This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Hip-hop has long been a young man’s sport, but gaining the respect of the OGs remains a valuable rite of passage on the ascent to the top. For Joey Bada$$, that’s never seemed like much of a struggle. Although only 19 years of age, the Brooklyn MC has quickly earned favor from numerous legends, collaborating with DJ Premier before he was old enough to vote, and slated to work with Pete Rock on his upcoming debut album, B4.DA.$$.

While triple entendre album titles and the ability to bounce over boom bap beats is enough to get the Golden Era greats buzzing, the Pro Era frontman better represents a new generation of retro-rooted but forward thinking MCs. We caught up with Jozif Badmon to discuss the artists and albums that got him into hip-hop, the relationship between sound and personal style, and, of course, kicks. Read on to hear what he had to say.

Nice Kicks: Beginning with sneakers, what was the pair that started it all for you?

Joey Bada$$: Probably the “Citrus” 7s. I had those when I was in like 6th or 7th grade and I loved them. My mom bought them for me. It was like a going to school, all-purpose shoe.

photo via Kixsclusive

Nice Kicks: What are some of the kicks that you’re still looking for?

Joey Bada$$: I wanna get those Nike Air Bakins. I’ve never had a pair of them and I’ve always loved them. The “Carmine” 6s are dope and the “Gamma” 12s are dope. There’s a lot of dope stuff out right now.

Nice Kicks: Among the Beast Coast clique, Pro Era, The Underachivers and the Flatbush Zombies are all pretty heavy into sneakers. Who has the best kick game in the Beast Coast?

Joey Bada$$: We all fly as hell. I know for a fact it ain’t me! [Laughs] It’s probably Dash or Meech…yeah, either Issa (Gold) or Meech. Erik (Arc Elliott)’s kicks are hard. Beast Coast kicks are just fire, but I’m definitely not number one.

Nice Kicks: From the start, Pro Era has been really active in merch and gear. What role do you play in that?

Joey Bada$$: I play a pretty huge role. In the designing, I like to really take my designs serious. I just try to make it in the best way possible. As a clothing brand and as a music brand, I try to keep the symmetry in line, you know? As far as the designs go, I just keep it funky.

Nice Kicks: How does your style reflect your sound?

Joey Bada$$: My swank. [Laughs] Once you have swank or something like swagger, whatever word you’d like to use for your fashion sense, I think it does contribute a role to your sound. You got this person, then you have this image of how he walks, how he looks and how he sounds. Those three aspects go into your attitude. Having those things hand-in-hand definitely affect your attitude.

Related Posts

Leave a comment