Joey Bada$$ at the Pageant: "There's One Thing I Don't Love About St. Louis, and That's the Fucking Police"
RIP Capital STEEZ.
The Pro Era set began with Joey flowing by himself. He struck a good balance between rapping and crowd-friendliness, playing songs from both 1999 and Summer Knights. The second half involved more of his Pro Era cohorts, mainly the two big staples Kirk Knight and CJ Fly, who rapped a couple of their solo tracks. Also on stage were Chuck Strangers, Kwon, A La $ole and Dessy Hinds, among others. CJ's style was similar to Joey's while Kirk had a distinctly different style, marked by a much fatter, booming bass. In total, their set was an hour long, featuring Joey on almost every track. The group closed with an homage to crew member Capital Steez, who passed away last December; and one of Joey's more popular tracks from 1999, "Survival Tactics".
While having a perhaps semi-questionably stylized name, Joey Bada$$ is probably one of the most distinctive emcees out there, his cadence and sampling choices evocative of '90s hip-hop. Though not a "conscious rapper," he manages to insert a fair amount of conscious raps between his Bonita Applebum, weed and money verses. Joey, though young, samples well known producers, from the likes of MF Doom, Dilla, Madlib, 9th Wonder, Knxwledge, Oddisee and more.
Joey expressed love for the city but added a caveat. "There's one thing I don't love about St. Louis, and that's the fucking police, man," he said, again referencing Monday night's run-in with the law.
"But that shit didn't happen in St. Louis," an onstage cohort interjected. "It happened in the suburbs."
Suburb or city, the sentiment remained the same. "Fuck the police!" Joey shouted again, before launching into another track.
By the looks of it, the show didn't sell out, though I did leave halfway into Ab-Soul. As I was leaving, I saw a few dumbass kids smoking a bowl in the neighboring car -- Smoker's Club indeed.
Continue to page three for note and the setlist.