Joey Bada$$

Joey Bada$$

Boogie, Buddy, Chuck Strangers

Wed May 2

7:00 pm

The Van Buren

Phoenix, AZ

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Joey Bada$$
Joey Bada$$
As a youngster, Brooklyn MC Joey BadA$$ was baffled by Nas' 1994 classic Illmatic. The iconic album cover featured a childhood photo of the then 20-year-old God's Son. "I seen him as a kid and I thought he was a kid rapping, I was just confused," Joey told Mixtape Daily. After all, how can a kid that young deliver such impactful and insightful records like "Life's a Bitch" and "The World Is Yours"?

Somewhere along the way, Joey's initial confusion must have led to some sort of inspiration, because at 17 years old, he has already delivered a single that seems to surpass the subject matter of other spitters in his age bracket. The militant-minded "Survival Tactics," borrows its instrumental from the 1998 Styles of Beyond song of the same name.
Few hip-hop artists command a space as purposefully anomalous as Long Beach-born, Compton-bred Anthony
Dixson, whose stage name, Boogie, foreshadows his intrinsic talent for writing music that is rooted in realities
that are simultaneously melancholy and joyfully uplifting. Oscillating between a soundscape underpinned by
ardent praise rhythms and the gritty memories of a youth spent immersed in gangbanging, Boogie’s brand of rap
is as much a credo of the streets as it is a constant reflection on purpose and growth.
For Boogie, the path to artistry actually did begin within the sequestered walls of a Compton church. In eighth
grade after a string of minor incidents at school, his mother - who raised him within a close-knit circle of aunts -
began to worry that her son was getting into the kind of trouble that could negatively impact his future. Under
her firm guidance Boogie was soon an active member of the church choir where his natural affinity for melody
blossomed. Ironically, it was also within church he was introduced to gangbanging by a friend with Blood
affiliations. After only a year in the choir, the neophyte musician had gone from writing his first rhymes on pen
and paper to memorizing lyrics and creating melodies in his head. “I have really bad eyes and I broke my
glasses in ninth grade so I couldn’t see anything for a minute. I just started doing everything in my head,” he
explained. “I started off doing little gospel raps but I realized we were in Compton and gospel rap didn’t really
work outside of church so I transitioned into more mainstream rap. Music became a form of expression for me.
I’m not a very talkative person so it became my getaway, it was a place I could talk about what I was going
through,” Boogie noted.
The rapper’s first mixtape, Thirst 48, released June 24, 2014 on his son’s birthday, provides an honest chronicle
of some of the very struggles that punctuated his rise. Yet five years before Boogie poured his story into the
tape’s lyrics, the birth of his son Darius in 2009 prompted him to take music more seriously. In 2010, he
enrolled in Long Beach City College to take courses in recording, he also used his financial aid money to buy
studio equipment. Despite taking the steps to ensure a better future for his family, Boogie soon found himself
back at square one. “For a long time it felt like nothing was working for me. I dropped out of school and starting
working at Samsung. Those were really dark days for me but towards the end of 2014 I met my former manager,
Clayton Blahla. He was the first person to take a chance on me and invest in my talent.” Blahla was also the co-
founder of Skrillex’s OWSLA label. With his encouragement Boogie re-acquainted himself with the studio,
pouring his experiences into Thirst 48 and promptly following up with his breakthrough mixtape, The Reach,
(also released on his son’s birthday). The latter spawned the Jahlil Beats produced single “Oh My,” whose viral
success cemented the rapper as one of the most refreshingly honest new voices emerging from the West Coast.
Boogie credits the birth of his son as the turning point that helped him refine the raw, unfiltered lyricism that has
garnered the praise of artists like Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, who signed him to Shady Records in
October 2017. “Around the time my son was born I started to be more open about my circumstances. Before that
my flow was more concentrated on punchline rap rather than telling a story,” he shared. Embracing his natural
ability to manifest vivid narratives informed by real life experiences was the calling card that brought an
Interscope record deal to his doorstep in 2015.
With his star on a speedy trajectory upward, Boogie shared his debut studio album, Everything’s For Sale with
the world to massive critical acclaim January 25th 2019. Inspired by the natural progression of life and his
complicated relationship with the streets - something he neither glorifies nor dishonors - the project serves to be
his most introspective effort yet.
Chuck Strangers
Chuck Strangers
Venue Information:
The Van Buren
401 W. Van Buren St.
Phoenix, AZ, 85003