Summer Knights

Brooklyn's own Joey Bada$$ emerged as a Flatbush folk-hero since stomping onto the scene last year, and his latest mixtape maintains the nostalgic boom-bap that defines his Beast Coast brand. But Nineties NY hip-hop was about oversized personalities and intricate stories, and Joey lacks both. "Cats used to yawn on his raps, now look at him, shit ain't been the same since them niggas started booking him" Joey boasts on "Sit N Prey," and it's half true – the shows are getting bigger, but his flows still limp across sleepy loops patched together by his Pro Era chums and classicists like Alchemist and Statik Selectah. "Death of YOLO" and "Word Is Bond" show promise, but the tape feels like little more than background music for blunt sessions.

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