Joey Bada$$
“Word is Bond”

Joey Bada$$ is set to release his Summer Knights LP on June 12, just around the time the kiddies are fresh out of school and a year after dropping 1999, one of 2012’s most buzzed-about mixtapes. A lot’s changed since then: the 18-year-old Brooklyn rapper has rubbed elbows with the likes of A$AP Rocky, Raekwon, and Smoke DZA; caught the interest of Roc Nation; and was earned the title of XXL Freshman. With all the laurels piling up, you might expect Bada$$ to get a bit cocky — but, thankfully, refreshingly, “Word is Bond” skips all the pretenses. The Statik Selektah-produced track screams “summer stoop jam,” bristling with breezy piano samples and gritty scratches. From a production standpoint, Bada$$’s music has always tended towards early-90s nostalgia, but his rapping on this cut is anything but dated: he hotfoots around like only a New Yorker can, slipping in and out of double-time as he weaves together references to tetrahedrons, Charles Dickens, and former Gotham governor George Pataki. So much for a lazy summer vacation.

• Joey Bada$$:

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.