Mixtape Review | Joey Bada$$ – 1999

This tape was originally released on June 12th in 2012, but it was recently re-released on Apple Music, which is why I’m finally checking it out. Joey Bada$$ occupies a spot in the list of my favorite rappers. His latest project was in my list of the top 3 Hip Hop albums of 2017, and I really liked his other mixtape, Summer Knights. I already know I’m gonna like this shit. The chances of me being disappointed by this project are lower than Florida.

Summer Knights produced by Chuck Strangers
Waves produced by Freddie Joachim
FromdaTombs featuring Chuck Strangers produced by Chuck Strangers
Survival Tactics featuring Capital STEEZ produced by Vin Skully
Killuminati featuring Capital STEEZ produced by Knxwledge
Hardknock featuring CJ Fly produced by Lewis Parker
World Domination produced by MF DOOM
Pennyroyal produced by MF DOOM
Funky Ho’s produced by Lord Finesse
Daily Routine produced by Chuck Strangers
Snakes featuring T’nah Apex produced by J Dilla
Don’t Front featuring CJ Fly produced by Statik Selektah
Righteous Minds produced by Bruce Leekix
Where It’s At featuring Kirk Knight produced by J Dilla
Third Eye Shit featuring Capital STEEZ, CJ Fly, Chuck Strangers, Dyemond Lewis, Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight, Rokamouth, T’nah Apex & Dessy Hinds produced by Chuck Strangers

The first song is a really good intro. The production is super smooth, and the short verse from Joey was pretty great. It’s a really short track, but there’s not really anything I can complain about.

He a child but they treat him like a bigger man
‘Cause when the pen in his hand, they big ’em up like he Jigga man

That’s probably my favorite line in the song. It’s dope af.


Waves is fucking awesome. The production is nice & breezy, and the way this motherfucker’s rapping is fucking mesmerizing to listen to. The rhymes just keep coming, and his flow is smoother than butter.

I’m hopeful that me spittin it soulful
Will have me in the Daily Postal, flying coastal, eatin tofu
Like I told you, I know niggas who trash rappin
Worried ’bout the trendin fashions rather than ascendin’ passion
They want me send ’em tracks, but I just send ’em laughter
Right after I start laughin’, they start askin, “What happened?”

He makes it look easy. This motherfucker was only 17 when this song came out too. Honestly, this kinda talent makes me feel bad about myself. I have to ask myself why I’m a depressed loner who spends 90% of his time laying in bed, wallowing in sadness, and why I’m not a talented young poet like Joey. The song itself is fantastic though. It’s another track that’s dope af.

By the time I finished listening to FromdaTomb$, I knew this was gonna be another one of those projects for which I have trouble choosing a favorite song. I love the way the beat switched up and got darker during the first verse from Joey, and the scratches from Statik Selektah sound fucking awesome. The feature from Chuck Strangers wasn’t bad, but I’ll always prefer him as a producer. The song is dope.

Survival Tactics is one of the more aggressive tracks. I love the production, and both of the MCs performing on this track absolutely slaughtered their verses. It’s one of the most popular singles from the mixtape, and for good reason. It’s dope af. The production on Killuminati is really interesting. Once again, Joey & Steelo rapped their asses off.

The beat on Hardknock is really smooth. Joey fucking killed that first verse. The ketchup & mustard lines were really cool. CJ Fly’s verse was pretty great too. Joey really slaughtered that third verse though. He fucking snapped. The music video is nothing special, but the song is dope af. The beat from MF DOOM on World Domination is fantastic, and, once again, Joey Badass rapped his ass off. I’m pretty sure the hook is a reference to Open Mic by Eminem, which appeared on Infinite. The song has a pretty simplistic structure. There’s only one verse. It’s dope af though. It contains lines that ended up being sampled by Ab-Soul on The Tree of Life. Pennyroyal cuts deep. It’s one of the most relatable songs on the mixtape in my opinion. I love the beat from DOOM, which originally appeared on one of his Special Herbs instrumental projects. It’s dope af. Same goes for the following song. I love the jazzy beat from Lord Finesse, and Joey killed it. He’s rapping about Padlock Jones’ favorite pastime: not lovin’ these hoes. I have no problems with the song. It’s fuckin’ great. The beat on Daily Routine is fantastic. It kinda reminds me of Bittersweet by Mann. I feel like I’m pretty much praising every single song on this tape. It’s really that good to me though. The fact that Joey was rapping like this at the age of 17 is amazing to me. The beat on Snakes is pretty jazzy. The first verse from Joey is fucking awesome, and T’nah Apex did a really good job with the hook. She kinda reminds me of Lauryn Hill to be honest. Don’t Front is definitely one of the best songs on the tape. That beat from Statik Selektah is awesome, and I love the record scratches at the end of the song. CJ Fly had a great feature too. The beat on Righteous Minds kind of reminds me of Electric Relaxation by A Tribe Called Quest. It’s got a similar rhythm. It’s yet another phenomenal song. This is one of the most consistent projects I’ve heard in a long ass time. Where It’$ At is more downtempo than most of the other tracks. It didn’t really impress me as much as the other songs, but it’s still really enjoyable. It’s dope. Suspect is obviously the most exciting song on the project. It features the entire Progressive Era group. It’s inspired by Suspect by Nas, off of It Was Written. The jazzy production is fucking awesome. It’s an epic 11.75 minute long onslaught of bars over a super smooth beat. Every single one of these artists can rap really well. To me the best verse belongs to Joey. You could argue for STEEZ & CJ Fly though. It’s an awesome way to end the tape.

This mixtape is amazing. It’s definitely one of the best mixtapes I’ve ever heard. I’m still amazed by the fact that this motherfucker was only 17 when this project came out. This reminds me of old school Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip. I love the jazzy boom bap production, and Joey was rapping his ass off. This shit is dope af.

Favorite Song: Survival Tactics
Least Favorite Song: Summer Knights


Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this mixtape



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