Joey Bada$$ Earns First-Ever Plaque Despite “Devastated” Fans

Many longtime fans felt devastated that Joey would "go mainstream," but it's now his biggest single ever.
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When Joey Bada$$ released his "Devastated" single last May—produced by Adam Pallin, Kirk Knight and Powers Pleasant—some of the Pro Era leader's most hardcore fans flipped their shit.

While DJBooth writer Brent Bradley opted to highlight the overlooked brilliance of the single, countless others took to social media to vent their frustrations and sling criticism.

First, can we all agree that "Devastated" sounds absolutely nothing like anything Young Thug has ever recorded and released? Great, now we can move on.

Despite all the backlash and subsequent threats to walk away from social media, Joey—not his audience—got the last laugh. On Thursday, the RIAA announced that, as of January 6, "Devastated" had been certified Gold, marking the first certification of the Brooklyn emcee's six-year recording career.

Remarkably, the 21-year-old was able to earn his first plaque despite the fact "Devastated" never managed to crack the Billboard Hot 100. To date, the song has been streamed a total of 41 million times on Spotify, while the accompanying video is closing in on the 10 million view mark.

As Yoh explained earlier this week, rap fans need to understand that the underground to mainstream transition doesn't always spell doom. Thanks to the success of "Devastated," along with his guest starring role on USA drama Mr. Robot, Joey's fan base has grown considerably over the past year. As a result, when it comes time to release his new album, A.A.B.A., later this year, Joey should be in line for an increase in both sales and notoriety. 

"Fans are very fickle. They just want to keep you for themselves," said Joey in an interview on The Breakfast Club late last year.

Yes, fans can be fickle, they don't want to share their hidden gem with the rest of the world, but if a fan is really a fan and wants to see their favorite artist succeed beyond a few thousand downloads and 200-person venues, they must be willing to embrace artistic growth, the expansion of sound and style, and an artist's desire for a greater number of people to hear the end result of all their hard work.


By DJ Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.

Photo Credit: $ha