bankrol hayden

Rap / Hip-Hop

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About

Becoming a successful artist is difficult, and even more so when you have to face personal tragedy. Enter Modesto, Calif. rapper Bankrol Hayden, who faced a near-death experience before entering the rap game.

Rapping since he was an eighth grader, Hayden dropped his first song at 13 ("Modesto") and kept working hard. Then in 2017, at 16 years old, Hayden nearly lost his life in a car accident in his hometown. The rapper was in the backseat of a car when his friend crashed while under the influence of weed. The 16-year-old girl who was driving the car was charged with the murder of a mother and daughter in the other vehicle. The accident left Hayden badly injured, including a broken back, broken ribs and an injury to his small intestine.

Turning his own tragedy into triumph, Hayden hit the studio in 2018, and recorded "29," the title inspired by the date of the crash, Nov. 29, 2017. Though his injuries still hadn't fully healed, Hayden dropped the song about the incident and started to experience real momentum. The song has 20 million Spotify streams and 7 million SoundCloud plays to date. "We was drivin' hella fast, I woke up seeing nurses/Happened in a second, mind spinnin' like a circus nigga/I'm in the back seat, how the fuck it's my fault?/November 29th, almost died up on that asphalt," he raps over a piano-driven beat.

Hayden's true breakout song came out in 2019. "Brothers," a Luh Kel-assisted track, finds the West Coast rhymer rapping about putting friends over the women that may come between that brotherhood. The subject matter, Hayden's catchy chorus and sing-song delivery got him tons of streams, over 60 million on Spotify. "Costa Rica" came in 2020, and it's moving even faster than "Brothers," amassing 65 million plays on Spotify in considerably less time. He even teamed up with The Kid Laroi on the remix. All this momentum earned him a deal with Atlantic Records.

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