Joey Badass Says He, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole Are the 'Best MCs'

The Pro Era rapper made the bold claim in the Diddy-assisted "The Baddest," the opening track from Joey's newly released studio album, '2000.'

Joey Badass says he's among the best MCs

Image via Getty/Paras Griffin

Joey Badass says he's among the best MCs

Joey Badass has declared himself among the world’s best rappers, alongside his previous collaborators Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole.

The Pro Era made the bold claim in the Diddy-assisted “The Baddest,” the opening track of his newly released album, 2000.

“N***as know who greater, fuck your favorite, I’m the greatest,” he spits in the first verse. “… I paved the way for a lot of these rappers you see today/So act like you know, bitch, I’ve been had the flow, penetrating souls/Who the best emcees? Kenny, Joey, and Cole/The holy trinity, it’s that nine-fives in affinity.”

As many listeners noted, the line was an apparent reference to Jay-Z’ s 1997 track “Where I’m From,” in which Hov questions which three NYC legend reigns supreme: “Who’s the best MCs, Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas?”

Joey and Kendrick were both featured on ASAP Rocky’s “1 Train” produced by Hit-Boy. Years later, he would connect with Lamar on “Legendary” off his sophomore studio album, ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$. Joey spoke about the latter collaboration during a 2017 interview with Ebro Darden.

“Cole already told me he was getting me my verse,” Joey said. “And literally, he told me like, ‘Joe you are the only person I got on my feature list. I ain’t doing no more features. Only your feature is the one that’s important to me.’ Literally, the day before 4 Your Eyez Only came out, he sent the verse back.” 

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2000 is the sequel to Joey’s 2012 debut mixtape, 1999. The project features production by Mike Will Made-It, Erick the Architect, Statik Selektah, and more, as well as guest appearances by Westside Gunn, Larry June, Chris Brown, and JID.

“I could take 5 years off cuz my shit is timeless,” Joey wrote following the release. “My core got my back so I’m standing on my promise ✨ 2000 out now!”

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