Wolfacejoeyy and WhereIs22 Are the Unlikely Staten Island Duo Making Big Waves In The Big Apple

The rapper/producer duo’s new album ‘22Joey’ gets you sturdy, so bring your moves.

Wolffacejoeyy and WhereIs22 may seem like an unlikely duo to collaborate on a project, but when you hear each of their stories it’s clear why they’ve been making music together for years now.

The rapper/producer combo are both based in Staten Island and love the regional genres of hip-hop that often inspire their unique sound. Like Wu-Tang Clan, the pair comes from a borough that doesn’t have the hip-hop history compared to the other four in New York – and it’s that sort of underdog mentality they take into recording.

“Because we know we're not from a place where people make it out a lot, we just kind of work extra hard to get to places we want to get to,” Wolfacejoeyy told BET during a recent interview. “[It] just puts a chip on his shoulder, and [others] don’t be trying to give us that respect,” adds WhereIs22.

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Part of what intrigues the duo is their ability to work consistently, especially around 22’s other occupation: being an actor on the popular Starz series Power and its spinoffs. Michael Rainey Jr. portrayed Tariq St. Patrick in both Power and Power Book II: Ghost. He also previously portrayed the roles of Michael Burset in Orange Is the New Black and Jalen in Barbershop: The Next Cut. Suffice it to say, his schedule has been a busy one since breaking into acting over a decade ago, but according to him, it’s creating music that keeps him sane.

“I feel like creativity comes from experiencing my life,” he explains. “I feel like I just get inspiration and more ideas from being an actor. It kind of works hand in hand in certain situations. But I will say when I'm not filming I'm definitely a little more creative. I just be ready to cook up and I'll be in the studio for nine hours straight.”

This dichotomy played out during the release of “Buku,” one of their most successful single drops. According to Joeyy, the timing between releasing music and 22’s acting schedule hit a snag that may have been inconvenient at the moment but proved each artist was on their grind.

“When we were trying to push ‘Buku’ and it was going up on TikTok, he couldn't even post because he was filming the whole time,” describes Joeyy. “It was like, f**k, but he's doing his thing. And the song still of went up. I feel like everything we've made has just been like this absolutely phenomenal.”

“Buku” is just one of the many standouts on Joeyy and 22’s new collaborative album 22Joeyy. The project, released last month, combines the different sonics Joeyy has found himself dabbling in since beginning his musical journey as a producer in 2017. It’s a bit of rage – having worked with artists like SoFaygo over the years – drill – the current sound of his native New York – Jersey Club, and underground hip-hop all fused.

The result is a unique blend of current rap genres that will make you want to get sturdy on your feet. It’s not too serious, but at the same time, it’s done with precision, which comes from the working relationship 22Joeyy has established since beginning to work together three years ago.

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“I already knew this was gonna be fun album to do. When it comes to the sound particularly I've tried my best not to think too much on it because I'm a very go with the flow kind of person, especially when it comes to music,” Joeyy explains. “I try not to force anything, musically or creatively. I let things kind of come to me.”

This focus on being unique is the focal point of 22Joey’s purpose to create. They may dabble in the sounds of today, but they do so because it’s something enjoyable to them rather than it being a necessity to fit into the current rap landscape. On their single “GOMD,” Joeyy raps about “seeing no competition,” if they continue their ascension in the hip-hop world, it might be difficult to contend with them.

That said, WolfaceJoeyy says it’s the fans that keep him and WhereIs22 going, and rather than being the “cool guys,” spreading his music is dependent on them, and because of that, he’s acting accordingly.

“I feel like a lot of people appreciate [uniqueness and fan interaction], especially in New York. It's really just a bunch of drama and politics,” he explains. “I don't think that's necessary, especially because New York is really small, so I feel especially now people need to start coming together and really just go up collectively.”

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