Back when a teenaged Joey Bada$$ first emerged as a burgeoning force in rap, his music reflected a worshipful attitude toward NYC hip-hop’s old guard. The prevailing wisdom was that Bada$$ was a ’90s revivalist meticulously attempting to replicate the sound and substance of the boom-bap era. Five years later, 22-year-old Joey’s sound no longer hews so closely to the Illmatic template anymore, and in an interview yesterday — on the eve of his new album All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ — he expressed his frustration about what he sees as stagnation at New York rap radio stations.
Not coincidentally, the venue for this interview was a New York rap radio station. Addressing Ebro Darden’s morning show on Hot 97, Bada$$ said New York stations have not evolved along with New York rap and they need an infusion of younger employees who will bring a different perspective to the airwaves:
New York radio… we need the new, young Ebro. We need the new, young Funk Flex. We need the new Peter Rosenberg, man. Y’all holding they seats, man. Let them at least grow. Let them grow under y’all, man. Let them grow under y’all, cause y’all keeping this shit a certain way, and New York radio, in my opinion, hasn’t really grown too much in the last couple of years. It’s stayed the same. Everybody else is beating us out now. You got Atlanta killing it, L.A. killing it. You know why? Because they got young people involved, and they getting the inner cities involved. They supporting their hometown artists on some other shit. Not just supporting their hometown mainstream artists. They’re supporting their hometown artists, undeniably, no matter what.
Bada$$ also said DJs like Funkmaster Flex are way behind the internet in terms of new music discovery:
No disrespect to Flex, but Flex don’t really know the shit until it’s already poppin’ on the internet. Like shit been poppin’ for months — and not even talking about Flex; radio in general — shit been poppin’ for months, and radio don’t know about it until five, six months later. And then y’all wanna jump on it and play it.
Darden responded that radio stations wait to see which internet-famous artists actually have staying power, but his co-host Peter Rosenberg agreed with Bada$$ to an extent, noting that Hot 97 didn’t start playing D.R.A.M. and Lil Yachty’s “Broccoli” until it had already gone platinum. Darden retorted that he didn’t want to play “Broccoli” because “that shit’s fuckin’ trash” — which more or less proves Joey’s point.
Watch the full interview via XXL below, where you can also check out a Spotify stream of the new album.