By Rob Markman
Things began to take shape after the teenage Brooklyn MC dropped the video for “Survival Tactics,” a militant-themed thumper that recycled a 1998 beat from Styles of Beyond and featured Joey’s buddy Capital STEEZ. The video landed on “RapFix Live,” where Joey squared-off with Odd Future in a friendly back-and-forth joke session back in March.
In June, JB dropped his debut mixtape 1999, which caught the ears of progressive rap fans. From there, he earned himself a spot on The Smoker’s Club Tour alongside the likes of Juicy J, Smoke DZA, Fat Trel and Chevy Woods. On August 22, it was announced that Cinematic Music, the independent label that Joey is signed to, inked a distribution deal with Sony RED and now he is finally inducted into MTV Jams’ Fab 5 class of 2012.
Conceived on MTV Jams in 2005, the Fab 5 is a collection of the year’s most outstanding new hip-hop artists who have made an impact on everything from touring to releasing their debut albums. Fab 5 alumni include Juelz Santana, Young Jeezy, Drake, Big Sean and Meek Mill. This year, MTV Jams, MTV News and “Sucker Free” will bring you 2012’s hottest hip-hop upstarts, and A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, Machine Gun Kelly, Chief Keef and Joey Bada$$ are among the brightest.
These days Joey doesn’t have to look back, though his interests stretch far beyond rap. Last year the emerging star was a junior at Brooklyn’s Edward R. Murrow high school, if hip-hop didn’t pan out; he figured he’d try his hand at forensics. “That’s what I was really into before I started really doing the music thing,” he said. “I always got to the bottom of stuff, so I thought I would be a good forensic scientist.”
Looks like CSI just lost a good one.