New York Hip Hop 1

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Here is some relatively new hip hop coming out of New York that I’ve been listening to pretty heavily since late last year. I loaded a bunch of mixtapes into my iTunes (Mostly New York stuff that I will be going through in this and the next parts of the Great New New York Hip Hop series).

I do a lot of listening each day when I walk to the studio. This is Canada and a 25 minute walk outside can be excruciating, so I wear big ear muff style headphones to keep warm. Coupled with the warm sonics of some great New York Hip Hop pumping through my headphones, walks to the studio have been blissful, surreal and utterly euphoric.

First up is Joey Bada$$. Download his Free Mixtape 1999.

1999 cover-350x350

Released in the summer of 2012, 1999 is Joey Bada$$’s debut solo mixtape. The mixtape was named the 38th best album of 2012 by Complex Magazine and the best mixtape of 2012 by

Joey Bada$$ is a Brooklyn based rapper and producer. He is only 18 years old. How is he this good?

Read the Pitchfork review.
Watch Anthony Fantano’s video review.

Joey Bada$$ is also part of an awesome New York crew Pro Era (short for Progressive Era). Joey and his Pro Era crew are part of the New York Beast Coast collective (which includes an association with A$AP Mob). Get free mixtape Peep The Aprocalypse.


The progressive Era’s members are Joey Bada$$, Capital Steez, CJ Fly, Chuck Strangers, Kirk Knight, see the full roster. Tragically Capital Steez passed away in Decemeber 2012.

The thing about Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew is that they are obsessive (almost fanatical) about the so called Golden Age of New York hip hop which supposedly ended in the year 1999 (hence the title of Joey’s mixtape). The Boom Bap Era is their religion and they have made an art of invoking its aesthetic and vibe. And they do so with a masterful touch. Their lyricism is great as well and often commented on by music journalists.

Their whole sound, while definitely throw back, some how comes off as fresh. I love these two mixtapes. I’ve had enough time to sit with these recordings and I’m finding the more I listen, the more I like.

Stereogum had this to say about Pro Era’s Peep The Aprocalypse:

Pro Era released their new mixtape PEEP The aPROcaplypse, which features a ton of appearances from both Capital Steez and Joey Bada$$, as well as all their friends going in over crackling, warm boom-bap beats with levels of virtuosity that seem unlikely.

Have you heard these mixtapes? What did you think?

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