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Joey Bada$$ Lights Up HUB Lawn For SPA’s Nittany Block Party

After a two straight years of successful hip-hop acts, Kyle in 2017 and Dej Loaf in 2016, SPA really brought out the big guns this year with Joey Bada$$ gracing the stage on the HUB lawn for the eighth annual Nittany Block Party.

ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ star got his start in the underground NYC rap scene as apart of the Pro Era collective, teaming up with friends CJ Fly and the late Capital Steez. He soon burst onto the scene with his sole mixtape 1999 to critical success. Only being 17, Bada$$ had plenty of time to follow up 1999 with his second mixtape 2013’s Summer Knights before his debut studio album B4.Da.$$ hit the airwaves in 2015.

Bada$$ certainly made the crowd wait, coming on almost twenty minutes after his scheduled 8:30 p.m. appearance. The crowd grew restless, leading to chants of “We want Joey!” and “Fuck Ohio!”

But when he finally arrived on stage, Joey Bada$$ came out swinging. The electric trifecta of “Christ Conscious,” “Paper Trails,” and “Big Dusty” made an impression immediately. All three of those tracks proved to be absolute jams. Each time he asked for a response, the crowd answered and Joey Bada$$ was clearly impressed.

“Penn State I fuck with y’all,” he said. “I really really fuck with y’all.”

He even told the story of how he ended up playing at Penn State in the first place, even though the star wanted a break from touring to finish his new album, he couldn’t pass up a chance to play in Happy Valley.

“Oh no, we gotta go here. This is a very special show,” he said.

After some of his more recent hits, Joey Bada$$ dug into the older half of his catalog, pulling out classics like “Survival Tactics” and “Waves.” He made a shoutout to his late friend and fellow Pro Era member Capital Steez before “Survival Tactics,” a song that the Brooklyn hip-hop artist features on. He asked the crowd to hold up two fingers in his memory, having a peaceful moment in the middle of a wild concert.

Joey Bada$$ also shouted out another late rapper, this time XXXTentacion. Taking a break from his own catalog, the star of the show let his DJ play the Soundcloud star’s hit “Look At Me!” for a bit, with the crowd going wild.

After playing some more snippets from his most recent albums, the “Temptation” artist decided to end the night with a energetic rendition of “Pull Up,” a track that he features on from producer Powers Pleasant, a fellow member of Pro Era. But he decided to appeal to the Penn State crowd, dedicating “this one to ‘Fuck Ohio.'”

After another round of thanks you’s to the crowd, Joey Bada$$ finished up the final track as he wished the crowd a safe night.

“Let’s make this one a motherfucking moment right here. I love every single one of you,” he said.

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About the Author

Matt Paolizzi

Since graduating from Penn State in 2021, Matt is (hopefully) manning a successful job and (hopefully) living a happy life by now. In a past life, he was a writer for Onward State and remains a proud alumnus of the best student publication in the country. Check out Podward State too, Onward State's official podcast, that he co-founded alongside Matt Ogden and Mitch Stewart in 2019. It's his baby, give it a wave and make sure it's doing okay. Thanks to da king Sam Brungo and everyone who follows, it most definitely is.

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