My Story by Joey Bada$$
I went to Edward R. Murrow High School, that’s where Pro Era was definitely started. Straight outta Murrow! I remember I had a friend in middle school, I used to rap and he used to sing. When the choice for high school started coming up, he was like, “Yo, I wanna do football.” I was like, Alright word, I think I’m about to do this acting shit. That’s what I went to high school for. So when I got to Murrow for acting, that’s where I met fucking Dyme-A-Duzin, I met Nyck Caution, Dyemond Lewis, CJ and STEEZ. We was all as much rappers as we are now but hearing the width that niggas was spittin,’ I was a Freshmen, niggas used to be cipherin’ in the park—people like STEEZ and Dymez. So that’s who I started hanging out with and looking up to them and shit, chillin’ with them. I always knew Kirk Knight, he ain’t go to Murrow but I always knew him and he was always like trying to produce for me and shit, like in our early stages. We used to rap in the classroom in middle school and shit, we used to do this shit on the table. One day I told him, ‘Yo Donald, there’s this program called FX Studio—download that shit and make me beats and we gon’ put out this music,” and then from there he just been making beats. And now we’re here.
So, seeing Kendrick make it, seeing J. Cole make it—I been listening to their whole come up—literally, J. Cole The Come Up and shit— I just been listening from then and to [come from] just listening to an artist that’s on rise like them, I feel like I absorbed that all into my subconscious and that’s kinda how it came together in such synch, in my case. I observe a lot.
I’m just mad happy to be here. I definitely worked hard for this. It’s just crazy how ideas manifest and things like that. ’Cause watching [the cover] last year and how things all played out—watching it for like three years and just keeping up with that shit—I was like, Yo next year is my year, it’s gonna be perfect. 2012, that’ll be too early, ya know? But next year is my year for sure. So, it’s definitely a whole exhilarating experience and process. Just the building and development [that went behind this happening] and how everything rises—it’s crazy. It’s crazy to be a part of and [to be] doing it. I’m always in my mind planning ‘bout what’s the next move —everything exists in the mind first.
It’s crazy because some people tell me, “You’re doing this and you’re my age and shit.” This shit is planned, man. And even people who I’m younger than, especially people I’m younger than, “I can’t believe you’re younger than me.” And I’m the one who’s actually making it. I feel great. When I first heard this sound, this specific thing, I don’t know what it is like I just be calling it hip-hop. People puttin’ mad categories on it and shit. I just be calling it hip-hop. It’s certainly shit out there now that they should put categories on it not called hip-hop like fucking singing rap. So going back, to me, it’s always been like, even when I first started spittin’ and shit, it was always talks about what I wanted to do. It would always be, to be the best in the craft no matter what. I never looked at competition from people my age. I looked at the game. What the game was, who I was competing with—you’re competing with the whole game. There are no age groups or shit like that, that’s how I used to look at life. At my age, just to be singled out, just to surpass that shit and be ready for reality when it hits. I’m learning as I go.
Like sometimes, I get so caught up in saying, “I’m doing this New York shit, this New York shit,” but damn like, sometimes I really think about it and it’s like, I’m [really] doing it for Brooklyn. That’s hard. That’s crazy hard. Where I grew up, just going back, it’s like damn this is Brooklyn. I grew up in this hood. I grew up around the corner from Marcy projects. I feel like there’s some key points in Brooklyn or whatever that hold some type of energy vibe, but I was just like always walking into that shit, just absorbing like a sponge.
I’m excited about the future, because I feel like, now [with this cover] ya’ll made that shit clear. It’s also dope that Ab-Soul and Q both got on it, now that y’all made that clear, [you] gotta prepare. I think [we’ll] have a Pro Era cover [soon], because next year I feel like there’s going to be at least two Pros on here for sure. This is the jump, this is me kicking down the door for real. Pros, we in this bitch.
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