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Joey Bada$$ 

When: Wed., June 17, 7 p.m. 2015
Price: $22.50, $25
Five years ago, Joey Bada$$ was a high school student in Brooklyn plotting the creation of his homespun hip-hop collective Pre Era. Like countless other aspirant emcees, he uploaded a video of himself freestyling to YouTube, which led to a career-making management deal. Following a spate of high-profile mixtapes, Joey Bada$$’s debut studio album, B4.DA.$$, appeared earlier this year on his twentieth birthday, featuring production credits by the likes of icons such as DJ Premiere and the late J Dilla. His flow — choppy, trenchant, and hardened by emphasizing what feels like every other consonant — gets foregrounded by the functional beats and subtle samples, all of which inflect each track with understated melodic content. It’s a proven formula for bringing attention to a lyricist’s wordplay, and though perhaps the rapper appearing on Wednesday at The Regency Ballroom (1300 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco) excels more as a vocal stylist, B4.DA.$$ contains enough sharp urban sociology to warrant styling himself as a rap golden age revivalist.
— Sam Lefebvre

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