In a wave of young bombastic, staccato rappers, Joey Bada$$ emerged with an entirely different game plan. Seemingly incubated with the music of A Tribe Called Quest, the Pharcyde, and Souls of Mischief swirling around him in the womb, Bada$$ in turn gave birth to a solo debut that flawlessly preserved the dizzy, lackadaisical sounds of '90s hip-hop.

Despite the fact that this sonic era preceded his very existence, Bada$$ paid it homage with a meandering fluid flow, and jazzy, hard snare-driven beats over bass lines as smooth as molasses.

Having cut his teeth on prior mixtapes with his Pro Era crew (The Secc$ Tape, and the late Capital STEEZ's AmeriKKKan Korruption), Bada$$ sounded practiced, cohesive, and slathered in a patina of the glimmering "Golden Era" '90s hip hop. 1999 doesn't just present itself as a one-off throwback, it promises to become the catalyst of a new movement, brimful of possibilities. —Alysa Lechner