Take 5: Roddy Banks

Marked by strong, bold rhymes, rapper Roddy Banks has been an artist from the start. Born Rolland Elendu, his unique background and combination of Nigerian and American cultures enables him the unique perspective of understanding what it means to be a young black man in America and West Africa. Newly released Single “4 Racks 10 Racks” is currently blazing a trail. Time to find out more with a Take 5…

When did you realise that you wanted to be a music artist? What or who has inspired you ?

The first time I realized I wanted to be a rapper was when I was a kid watching Lil Bow Wow and Lil Romeo on TV. I realized they’re kids just like me and I want do that too!

I draw inspiration from my surroundings and life experiences. Rappers like Jay-Z, Nas, Diddy, 50 Cent also inspired me to be who I am as a rapper and as the man I am today. Hip-hop taught me to be ambitious, to shoot for the stars, and want more than my eyes could see.

Who, living or dead, would you dream of collaborating with?

Nipsey Hussle. May his soul Rest in Peace. I feel like we would’ve caught a vibe because I’m a big fan but also he seemed like a very humble, real, grounded individual who’s message/music was deep but not hard to grasp, and he was never too smart to listen or seek out new knowledge and that is me in a nutshell. Working with him would’ve been a dream come true.

Other notable artists I’d like to work with are Jay-Z of course, Nas because one of my favorite Hip-Hop songs growing up was “Hate Me Now” with him and Diddy, and Chris Brown would be a great collab as well. I would love to collaborate with people outside of the rap genre like Lady Gaga. I’m a huge fan of her work and it would be an amazing opportunity to create something iconic with such a gifted individual.

Tell us about your single ‘4 Racks 10 Racks’– what is the song about?

The song is about money, sex, jewelry, confidence, self-belief and being a hustler. 4 Racks 10 Racks was not planned at all – I went to the studio on that day wanting to create something fun but at the same time very current with today’s sound. I heard the beat and caught a vibe instantly then started saying “4 Racks 10 Racks 4 Racks, got a couple hunids and I flipped that” out of no where. I looked over to my team and they were going crazy and in that moment I knew this would be the single on the album.

Tell us things you love about the city you live in, and why……

Right now I split my time between Fargo, ND and Minneapolis, MN. I like both cities and the people.

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I will be dropping a second project in December and I am looking forward to sharing it with the fans.