YBN Cordae is one of the hottest contenders touted to sit on the American Hip Hop throne in the near future. The young rapper has only been in the game for a few years, but already he is fast making a name for himself through his rap music line after line. For these reasons, he is featured on the Top50charts spotlight this week.
He was born in 1997 in the state of North Carolina where he was named Cordae Dunston, but his family relocated to Suitland, Maryland as he was growing up. He attended college at Towson University in Maryland, where he majored in mass communications. He later dropped out in 2018, stating that college was “bigger than him” and that he only went to satisfy the wish of his mother.
Dunston performed under the stage name, Entendre before he changed his name YBN Cordae. As he later revealed, Entendre was the worst rap name ever which was what led to the name change. He released three mixtapes under the ”Entendre” moniker—Anxiety (2014), I’m So Anxious (2016), and I’m So Anonymous (2017). After graduating from high school in 2015, Cordae.
It is also worth noting that the young MC did not attempt rapping until he was 15years old.
YBN Cordae is a rapper with a big heart and he didn’t get into the music business just to make money. “I just want to use my voice and my platform to help people. Whether it be political or therapeutic,” he told Complex. “Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day when some fucked up shit happens, it’s the artists that I listen to that help me get through. I’d like to be the same thing for other people.”
As for those he looks up to before him, he cited OGs like Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and more as early influences.
He showed promise and glimpses of what was to come on early mixtapes like 2014’s Anxiety and 2016’s I’m So Anxious, which were full of carefully written and creative songs. But it wasn’t until 2018 that Cordae achieved widespread attention with his remixes and freestyles over classic rap songs.
His remix of Eminem’s 1999 single, “My Name Is,” went viral in May 2018. While it wasn’t technically a remix of a classic, Cordae’s response to J. Cole’s “1985” also went viral same year, pushing him into the public’s consciousness. He has also freestyled over popular songs including Kendrick Lamar’s “Duckworth” and Method Man and Redman’s “Da Rockwilder.”
Along with all the recognition he got in 2018 came the release of his debut solo album, The Lost Boy in 2019.