Joey Bada$$ is juggling a new album, a tour and acting ... while also defending some of his creative decisions ... such as working with Chris Brown.
The Pro Era rap star hopped on "TMZ Live" on Thursday to explain why he felt the need to ward off fans who were angry he nabbed Breezy to help sing the hook on his "Welcome Back" track on the new album "2000."
As Joey put it to us ... no man is mistake-free, and while he doesn't condone what happened with Rihanna, he considers it an honor to work with CB, who he's been a fan of since childhood.
The New York-bred lyricist also says he gets it, though ... his fans are just protective and want him to be controversy-free at all times.
Controversy arrived in Joey's first-class seat last week, however, when he accused Delta Airlines of damaging some of his irreplaceable stage equipment while traveling for his 1999-2000 Summer Tour.
Although the damage had been done, Joey says Delta reps reached out and helped cover rental costs so he could finish out his tour ... which ends Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Waiting for your permission to load Spotify album.
Even if hearing CB sing isn't your jam, Joey’s got Nas, Diddy, Larry June and more on his ‘2000’ album ... and fans have been ravin’ about its hip hop purity.