YBN Cordae is a rapper who’s been making a name for himself and is of course part of the YBN music group which features YBN Nahmir and YBN Almighty Jay.
Cordae distinguished himself in May 2018, when he dropped a viral rejoinder to J. Cole’s ‘diss’ of Lil Pump and his colleagues “1985 (Intro to ‘The Fall Off’).” The track, titled “Old Niggas,” finds Cordae analyzing rap’s generational gap and constructively challenging his predecessors with a conviction that make us doubt about his age. From there he blew up. His self-awareness, lyrics, and flows made him, in a very short time, one of his class’ most talented and conscious voices
It seems though we is at a generational gap
Which bring conversation and a statement in fact
We can agree, none of us is ‘posed to make it in rap
I understand both sides, let me break it in half
Let’s take it back: when hip hop originated
And old niggas said it was wack, they couldn’t take it
And called it a lil’ trend, said it wouldn’t last
Now, it’s the number one genre as the time passed
Coming from Raleigh, North Carolina, Cordae moves to Maryland when he’s 10. Despite being from Raliegh, he claims the whole DMV area as a place that helped develop him and let him grow into the person and artist he is today. His father is a big fan of Big L, Nas, Biggie and it shows in his rapping style which completely contradicts new artists today because we can hear from his flows the homage to the rap from the 90s. He meets YBN Nahmir online while playing Xbox. The group stays in touch over the years while he keeps workings on his rap abilities. After a couple of years, YBN Nahmir releases a song called “Rubbin Off Paint” that literally blow up overnight and led him to get signed.
After converting his basement into a makeshift studio, Cordae starts recording at age 16 under the name Entendre. His first mixtape, Anxiety, drops in 2014; two more tapes follows within the next three years. He starts taking music seriously when the friendship with the other group member grow up. After linking online, Cordae met his fellows in person back in early 2017. Aaron “Ace” Christian, one of YBN’s managers, had always been looking for a traditional lyricist to round out the crew. He adds Cordae into the YBN crew after Nahmir posted a video of the rapper’s music on social media.
Now he’s gaining millions of views and he’s proving that he’s much more than just a side member of the YBN crew. He does it differently. He speaks the truth and he shows honor to the old rappers, despite being a member of this new wave of hip-hop. His flow is a mix of old and new and YBN Cordae has definitely showcased that he can actually spit bars in his songs as well as killing freestyles on interviews and cyphers. YBN Cordae doesn’t just mix the old school with the new. He’s building as a bridge to connect OGs with the new rappers of this generation.
“Soulful shit. I make that shit that touches your soul, that the average human being can relate to. There’s no way I’ma play this shit if you not about to nod yo head to it, and you not about to feel that shit in your soul and in your heart of hearts. It brings out certain emotions. I want my music to make you reminiscent or nostalgic of your childhood, or take you back to a better place. You know how you listen to a song and you remember exactly where you were when you first heard that song? That’s the kind of impact I want my music to have. So you can bump this shit ten years from now and be like. Yo, I was in college struggling and this got me through that. I want that therapeutic, healing music that can help people get through some shit.”
Cordae said about his sound in an interview with Complex.
Looking at the present, it’s a bit strange to analyze the current situation. The other two members of the group (Nahmir and Almighty Jay) have disappeared from the radar. They’re nothing special, their music is the same as that of a hundred other rappers, and inevitably, they have lost their following. As for YBN Cordae, things are going very well. He is loved by critics and the public. His videos are directed by Cole Bennett and uploaded to the Lyrical Lemonade channel, allowing him to collect millions and millions of views. His music is simply fire. What more do you want? An album! It’s coming too. His record The Lost Boy will be released this year and we can’t wait to hear it. How about you?