Album Review: Joey Bada$$ – Rejex

09/23/2012

A few months ago, a fresh young face from the depths of Brooklyn broke into the hip hop scene proclaiming himself as Joey BADA$$. Now after releasing his debut mixtape 1999 to critical acclaim at only 16, Bada$$ returns with a compilation filled of outtakes and unreleased tracks, appropriately titled Rejex.

In an audible tableau, Rejex perfectly captures the growth of Badass as an artist. While still young and finding his niche, the Brooklyn emcee maneuvers through the tracks toying with the essence of experimentation. With a slick delivery flowing from his teenage recollections, Bada$$ laces each track with his usual polished ease–fluid and raw. His flow is reminiscent of the classic New York styles with direct influences from legends such as AZ to new era West Coast emcee Blu. Through his multisyballic approach and frequent stop-go delivery, the light of the East Coast golden era shines in the young emcee, paving the way for the potential to join the ranks of legends. Potential being the keyword.

While solid in its own right for each individual track, Rejex as a whole plays more as a demo than an official release. Though inconsistent as a complete mixtape, it’s only expected. With tracks dating the span of years, rather than the cinematic appeal of 1999, Rejex instead seems like an old photo album. Each song becomes almost a proving ground for the artist, laying the sketch for what eventually would become the young emcee’s masterpiece on 1999.

Regardless, even though it may not be close to a sequel, the release definitely becomes an interesting behind the scenes preview. With the compilation furthering his own buzz, if Bada$$ continues down the path of flawless progression, the future has its place set for an icon.

Joey Bada$$ – “Catharsis” (Prod. Madlib)

Joey Bada$$ – “Induitable” (Prod. Lord Fineses)