Back when I was just a tiny bit younger than Joey Bada$$, it would blow my mind when someone like newly minted major-label artists Bad Religion would show up on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. And now we’re living in an era when a young unsigned cult rapper can show up on the same stage, in the same televised timeslot, with that show’s house band backing him up. This is like 1993 Big L rapping with the Max Weinberg Seven. BTW Joey Bada$$ isn’t Big L’s equal any more than Jimmy Fallon is early Conan’s, but you get what I’m saying here. Below, watch the Roots, back in their boom-bap sweet spot, backing up Joey Bada$$ on “Waves,” a floater of a track from his great 1999 mixtape.
1999 is still up for free download here. Where in the hell did Fallon get a vinyl copy of it?