For Joey Bada$$, the show will go on Down Under despite an assault charge in Australia. Yesterday, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Brooklyn rapper had been charged for allegedly punching a security guard in the face just before a January 2 performance at an Australian music festival. He was freed on bail and now looks set to continue to his tour with Run the Jewels, through not only Australia but also the notoriously stringent New Zealand.
Bada$$, whose real name is Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, is set to open for the duo of Killer Mike and El-P in Melbourne on January 8, in Wellington, New Zealand on January 9 and in Auckland, New Zealand on January 10. A rep for New Zealand’s immigration agency told the Associated Press that Bada$$ still passes the country’s stringent “good character” guideline. Only a year ago, however, New Zealand officials forced Odd Future to cancel a scheduled festival appearance in Auckland due to what the government said was a risk to the public.
Bada$$ spent a night in jail after his arrest for allegedly breaking the security guard’s nose when asked for identification before taking the stage. His court hearing is set for March 19, but he reportedly won’t have to attend in person. The assault charge carries a possible sentence of up to five years in prison.
The rapper has pleaded not guilty, according to a rep, who told the AP in a statement, “Joey can confirm that there was a misunderstanding with security at the Byron Falls Festival show, which resulted in charges being laid.”
Bada$$ is set to release his debut album, B4.DA.$$, on January 20, which happens to be his 20th birthday. Whatever might happen in the international courts, the Pro Era crew have friends in high places: A photo circulating this week shows Malia Obama, the older daughter of President Barack Obama, wearing a T-shirt with the collective’s logo on it.
Listen to B4.DA.$$‘s “Chicken Curry” below, and scroll down for that Obama pic.
— #PROERA (@PROERA) January 5, 2015