Nearly two years after Prince’s death at the age of 57, Joey Bada$$ offers up a tribute to the Purple One on Triple J’s “Like a Version.”
Backed by a live band and backup singers, Jozif Badmon performed “When Thugs Cry,” a rousing take on Prince and the Revolution’s “When Doves Cry” from 1984’s Purple Rain.
“Maybe I’m just like my brother,” he sings on the remix. “He’s never satisfied / Why do we shoot at each other? / This is what it sounds like when thugs cry.”
Joey isn’t the first rapper to flip Prince’s classic. The somber song has been sampled, remixed, and/or covered by a slew of artists, including Tupac Shakur, Ginuwine, Joe Budden, Bizzy Bone, and The Game.
As part of the same Triple J performance, Joey also performed one of his own tracks. Taking the stage with the band behind him again, the Pro Era MC rocked out to “Temptation” from his 2017 album ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$.
Joey also unleashed “King to a God” with Dessy Hinds. The boom-bap track offers dramatic samples and guitar licks, for Jozif’s punchline-heavy bars and a reference to MF DOOM. “I sell rhymes like dimes and leave MFs doomed,” he raps. “Since my first tunes, I’ve been raising hell from the tomb.”