Joey Bada$$ is encouraging his fans to tell their #Devastated story.
The rapper penned a post on Facebook on Wednesday (June 22), detailing his own personal struggles before he decided to pursue a career in hip-hop:
“I remember being a young kid and going through my parents split when I was only 5 years old. My mom was forced to work two jobs to support the two of us and I often had a lot of alone time. I learned from an early age how to do things on my own. I think it really shaped me to be the person that I am today. You know, watching my mom battle a serious struggle, for me as a young child wasn’t anything I ever liked to see and I’m sure no child likes to see that. I used to come home from school and see eviction notices on our door. Sometimes they actually had our door locks changed on us so we couldn’t even get inside the house. “‘
Joey stated that he would then make it his mission to pay his mother back for her hard work by practicing music. “I started using my alone time as a benefit. You know, instead of being home alone all scared, I started using it as an opportunity to practice what I love to do. I was recording and writing music,” he wrote. “When I turned 15 years old, I began to love being home alone. I got a microphone that year for Christmas and I started to learn how to mix and record myself. It gave me the freedom to set up a microphone in my room and yell as much as I wanted into it, pouring my emotions right into the mic. From that point on, the rest is pretty much history. That whole process eventually turned into my debut mixtape- 1999.”
The mixtape was recorded in the space of his home in East Flatbush.
Since his first mixtape, Bada$$ has garnered numerous accolades in his rap career, from BET nominations, major national and world tours, in addition to being the highest selling independent rap debut of 2015.
Born Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, he was also “exposed to poets such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr Seuss (whom he calls a genius). He attended poetry slams and became interested in acting, which eventually led him to apply for a position at LaGuardia.
“I represent hip-hop in its form that you have to be very gifted with words on the microphone to be considered a f**king MC,” he told Guardian in 2015. “Just to even get that title is an honour. You have to be really on your sh*t. I was raised on a high standard. The people who were considered great in my household were people like Jay Z, Tupac and Nas. These are all great MCs who are very smart and that was always the level of what was considered great.”
The rapper encouraged his fans to share their #Devastated story and their own path to greatness, on joeybadass.com.