Release Date: July 1
Label: Cinematic Music Group
Last summer, damn near everybody and their mother fell head over heels in love with Joey Bada$$ and his 1999 mixtape. Now, one hectic year later, Joey has dropped his second full project, Summer Knights. According to Joey, his most recent tape "is like a playlist of my last two summers"—two summers that saw him go from being a high school kid to a budding hip-hop star: "I used to take walks around Little Italy/Now I roam around Sicily," he raps.
As his life has evolved, so has his music, combining the lyrical excellence of 1999 and with better beats. Why is Summer Knights a must-hear? For his younger audience of die-hard fans, it's a chance to feel like they are maturing with him, growing up and dealing with new shit. For those just catching on, it's a great mixtape that will remind older listeners of a different era. —Max Goldberg