Mixtape Review-Necessary Evil: The Preface by Yung Joey
However you feel about the trap and drill section of the rap universe when you see a mixtape with production credits that include Southside, 808 Mafia, Metro Boomin, Mike Will Made It and features from LL Cool J and Dej Loaf…you have to take notice. Instead of putting out another long and arduous 19 track mixtape where all the production sounds the same (common in the trap/drill world) Yung Joey gives us a project that is equal parts lean and mean.
The combination of the massive ugly thump that well done Trap production provides and the slick Jamaica Queens delivery of Joey creates a different vibe. His reference points are different (see: out of nowhere Silence of The Lambs mention on What Up) and he’s not married to the vocal meter Trap usually necessitates. His slick NY goon talk is always visceral and hostile matching the production perfectly, but he doesn’t need to shout to be scary.
While some of the beats kind of sound like bass avalanches others are smokey and soaring. Big Dawg is produced by Southside, 808 Mafia and Metro Boomin’ which is like having the three producers of the strongest coffee brew a batch together. Not only is the bass overwhelming but it has hisses whirs and pops going in the background that are positively fascinating. Joey raps fast when the time is right and slows down, elongating his swears, when the time is right.
The promising part of Necessary Evil is that its best parts are merely teasers. You can’t begrudge a mixtape for leading you into the album and ReRock ,in particular, is quite effective at this. The version here is one minute and thirty seconds long but I’m certain the full song is saved somewhere safe for the official release. It’s too nasty and gorgeous to just hand out as some sort of interlude. Doe Pesci makes it spooky and thumping while Joey whips drugs like he’s whipping up grits. Doe does four of the ten total tracks and really does have the best ear for what Joey hopes to achieve. A window into the present day and future that incorporates the fun and street sensibilities of trap while staying true to all the complex contradictory elements of a NY rap personality. Road To Riches sounds like it could be on a Mobb Deep album if Doe hadn’t tweaked it fifteen degrees into trap territory.
So Joey can pull off classic NY sound enough to make LL Cool J comfortable and fresh on I Can Tell You (thank you The Audible Doctor). He sings the chorus and doesn’t try to overextend his voice. Joey works his strengths and lays a mean verse into the proceedings. Lyrically he doesn’t change the world on Necessary Evil but he does enough to keep your eyes wide open and your ears attentive. When he says “So much pressure to be great the sh## be stressin’ me, my cousin F’d the game I told him keep it wet for me…” on the song High it sends a tremor of surprise through you. He just knows those push button phrases and where to sprinkle them, how to take advantage of the spotlight they draw to convey what he wants to say. I was guilty of not paying enough attention to Joey before this but if he can step up with this many people behind him and win like this…I need to do my homework. Add another page to the book of people on the move.
Stream or download Necessary Evil: The Preface below: