August 31, 2015 by museofmanymasks
Despite the recent influx of crossovers from the K-music sphere to America’s, specifically CL and Keith Ape, my personal spheres have not at all. So imagine my surprise when I read that rising talent Joey Bada$$ was collaborating with Tablo? After an initial anouncement all my internal buzz of question and speculation was not, to my frustration, mirrored on this side of the blogosphere, so I figured hey, maybe it’ll just pass. Then came the confirmation that this is an actual thing. Well then.
Now don’t misunderstand. I have nothing against Tablo. It could’ve been worse, it could’ve been Illionaire. Honestly, I’m more surprised that Joey Bada$$ has that much visibility. (Yay him!) So this might come as a surprise to you on this side of the internet, but I’m more familiar with the latter’s music than Tablo’s. I’m more familiar with Tablo’s present popularity as a tv personality rather than as a rapper. I’ve heard some of Epik High’s work here and there and a few of his solos, but I was never grabbed enough to really explore his work as I usually do when I claim an artist as one I like.
Given that background, maybe you can understand my surprise a little better when you consider that Tablo is mainstream. Some mainstream Korean hip-hop can be gimmicky, presented on other’s perception of the genre and stereotypes rather than any genuineness (as in the realness of that particular performer, not some remote vague conception of “real hip-hop” I’m sure you probably hear a lot). I don’t know enough to say Epik High and Tablo are not guilty of that offense, but I realized that my worry stemmed from any expectations of him from whoever’s running this to conform to that type (YG anyone?).
They have very different styles, so that’s another thing that I wonder at. Was this collaboration chosen at random? Did they draw from a hat? The most common response I read was who is Joey Bada$$? This won’t be “It G Ma” 2.0; hope they know that.
Anyway, for everyone who doesn’t know who Joey Bada$$ is, let me learn ya (Note: bias ahead, these MY favorites):
From his 2012 mixtape 1999:
Steez kills it here. RIP
You see I’m wise beyond my years and my peers
So my voice over the snares is the only way they hear
From his new album B4.DA.$$: (It was really hard to choose three!)
They ain’t tryna’ see me in the battle
The lines is too narrow
They couldn’t even outshine my shadow
They don’t want the beef nigga, let alone the cattle
They just wanna ride the saddle; so sad though
What do you think? Good idea or nah?