Artist: Joey Bada$$
Venue: Gramercy Theatre, New York
Date: April 20
It was a Brooklyn invasion at the Gramercy Theatre as Joey Bada$$’s Beast Coastal tour returned to New York for its closing night. Supported by fellow Flatbush residents the Underachievers and Flatbush Zombies, Bada$$ turned the sold-out 4-20 affair into something like a homecoming carnival, complete with water guns, flotation devices and plenty of blunts. Young fans of his throwback rhyme style and boom-bap beats are driving renewed interest in ’90s-era New York hip-hop and Bada$$ is leading the movement. The audience sang along to the Nas classic “New York State of Mind” and Bada$$’s “Unorthodox” with equal ease. Late in the show, the 18-year-old rapper paused to marvel at the unlikely journey that led to this moment–from recording a mixtape after school last year to becoming a tour headliner in 2013. He also gave special thanks to his proud mother in the balcony: “Say hi to Mama Bada$$,” he said.