The common template for rappers of late is to release a mixtape with a viral hit and get quickly snapped up by a major record label who make sure they are seen by everyone, but not necessarily heard by everyone. Joey Bada$$ makes sure you listen very closely to what he has to say, which was proved at his live performance at the 100 club in London.
In a very hot and sweaty 100 Club the crowd patiently waited for the appearance of Joey, but before he took the stage we were greeted by a performance from the ever rising Irish rapper Rejje Snow. Steadily growing in the last few years Rejje really took a huge step forward with his latest release 'Rejovich', but showed little signs of mirroring this successes to the stage. Playing both old and new material it was clear Rejje lacked no confidence, but the performance felt very disjointed. Whilst laid back throughout, there was zero charm or charisma to capture the audience's attention- almost bumbling through his lyrics. He had no connection with his DJ, almost like he had met him five minutes before the show, with many awkward silences between songs. There is no denying he is a talented rapper, with excellent wordplay and story telling but sadly this didn’t resonate to the live stage. However at the very end of his set there was one highlight. Fittingly titled 'Snow (My Rap Song)' this was the only time he felt like he was truly spitting with a personality and a vengeance.
It wasn’t long after that Joey took to the stage, and once he did mayhem ensued. Clearly growing in confidence since last visiting London, Joey was without his Pro Era affiliates but still captivated the whole of the crowd. Seeing since his last visit he has only released his third solo tape 'Summer Knights' and the Pro Era collaborative effort 'Peep the Apocalypse', its a credit to how strong his solo material is. With a lot of rappers relying on popular radio features to fill up their set time, Joey knew he had the presence to carry the show on his shoulders. And that he did with the whole of the crowd hanging onto the edge of each rhyme, preaching back his lyrics. Even when he did perform one of his rare features, his verse off '1 Train' everyone screamed back his lyrics. Songs such as 'Survival Tactics' and 'Waves' gained the biggest reaction. After fellow Pro Era member Kirk Knight took the stage we were then treated to a surprise performance from Maverick Sabre who joined Joey for the 'My Yout' remix. There are no signs of Joey slowing down and he once again proved this.
Words: Jacob Roy