was announced that Capital STEEZ, a close friend of Badass's and member of Pro Era, had died due to a suspected suicide.[27]

2013: Summer Knights

Joey Badass performing in July 2013.

On November 9, 2012, Badass released a track with Ab-Soul produced by Lee Bannon called "Enter the Void" along with "Waves". These songs were his first official releases to retail. On January 14, 2013 Badass released the first single off his second mixtape, Summer Knights, "Unorthodox", which is produced by DJ Premier.[28] On February 8, he released a music video featuring Big K.R.I.T. and Smoke DZA titled "Underground Airplay". "Underground Airplay" was featured on the Eckō Unltd. mixtape. On March 5, 2013 he released the music video for "Unorthodox".[29] On March 21, 2013, he begun the Beast Coast concert tour with Pro Era, The Underachievers and Flatbush Zombies. On March 26, 2013, it was announced that Badass would be a part of XXL Magazine's 2013 Freshman Class.[30]

On April 21, it was announced that Badass would appear alongside his Pro Era crew as an opening act on Wiz Khalifa & ASAP Rocky's 2013 summer "Under The Influence Tour."[31] Other opening acts include B.o.B & Trinidad James.

On May 22, 2013 Badass announced the official release date of his next solo project, Summer Knights EP, as June 12, release to mark the 1 year anniversary of his breakthrough mixtape, 1999. On May 28, 2013, Badass announced Summer Knights would no longer be an EP, but rather a full-length mixtape. Production was handled by The Alchemist, MF Doom, Oddisee, Statik Selektah, Lee Bannon, Chuck Strangers and Kirk Knight, among others.[32][33] However, on the announced release date, Bada$$ revealed on Twitter that the mixtape was pushed back until July 1, 2013.[34]

On October 15, 2013, it was revealed that Badass would release his first commercial project on October 29, 2013 via Cinematic Music Group, Relentless Records and RED Distribution. The project was a seven track EP, the Summer Knights EP. It featured four songs from the mixtape of the same name, and three new songs including a remix.[35] Upon release, the EP debuted at number 48 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[36]

2014–present: B4.DA.$$ and World Domination Tour

Joey Badass's debut studio album, B4.DA.$$, was released on January 20, 2015. On August 4, 2014, he released his first single from his debut album titled "Big Dusty" with the music video coming out 8 days later.[37] On September 30, he premiered the second single from the album titled "Christ Conscious" on MTV Jams.[38] The third single from the album entitled "No. 99" was released on December 9.[39] On December 23, the fourth single, "Curry Chicken" was released.[40] On January 13 appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Badass performed the song, "Like Me", along with BJ The Chicago Kid, The Roots, and Statik Selektah.[41] Currently, he is now on the World Domination Tour with Mick Jenkins, Bishop Nehru, Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight, CJ Fly, and Denzel Curry, which runs through December 2015.

On September 3, 2015, Badass released a collaborative single with Korean hip-hop group Epik High's Tablo and producer Code Kunst called "Hood".[42] On October 6, 2015, he collaborated with UK indie rock band Glass Animals, releasing a single titled "Lose Control". [43]

On March 4, 2016, Badass will make his acting debut in the second season of the TV series Mr. Robot where he was cast in the recurring role of Leon who is a close friend of Elliot from the neighborhood.[44]


In an interview with XXL, Badass stated that he was influenced by Nas, Tupac Shakur, Black Thought, MF DOOM, J Dilla, Andre 3000, Jay-Z, and Notorious B.I.G..[45][46] He has also been compared to Nas "during his Illmatic" era.[46]

Personal life

In January 2015, Badass was arrested and charged with assault for allegedly breaking a security guard's nose[47] before performing at the Falls Festival in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.[48]



Year Title Role Notes
2016 Mr. Robot Leon Recurring

Awards and nominations

BET Hip Hop Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
2013 Joey Bada$$ Rookie of the Year[49] Nominated


  1. New Music. "Joey Bada$$ - New Music". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-02-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Joey Bada$$ Talks New Album, Performs With Pro Era: Video". Billboard. 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2013-08-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Freyman, Falyn (2013-11-19). "Joey Badass Talks Debut Album B4.Da.$$: "Just Taking My Time, Not Forcing Anything"". Retrieved 2014-02-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Joey Bada$$ "Gone Home" Video Diary". Complex. 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2014-02-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Big Dusty" lyrics by Joey Bada$$
  6. "Joey Bada$$ — Who Is Pro Era?". Complex. Retrieved 2014-02-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Bakare, Lanre (2015-01-29). "Joey Bada$$: 'They call me a Marxist and anti-white gangster rapper – they don't know anything'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Isenberg, Daniel Who Is Joey Badass? Complex Mag, 05/12
  9. 9.0 9.1 Gillespie, Blake Joey Badass Impose Magazine, 6/11/12
  10. Markman, Rob Joey Badass 1999 MTV, 4/3/12
  11. Joey Badass Urban Outfitters, retrieved 9/26/12
  12. Badami, Anthony Joey Badass Interview Magazine, retrieved 9/26/12
  13. The Seccs Tape The Smokers Club, 2/14/12
  14. Dukes, Rahman Hard Knock Video MTV, 5/27/12
  15. Markman, Rob RapFix Live MTV, 3/26/12
  16. Isenberg, Daniel Joey Badass Sucker Free Complex Mag, 5/2/12
  17. Caramanica, Jon New Releases New York Times, 7/29/12
  18. Zeichner, Naomi Waves Video The Fader, 6/2/12
  19. "38. Joey Bada$$, 1999 — The 50 Best Albums of 2012". Complex. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "HipHopDX's Top 10 Mixtapes Of 2012 | Discussing Lil' Wayne, Drake & Many More Hip Hop Artists". HipHop DX. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Music". The Pro Era. Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Horowitz, J, Steven One Hazy Summer Tour, 7/13/12
  23. "Joey Bada$$ Heading Over to Roc Nation?". Vibe. 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. illseed (@illseed) (2013-01-07). "Hip-Hop Rumors: Did Jay-Z Sign Joey Bada$$ To Roc Nation?". Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "The Source". The Source. Retrieved 5 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  27. Jacobs, Allen (2012-12-24). "Capital Steez Reportedly Dead At Age 19, Joey Bada$$ Reacts | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Joey Bada$$ And DJ Premier Link Up On 'Unorthodox'". 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Video Premiere: Joey Bada$$, 'Unorthodox'". 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "XXL Freshman Class 2013 Cover Revealed - Page 2 of 2 - XXL". 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Wiz Khalifa Reveals 'Under The Influence Tour 2013' Lineup, Dates - XXL". 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-08-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Joey Bada$$ Talks 'Summer Knights' Mixtape And His Next Steps - Page 6 of 7 - XXL". 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-08-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Here's The Tracklist To Joey Badass' 'Summer Knights' - XXL". 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-08-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Twitter / joeyBADASS_: Summer Knights pushed back". Retrieved 2013-08-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY) (2013-10-15). "Joey Bada$$ To Release "Summer Knights" EP". Retrieved 2014-02-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "WebCite query result". Retrieved 5 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "Joey Bada$$". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 5 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. "Stream Joey Bada$$' "Christ Conscious"". Complex. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "Joey Bada$$ - "Curry Chicken"". STEREOGUM.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  44. Elizabeth Wagmeister (March 4, 2016). "'Mr. Robot' Promotes Two to Series Regulars, Adds Guest Stars for Season 2". Variety.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  46. 46.0 46.1
  48. "Joey Bada$$: US rapper charged with punching Falls Festival security guard". ABC Online. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  49. "Who New? Rookie of the Year | Hip Hop Awards | Shows". BET. 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2014-02-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links