Joey Cool

Midwest rapper Joey Cool perfected his style over the course of years spent in Kansas City clubs and underground circles before catching the attention of a wider audience. Fiercely independent, Cool released his own mixtapes and developed a confident, free-flowing style as the years went on. Eventually, his non-stop hustle led to connections with Tech N9ne and his Strange Music label. Multiple Strange Music artists collaborated with Joey before he was offered a deal with the label and they delivered his self-titled full-length in the summer of 2018. Born and raised in Kansas City, Joey Cool spent years rising to prominence in his local circles, releasing music and booking shows independently as he developed his style. Beginning in the early 2000s, Cool began approaching hip-hop more seriously, looking to both classic influences and local inspirations alike to inform his swaggering, hyperconfident delivery. As time went on his flow took a more syncopated, multisyllabic "chopper" style, taking cues from masters of the style like Tech N9ne. He worked both solo and with group 3 the Hard Way, issuing multiple volumes of his own music as well as collaborating with other rappers as the years went on. Standout releases and appearances in this early phase included his self-released 2014 mixtape Magnum Opus and cameos on tracks by Mac Lethal and JL B. Hood. Years of strong, steady output eventually drew the attention of bigger name rappers. In 2015, Ces Cru included Cool on a track from their Recession Proof EP, released on Tech N9ne's Strange Music. Other Strange Music artists took to Joey's style as well, and collaborations with Tech N9ne and others followed. Eventually the relationship with Strange Music grew to the point where Joey was offered a contract with the label. Never slowing down, Cool released the Swank Sauce mixtape in 2017 to keep fans sated until the release of his proper debut. That debut came in the form of a self-titled 2018 album. The ambitious full-length was released in May of that year and featured cameos from Adrian Truth, Tech N9ne, Ubiquitous, Info Gates, and many more. ~ Fred Thomas

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