With Joey Bada$$'s unnamed new album arriving at some point this year, he's building anticipation with a fresh single called "Head High."
Over a chill beat crafted by NYC's Statik Selektah, Joey leans into the boom-bap and introspective sound that made him so popular while also speaking on the first time he met XXXTentacion.
Joey opens his second verse reminiscing on a trip he took to Florida in March 2018 a "couple weeks" before his only daughter Indigo Rain was born.
He says he had to go visit X at his home because he was on house arrest and that X offered to let him stay at his place. Though Joey declined, X's generosity left a good impression on him.
"He offered me his place to stay, 'Thank you, but I decline' / First impression in my mind, "Now that's a stand-up n***a' / Someone I could call a friend of mine and that's tough, n***a," Joey raps.
The two then recorded their timeless collab track "infinity (888)," which would appear on X's second album '?' later that year.
In an interview with Montreality, Joey said he felt a "competitive nature" with X that he hadn't felt since 2012 when his creative partner and mentor Capital Steez passed away. They even found the beat for "infinity (888)" on YouTube.
Joey continued, "He was a special artist because he had so much range, to me that’s what makes an artist special, like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, X." Kendrick himself co-signed X and his debut album '17' back in 2017, tweeting a link to the project and encouraging his fans to listen.
In fact, Joey is applying this same kind of range to his own music with spirited songs like "The Rev3nge," which was a hit with some fans but a miss with others.
He told Angela Yee that he would've "regretted" not dropping the single, as people would've criticized him for not expanding beyond his signature (and beloved) '90s hip-hop style.