1999 is the debut mixtape from Joey Bada$$, a 17-year-old from Flatbush, Brooklyn who'll be a senior at Edward R. Murrow High School next year (on "FromdaTOmb" he raps fuck trigonometry!). Over sturdy, saxophone-and-keys backbeats by DOOM and J Dilla, Bada$$ packs his syllables tightly, his voice husky with bus exhaust. 1999 is a showcase for Bada$$' talent, as well as the talent of his collaborators Capital STEEZ and Chuck Strangers, and it's also insistently tranquil, capturing the perfectly breezy part of city summer evenings that falls between dinner and ice cream. In April, while working on 1999, he told MTV he'd set a high bar for himself, saying, "I'm just stressing myself out trying to do something amazing." It's unlikely he'll take the summer off, but hopefully he'll get to spend at least a couple lazy days on his stoop, jamming out to music he loves.
Download: Joey Bada$$, 1999