“He did that sh*t in the next hour and ain’t charge me or nothing,” says 2rare. “He even posted it. He’s one of the most thorough ones I’ve ever met in this. Everything is just happening the way it’s supposed to be I feel like.”
Lay Bankz is another member of the collective carving a lane for herself in music and shaping her own sound. Sometimes the sole girl amongst the boys, Lay Bankz lends melodic raps and sultry melodies to hip rocking beats. She’s largely influenced by Michael Jackson and PNB Rock, who she worked with on a song last year. Before TikTok, Lay Bankz tasted virality on video-based apps like Vine and Musical.ly. But for the recent high school grad, balancing the newfound, unprecedented fame from TikTok has been difficult.
“I went through a lot of different phases in my life when it came to music and school. I feel like growing up and entering adulthood while making music, I was super overwhelmed,” she says. However, the 18-year-old from Southwest Philly’s affinity for dancing and singing kept her afloat.
Releasing her first singles in 2020, Lay Bankz had her breakout moment this year with a feature on 5star’s “Cmonnn,” which also went viral on TikTok. She has since released back-to-back songs
“Anxious” and “Left Cheek (Doo Doo Blick),” proving that her vocal range and fluid hips are a perfect storm for stardom.
Not all members of the collective readily accepted the title of “artist,” though. Even still, Jabril is a major component in the virality of their songs, frequently posting videos dancing with very precise hip motions dubbed “stiff hips” and “mobile hips.”
With a fresh haircut and chalk line, Under Armour fit and his Louis Vuitton messenger bag in tow, Jabril has established himself as a trendsetter on and off of the app, and now as an artist. In recent months, the 18-year-old from North has used TikTok as his test audience, teasing songs like “Pop Sh*t” and “Get Humpy” with 2rare and his close friend JMoney.
“It’s not like I be playing, but I do be playing. I just be having fun with it,” says Jabril of his entry into music. “All of my music is just playful to me and I just want to be able to dance to it.” 2rare is supportive of Jabril, insisting that it only makes sense for him to make his own music since he’s always making everyone else’s music pop.
As evident in 2rare’s encouraging comment, the friend group’s support and respect for each other is easily felt. Their bond is further amplified in their collaborative work. “We’re all like one lowkey,” says Zahsosaa. “I can call Rare and ‘nem to my shows and they sliding. They can call me to their shows and I’m sliding, even if one of us not getting a bag.”
This summer, Drake dropped his house music-inspired album Honestly Nevermind, which features “Sticky,” a standout track that sounds similar to the sound being pushed by the collective of young friends. After making contact with 2rare and his team, Drake flew them out to LA to be featured in the video.