Given Name: Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott
Aliases: JayOhvee, OG $wank Lord
Occupations: Rapper, Producer
Early Life: Growing up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, Bada$$ was the first of his West Indian family to be born in the states. He enrolled in Edward R. Murrow highschool to pursue acting, but switched his focus to rapping around the age of 14. At 15, he uploaded a freestyle video to YouTube, which was reposted to World Star Hip Hop and caught the attention of Jonny Shipes, manager of Big K.R.I.T. and Smoke DZA. In 2010, he and his Pro Era drew were signed to Shipes' label, Cinematic Music Group.
Releases: The Secc$ Tap.e, collaborative mixtape, May 2012; 1999, mixtape, June 2012; Rejex, mixtape, September 2012; PEEP: The aPROcalypse, collaborative mixtape, December 2012; Summer Knights, mixtape, July 2013, Summer Knights, EP, October 2013; The Secc$ Tap.e 2, collaborative mixtape, February 2014.
Career Highlights: Signed to Cinematic Music Group at age 15. In February 2012, Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ released the "Survival Tactics" video, which got over four million views and a bunch of attention from hip-hop publications. Released 1999 in May 2012; it was nominated for "Best Mixtape" at that year's BET Awards and saw placement on many year end lists. Got his first credits as a producer on STEEZ's 2012 mixtape Amerikkkan Korruption. In January 2013, he was featured on the song "1 Train" on A$AP Rocky's debut album. Made XXL's Freshman Class of 2013. His debut commercial release, the Summer Knights EP, was released in October 2013 and debuted at number 48 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Sound: Like many of his Pro Era peers, Bada$$ early music was comprised mostly of samples, copping tracks from J Dilla, MF DOOM, Styles of Beyond and others. Since then, he's collaborated with big-name producers such as DJ Premier, Statik Selektah an The Alchemist, all of whose sounds reflect Bada$$ '90s vibe. Clearly a fan of jazzy, chilled-out sounds, Bada$$ also recently delved into reggae with his single "My Yout," which saw him reconnecting with his Caribbean heritage.
Strengths: Since his first freestyle hit the web, Bada$$ draw has always been his precocious lyricism. It's one thing to be a well-known, teenaged rapper, but Bada$$ brainy bars prove that his age isn't the main reason he's a big deal. Even when the subject matter's less than highbrow, like on the recent "Pantie Raid Pt. 2" (below), Bada$$ still finds a way to incorporate lines like "expand your ocular." Some have criticized his reliance on a Golden Age sound, with Bada$$ himself saying that critics often "pigeonhole me into this '90s era box," but his recent attempts to expand his sound have proved just how versatile he really is.
What's Next: In April 2103, Bada$$ announced that his debut album, B4.Da.$$, would be released early in 2014. We haven't gotten any moe confirmation on that, but we do know he's been in the studio with DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Q-Tip working on that project.