Joey Bad@$$’ “1999-2000” Denver tour stop full of energy, nostalgia, and more

Daniel Paiz

Joey Bad@$$’ “1999-2000” Denver tour stop full of energy, nostalgia, and more on this balmy Friday night. The Brooklyn emcee and flagbearer for Pro Era has honed his craft over the past ten years. Tonight’s performance shows he knows how to move the crowd, cool them off, and get ’em excited just in time for the ending of the night.

The 27-year-old rapper and actor regaled the audience with a chronological trip through his discography, with a nice payoff at the end. There was an opener listed for the night, but I must have missed them, instead arriving to Mission Ballroom playing various rappers for the house music. The headliner’s set was quite efficient, as he played for around 80 minutes, but played a lot of stuff.

From 1999 to 2000

1999 is Bad@$$’ 2012 release, and Joey came correct by starting the night off with “Survival Tactics”. A nice little flair added was Capital Steez’s verse (RIP!) played in its entirety, with a large screen being used to show clips from a music video including Steez. The Pro Era member clearly has made a lifelong impact on Bad@$$, who gives him props whenever he can.

What’s fascinating for me is, tributes of that nature can sometimes bring the energy of a show down or slow down the momentum. That wasn’t the case here, as the reverse happened; it fueled the crowd on. Add a few songs from Summer Knights and All-Amerikkkan Bad@$$ to the mix, and things just clicked along musically.

Bad@$$ has also learned the subtle skill of taking short breaks to talk to the crowd, which is something that is truly underrated. That chance to slow things down, have an intimate moment with 3,300 of your closest friends, and reflect on what’s been accomplished so far; that really felt like something not done as much since concerts returned from the pandemic.

Standout moments

In addition to the Capital Steez moment mentioned above, there were four particular songs that felt like highlights of the night in action. All-Amerikkkan Bad@$$ might have some of my favorite Joey tracks, and “For My People” and “Devastated” both struck chords with the fans. If you’ve heard “For My People” multiple times, you likely might recall the chorus. For those of you brand new to the track, here’s a cheat code for the next time you hear the song:

This for my people, tryna stay alive and just stay peaceful

So hard to survive a world so lethal

Who will take a stand and be our hero, of my people, yeah?

This for my people

Tryna stay alive and just stay peaceful

So hard to survive a world so lethal

Who will take a stand and be our hero?

-Joey Bad@$$, “For My People”

Definitely been awhile since I felt that cohesion between the crowd and the stage. Joey did it again with the encore song of the night, “Devastated”. That track is likely this rapper’s biggest track to date, and while it’s hard to know every song an artist does, this is easily his most recognizable.

Prior to “Devastated”, Bad@$$ revealed a few singles from his upcoming album 2000, set to release July 22, 2022. “Zipcodes” just came out today as the album’s first single, and Joey made Denver the first place the song has been publicly performed live. The other track ID I did not catch, but it was also a jam.

Final Verdict

It’s a bit surreal, seeing someone you started following in undergrad having a ten-year anniversary tour. Bad@$$ had his album come out the same year Cypher Sessions was born, so in a way it feels like this site has grown up with Joey’s career. This live show puts him near the top of my Hip-Hop list for must-see rappers. Let’s hope the upcoming 2000 album adds to his storied career.

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