On June 12, Joey Bada$$ will release his second full-length mixtape, Summer Knights. The tape’s name derives from the Chuck Strangers-produced intro from Joey's 2012 debut offering 1999, which introduced the world to the Brooklyn MC and left many flabbergasted by the maturity and depth behind his rhymes. Having only 17 years of life experience at the time, it was amazing to hear the complex and conscious content of his songs, which drew in fans to his intricate wordplay and charismatic boom bap rap. Joey swung by the XXL office yesterday (June 4th) to discuss Summer Knights and made one thing abundantly clear: his excitement.

Human beings are creatures of comfort, tending to be at peak happiness when at a familiar place. That place for the Pro Era spitta is the summer. Summer a special time for Joey and his Pro Era crew: it’s when their dreams came to fruition. And for the 2013 XXL Freshman, it was only right to package that passion into a full-length project before the release of his debut album. XXL sat down with him to discuss the significance of summer, his favorite songs from the project, who’s featured on it, and the cinematic cover art.  —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)