Joey Bada$$ has spent the past six years making music and expanding his global fanbase. But as the Brooklyn native explained in an interview with The Breakfast Club on Friday, music has always been the gateway to bigger and better opportunities.
"I always looked at it like, if I pursue music and became successful, I could use it as leverage in the future for acting. And here I am."
The "here I am" that Bada$$ is referring to is his recurring role on the hit USA Network series Mr. Robot, a casting that Yoh believes proves that Joey is ready to become the next big crossover star in hip-hop.
Badass, 21, seems poised to take full advantage of the new opportunities that are in front of him, but he also knows that breaking out from hip-hop's underground and into Hollywood could have an adverse effect on his fanbase.
"Fans are very fickle. They just want to keep you for themselves," Joey explained to co-host Charlamagne Tha God. "At a point in life, I was one of those type of fans. Like, 'Yo, I knew about this artist first. Naw, everybody finding out about them? Yeah, I don't care about them anymore.'"
Joey's right. The allure of discovering an artist when they're independent, not on the national radar, the radio or TV is enchanting. But once that artist becomes well-known, even if they continue to make the exact same type of music, a sliver of the mystique that initially attracted fans begins to fade.
Luckily for Joey, this type of behavior is natural, and it happens to every artist and performer, both inside and out of hip-hop. So long as he remains focused on producing quality over quantity, and his more radio-friendly single "Devastated" fits that description, his career trajectory will continue to point upwards.