Joey B has come a long way from his days as a Skillionaire to his current position as the patriarch of the new wave. He is indeed the leader of the new school. Joey B has mastered the art of subtlety influencing a new wave of artists with both his music and fashion sense.
One thing I find interesting yet curious about Joey B is this: he does not seek to impress anyone except himself- and of course, his fans. He has this attitude of doing things at his own pace. He does not allow the pressure to get to him. He releases music as he wants and promote it when he wants. Joey B is like the hermit who comes out to feel the sunshine once in a while.
Year’s before his hit song “Tonga”, Joey B was the brilliant rapper who was like the ‘middle child’ during his years with the Skillions: a talented rapper who was overshadowed by Lil Shaker and BraKevin Beatz. He did not set out to be humorous. Joey B delivered rap lines that were, borderline amusing.
The disbandment of the Skillions New Generation meant he had to go indie and fend for himself, literally speaking. That he did, and soon found himself as a guest on other people’s records. One of the artists who recruited Joey B as a guest artist was Edem (then Ayigbe Edem) on “Kate”, off his 2011 album “Mass Production”.
“Kate” was a song about love and infidelity. Edem, who rapped all his two verses in unadulterated Ewe language, described how he was taken for granted by Kate, his lover over a delightful Hammer (Last 2) beat that would banish any spirit of wackiness in a rapper.
After the opening verse from Edem had ended, Joey B appeared right after the hook. The heavy drum, kicks and glorious horns had subdued, like they were bowing to welcome him. “Edem wait”, his first words ignited the ferocity of the drums- a sort of jubilation.
Joey B’s remarkable showing was expressed in two folds: first was the manner in which he rendered his brotherly advice cum friendly shoulder to Edem. His voice was warm, relaxed and nonjudgmental. The rhymes, mostly at the end of each bar was impeccable constructed.
The receipts Joey B pulled on Kate – about her philandering ways, untrustworthy attitude and lots more – would leave Inspector Bediako highly impressed.
“The whole tin be say/ Kate be some meat wey the boys for the hood don’t eat”, he began his disclosure. These lines were attention grabbing at most. Few rhymes down the verse, he pulled both the cloak of criticism and empathy:
“But edey pain say you fit date Kate/ Wey you never know say she be snake/ All the same/ Sorry for the late update”.
Aware of the poisonous nature of heartbreaks- considering it would drive one to act foolish, Joey B dropped a caution to Edem:
“Charley wait/ You for nor dey retaliate /You for no dey associate your body with ein mate/ You for create some space make she feel very disgraced”.
Although the concept of the song was fictional, hearing Joey’s verse would leave you thinking he was rapping from the standpoint of relatability – either directly or otherwise.
If we are to rank the guest verses by Joey B, “Kate” would undoubtedly be top 2. His delivery was polished, the rhymes had direction, he exhibited his sense of humour, and also, a trait of empathy towards a heartbroken brother. Al this was delivered in 30 seconds. There was nothing to dislike about this verse. It was perfect.
Listen to the song below:
photos used from Joey B’s twitter page