You may have heard his name. You might even follow him on Tumblr. But it’s time to really get with Robb Bank$’ savage life. Flying under the radar of mainstream music press, Robb Bank$ may appear to be just another teenage rapper building a hype off social networks but this is deeper than rap.
With his latest track, Bank$’ compares his looks to that of famed graffiti artist turned record-breaking icon Basquiat, demonstrating his quirkiness. Produced by SpaceGhostPurrp, “Look Like Basquiat” displays his quick one-liners with ease. But if you’re willing to read a little deeper, you’ll find witty wordplay that takes a minute longer to absorb. It will most likely refer to Pokemon or Dragon Ball Z, but that don’t make it any less impressive.
Calling South Florida home since the age of six, Bank$ is keeping his age unknown claiming, “I told a lot of girls on Tumblr that I was older than I was. You feel me?” But having revealed in separate interviews that he’s been rapping for 12 years and that he started writing around six or seven, Bank$ is probably approaching 20.
Alongside partner-in-crime, Meyer Lansky, he is a member of Tuesday Thru Sunday (TTS). The duo are responsible for Every Day Except Monday, a mixtape themed according to the days of the week. A similar theme continued on Bank$’ debut mixtape Calendars, released on Valentine’s Day.
Selecting the Clams Casino-produced “Counting” as his first single, Bank$ courted attention with his unique visuals and Tumblr-centric visual references. While many are yet to catch up with his sound, Bank$ is currently working on his next project YOTS (Year Of The Savage).
Comparisons to his peers have been thrown around, but Bank$ respectfully asks not to be compared to other artists because he’s been around longer than them. Needless to say, he has the ‘who’s that boy?’ factor of A$AP Rocky but don’t label him a copy cat; “Every n**** with golds is not tryna be A$AP or SpaceGhostPurrp. I had golds before them n****s was out.”
While his sense of humour and raw sexual undertone are reminiscent of Odd Future’s initial shock factor, that’s where the similarities end. Bank$ ducks the comparisons to A$AP and Tyler the Creator saying, “All the comparisons, I don’t see none of that shit. I mean, we all young n****a tryna get it, I guess I can see that.”
Aside from the gold grill, Bank$ distinctive look is backed up by tunnels in his ears and dreads; not really a clichéd rapper look. Even his entourage look different from the usual Hip Hop crew we’re all familiar with.
As part of the Tumblr Rap generation, Bank$ infuses songs with pop culture references from the nineties, noughties and beyond. A great deal of which are Pokémon related. His love for the Japanese brand was displayed in the “Counting” video, but he’s not down to catch’em all; “Jiggylypuff was a fuck-n****, I ain’t fuck with him. He was always fucking up the show singing and shit.”
Though he’s not a Jigglypuff fan, Bank$ doesn’t see many limitations in making music. When asked about desirable collaborations he names a string of Trap Rap stars adding, “even people that are dead,” such as legendary Reggae artist Dennis Brown.
Get used to his trademark “I think I’m happy” sample, it’s about to be the year of the savage.