During the earliest hours of Sunday morning, the 18-year-old rapper had the Wrongbar in Toronto packed to the brim during the North by Northeast festival, with seemingly every single inch of the bar filled up by fans anticipating the arrival of the rapper and his Pro Era crew.
Later that same day, as the sun started to descend on the final day of the NXNE festival, he once again had his venue fully packed with fans and other onlookers. The venue this time, however, was Yonge-Dundas square, with the crowd nearly stretching out into the street.
Before Joey Bada$$ took the stage, Boston DJ Statik Selektah, with the instrumental backing of 1999 intro track ‘Summer Knights,’ introduced Joey Bada$$ by proclaiming each night as “one of those summer nights.” After then comparing the rapper to fellow Brooklyn MCs The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z, Joey Bad$$ took the stage along with his fellow Pro Era rapper Kirk Knight, inciting uproarious cheers from the crowds.
The first song that Joey Bada$$ performed off his breakout mixtape 1999 was ‘Waves’, a track about aspiring to rise from his surroundings and become a rap star.
Other tracks performed from 1999 were ‘Snakes’, ‘Pennyroyal’, and ‘World Domination’.
He also performed new songs from his upcoming EP Summer Knights, including ‘Word is Bond’.
Near the end of the performances, Joey Bada$$ and the rest of the performers on stage paid tribute to the late Capital Steez by asking the crowd to put “two fingers in the air for Steez,” who committed suicide last year.
The tribute to Capital Steez also included performing a song from one of his solo projects, as well as performing ‘Survival Tactics’, a song from the 1999 mix-tape that features Steez.
The crowd exploded when the song was played, as they broke out into mosh pits, and rapped along to the verses of Joey Bada$$ and his late collaborator and friend.
By the time the song ended, and the crowd erupted into even more deafening cheers in both venues, it was clear just how far the young Joey Bada$$ has come in “trying to go global . . . trying to be a mogul.”