Sat Sep 25
2x Grammy-nominated artist Cordae, off only his first ever album release and having just hit the music scene less than two years ago, recognizes, respects, and reveres the verbal potential for unity. Acrobatic raps, cinematic wordplay, and illustrative rhymes cement the Maryland-raised MC as a consummate 21st century storyteller. This status would be affirmed by 300 million streams within a year and a place at the forefront of hip-hop’s modern vanguard as a 2019 XXL “Freshman Class” cover star, among other accolades. He employs the full power of language on his full-length debut, The Lost Boy [Atlantic Records].
Raised in Suitland, MD, Cordae wrote his first rhyme at just four-years-old—which he can still rattle off as if he just penned it. At the age of 15, he began collecting, trading, and buying sneakers, saving up enough money to buy a small studio setup. In 2018, a year after attending Towson University and waiting tables, he dropped out of college as his remix of Eminem’s “My Name Is” and “Old ******” exploded virally. In the aftermath, Cordae’s debut single “Kung Fu” popped off with 120 million Spotify streams in less than 12 months. Pegged “one of music’s most promising rising stars” by The Wall Street Journal and touted on Complex’s “The Best New Artists of 2018,” he landed on “Artist to Watch” lists from Amazon Music, New York Times, Billboard, iHeart Radio, and VEVO DSCVR.
Along the way, he recorded what would become his conceptual opus The Lost Boy. He teased out the project with the cathedral-size raps “Have Mercy,” amassing 80 million Spotify streams. After the single “Bad Idea” [feat. Chance the Rapper], he unleashed the follow-up “RNP” [feat. Anderson Paak] with production by J. Cole, now RIAA-certified gold. Everything set the stage for a major mainstream breakthrough in 2019.
In 2020, Cordae continued to make significant strides in his career. Named as the face of the PUMA “Unity” campaign, the rapper was also named as a performer for Lebron James’ “Graduate Together 2020” initiative. As if that weren’t enough, BET nominated him for the “Best New Artist” Award 2020, along with having been featured in renown publications such as Rolling Stone and XXL’s “Believe The Hype.” His standout collaboration with labelmate Roddy Ricch for “Gifted,” also proved to be Cordae’s largest first week debut thus far, hinting at his continued success. The rapper closed out the year with a chilling single and video, “The Parables,” which was featured in Beats’ “Flex That” campaign.