Joey Bada$$ has defended working with Chris Brown on “Welcome Back,” a track that appears on the Brooklyn rapper’s long-awaited new album 2000.
Joey’s latest album, 2000, features a collaboration with Chris Brown that has proven to be divisive among his fanbase. When he answered a fan who questioned why the singer appeared on the record, Joey’s response called him “one of the most talented musicians of all time” and he questioned whether his fans critical of the decision “were perfect” themselves. His response was downvoted over 1,500 times, and in a new interview with TMZ he’s expanded upon his thoughts on the minor backlash.
“Yeah, I mean… Like I said, I think Chris Brown is one of the best artists of this generation, of our times… Of all times, know what I mean?” he said when asked if he was “surprised” he was asked to defend his decision to work with the controversial pop star. “So, for me personally, it was an honor working with him. You know, I’ve been a fan of him as long as I can remember. Since I was a kid, you know, and… People make mistakes, and I’m not justifying anybody’s mistakes in any type of way, but… after a while there’s a growing opportunity for everybody.”
He added that he believes “everybody” deserves the chance to grow and move past their mistakes. “My fans can be fickle and like, you know, they have this idea… It’s actually a lot of respect, really,” he continued. “They got so much respect for me and they hold me in such a high regard that they want everything that I do to be super clean. They don’t want to feel like I aligned with something or someone who necessarily, I don’t know… I look at it as more of a reverence thing. They’re very sensitive over me, so it’s not a bad thing but I need them to understand that I have my own interest in favorites and things that I’m into as just a person.”
Further talking about the difference between him as a person and him as an artist, he stressed that this was a decision he made completely on his own. “There’s Joey Badass and then there’s Jo-Vaughn [his government name],” he explained. “Jo-Vaughn is a huge Chris Brown fan.”
Watch what Joey had to say above.