If you’re a true hip hop fan, Joey Bada$$ is one of the up-and-coming rappers you really have to listen to. His recently released album, B4.DA.$$, is a masterwork of 90s nostalgia and poetical lyrics.

Well, Bada$$ recently had an interview with Hot 97, and there were a number of insightful things we loved about it.

1. A product of 90s hip hop


Joey Bada$$ was born in 1995 and was brought up listening to hip hop. As such, he is mainly influenced by 1990s hip hop, when the genre was in its golden age (unlike many of his peers who prefer 2000s hip hop, when the genre was on the decline).

This shows that his parents are pretty damn cool. Not many moms would actively encourage their sons to pursue life as a rapper, especially when they are still living under her roof.

There’s always the chance that they might follow the darker side of hip hop. However, with songs like “Curry Chicken”, we know the 20-year-old isn’t in any danger of that.

2. Hip hop is making a revival


In 2006, Nas said that hip hop is dead, and he had a point. Real hip hop was virtually non-existent, and it had given way to something silly and thoughtless (I’m looking at you, crunk).

Good music has something to say; it makes you think. Hip hop just wasn’t doing that at the time. Anyway, the genre has started to make a comeback over the last two or three years.

Artistes like Kendrick Lamar and J Cole are making hip hop respectable again, and Joey Bada$$ is joining that list. He doesn’t mind making a “pop track” (a rap song popular and catchy enough to break into the Top 40s), but he won’t compromise his style just to make a hit.

Lots of hip hop hits over the past decade or so have been brainless, catchy songs meant to appeal to the masses via lyrics that don’t really say anything meaningful. This, thankfully, has started to change.

3. We learned about the problem with hip hop today


Even though hip hop has been the biggest music genre for a while, it still has some significant issues. For one, major networks, both TV and radio, have been spoon-feeding the masses silly music (like Bobby Shmurda) until this kind of music has become the norm.

You know, like Anaconda. This is at the expense of truly good music like Kendrick Lamar, which is nowadays avoided by most people. Another issue is that when it comes to accolades like the Grammys, the hip hop community doesn’t participate.

Lots of artistes who can register to vote choose not to, and those who are registered to vote don’t turn in their ballots. Because of this, undeserving, superficial rappers keep winning awards at the expense of artistes who actually put effort into making good music.

 Joey Bada$$ is blowing up big—even Malia Obama knows who he is—and he’s only going to get bigger. Hip hop is getting better, and Bada$$ is one of the driving forces.

Check out his interview here.