Joey Badass made his name with multisyllabic, throwback rhymes over ’90s rap instrumentals, so it’s only right that he utilizes one in a new freestyle for Funkmaster Flex. Stopping by the Hot 97 studio to promote his upcoming album, 2000, Joey taps into the classic rap vein that first got him so much attention over the beat from Mobb Deep’s 1995 track “Give Up the Goods (Just Step).”
“I’m back, I’m better than I ever been,” he boasts. “I took five years off, still somehow I’m relevant.”
Of course, he’s referring to the fact that his last full-length album, All-Amerikkan Badass, dropped in 2017. Since then, he has focused mainly on building his acting resume, taking roles in shows such as Mr. Robot, Grown-ish, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, and Power Book III: Raising Kanan. His most notable role to date, though, was his starring turn in the Netflix short film Two Distant Strangers, which won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
However, also in 2020, he dipped his toe back into rap, releasing the three-track EP, The Light Pack, featuring on Russ’ Chomp 2 in 2021, and kicking off 2022 with “The Revenge” and an appearance on A Colors Show to debut “Head High.” On Wednesday this week, he announced the release date for 2000 as well as the tour dates.
Watch Joey Badass’ Funk Flex freestyle above.