Joey Bada$$ revitalizes crowd at first Bandersnatch show

Up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ kicked off the first Bandersnatch show with support from Dizzy Wright in the Schine Underground on Tuesday March 5.

The headliner came and delivered with a splash, a splash of water that is.

Joey Bada$$ played the Schine Underground on Monday night for a sold-out crowd. The 18-year old Brooklyn native showed a stage presence and connection to fans that only comes with the experience of older artists.

Photo: Michael Lu
Las Vegas rapper Dizzy Wright opened the show for Joey Bada$$.

“He is hip-hop’s golden boy,” said junior Carter Sims. “Syracuse students don’t know how lucky they are to get this guy to come so early in his career.”

The concert was the first of the two-part Bandersnatch concert series, sponsored by programming board University Union. 

Before Joey Bada$$ took the stage, Las Vegas, Nev. rapper Dizzy Wright opened the show. After coming on stage 20 minutes late, he played a 25-minute set as the crowd was still settling to get their spots. Drawing on common hype tools to engage his audience, like getting the crowd to yell and put their arms in the air, were of no avail to Wright. Everyone in the room was waiting for Joey.

“Joey Bada$$ is, by far, the most hyped rap artist this year,” said ESF sophomore Ian Macks. “He might be one of the most refreshing rap artists in the game because of the things he raps about are so authentic.”

After sound check, Joey arrived on stage clad in a Syracuse bucket hat, speckled hoodie and faded watermelon colored Nike Dunk Highs. Joey surprised most of the crowd by exclaiming, “Let’s get Wavy” after his first song of the night. He then went on to sing one of his most popular songs among fans, “Waves.”

Joey was joined, most of the night, on stage with CJ Fly and with DJ Premier. Both played an integral part of Joey’s performance and gave him the proper complement of beats and lyrical balance to provide an exemplary show.

Showcasing his poise and hard-hitting deliverance of style, Joey would constantly have DJ Premier cut the beat early in order to emphasize an ending to a song or to engage in a long verse of freestyle. The style was much appreciated by a crowd that needed galvanizing from the artist.

“Did you see the crowd?” Sims asked. “The guy is on fire and you get the typical emotionless Syracuse crowd.”

The crowd was entertained when a couple of the members of his crew came on stage to join in a couple of songs, and to throw bottles of water to wake up the crowd.

A member of the label Pro-Era, Joey was known to be close to rapper Capital STEEZ, who committed suicide on Christmas Eve 2012. Half way through the show, Joey dedicated a song for his good friend: “This one is for my brother.”

Joey saved his best for last, singing “Survival Tactics," a song that featured STEEZ, with the rest of his crew dancing crazily behind. As the crowd jumped and screamed the lyrics to the song, Joey leapt into the crowd when the chorus hit, leading to a frenzy among the fans. Joey finished his set with a free verse of a Busta Rhymes song.

“That is how you finish a show,” Macks said. “This showed that vintage, unique sound that he has.”

Rock band Jukebox The Ghost will headline the second of the Bandersnatch shows on Tuesday March 19. Tickets are available at the Schine Box Office for $5 for students, faculty and staff. 



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