In an interview with Genius on the subject of Black History Month, Joey listed off a number of individuals who have influenced his music, including 2Pac. “I believe I am one of the minds that Pac said would spark to change the world,” he says in the above video. “I’m probably not the one that is going to change the world; probably the one after me. It’s a part of me wanting to have their messages travel further, because their messages resonate with me. I know there is a lot of people out there that resonate with me, who don’t necessarily resonate with them."
Unprompted, he then asserts his belief that Pac couldn't go toe-to-toe with him in the rhymes department. "I already know I’m a better rapper than 2Pac is," he says. "That’s just facts. One on one battle, I’ll flame Pac.”
It's an interesting claim. On the one hand, it shows Joey Badass is as confident as ever, which should get listeners amped for his upcoming project. On the other hand, older rap fans may take the boast as him downplaying Pac's career. For what it's worth, Pac is still considered one of the greatest MCs of all time 20 years later, and that's not even including the sales and non-music accolades he achieved in a short career.
Joey took to Twitter after the video and his comments spread, and clarified he was only talking about pure rap skills and none of Pac's extracurricular exploits. "I was refering to rap skill. Bar for bar. Not accolades or influence," he wrote. "And I back myself 1000 times." You can read his tweets below.
When I said I was better than PAC (my favorite rapper of all time) I was refering to rap skill. Bar for bar. Not accolades or influence.— BADMON (@joeyBADASS) March 1, 2017
And I back myself 1000 times to that fact... media like twisting up the words but that's I meant when I said it for all you butt hurt bozos— BADMON (@joeyBADASS) March 1, 2017
Being said that I'll leave any further addressing to the #BadassDefenseSquad— BADMON (@joeyBADASS) March 1, 201