Every so often, there’s a generational artist who comes out of the woodworks in Hip Hop, coming at the game with a completely new style. Brandon_YoYo is that artist right now.
His first album had some pretty astounding success. With hundreds of thousands of listeners across Spotify, Audius, and Apple Music, the album quickly became an underground sensation.
5 months ago, we covered Brandon’s first album, No Reviews Necessary, on Rapper Weekly (https://rapperweekly.com/underground-album-of-the-week-no-reviews-necessary/). This album sounded like a mix of Russ and Eminem, meeting a house DJ.
Brandon told us he made all of the beats himself over a year period, and then wrote all of the lyrics, recorded them himself, and then remixed each song to have a house twist.
We predicted he’d make it big with his song “Soldier,” and boy, were we right. Almost immediately after our previous article launched, he started going viral on Spotify playlists with 25K+ followers. Just like that… he was off to the races.
When we contacted Brandon recently to see how his career was going, we were pleased and shocked to find out that he’s been working on not just one new EP, but four of them.
He told us, “Hey John and Team! Thanks so much for reaching out. I’m actually about to drop NRN Vol. 2, 3, 4, and 5. I wanted to keep following this concept of hip hop meeting house music, so for this second collection of songs, I really wanted to turn up the dance vibes. These next four volumes are intended for people to dance to and to work out to. I kept everything groovy and upbeat, with a lean towards house but clear influence from hip hop.”
He launched the single “A.I Am Da Man” as a clear homage to his love for old school boom bap hip hop. You can listen directly to this track on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/2C6100eRbgIZBPtFBQMAFS?si=wrK6mMyRQae7g4ESeFLhaA
But after that, things get crazy. He reminded us not to worry because “hip hop will always be wifey. But I just really wanted to keep improving my production skills, and a Hip-House album was a fantastic way to do this. I believe it’s a new genre in music, combining two of the most popular modern art forms into one. House. And Hip Hop.”
We took a listen… and WOW, were we blown away. He combined all four new EPs into one playlist, which totals 15 songs and 46 minutes of music. A break from the short “Tik Tok” songs that we see so many artists chasing clout for. He did it differently.
Brandon first launched No Reviews Necessary Vol. 2 on May 22nd, 2023, exactly 5 months after his original release. We took notice because the opening song “Moonlight Walk” (https://open.spotify.com/track/6Q8IzYIjfOZfn8Pl8K9EnO?si=v6irigD6TM2oVPmJq7mq7A) is frankly so different from his original hip hop sound we had to explore with an open mind.
Not long after we found ourselves tapping our feet.. and at one point we even stood up and started to dance in the middle of our HQ. Clearly, we had something. And we were excited to brainstorm the story.
Only a few days later, he surprise drops Vol. 3. This is when things started to make sense. The opening track on Vol. 2 is entitled, “His Mind” a song about a single guy looking for love. And the correlated opening track on Vol. 3 entitled, “Her Mind” a song about a single woman.
It became clear Brandon thinks about his art at a deeper level which allows him to make connections from piece to piece. And just like that, only 2 weeks later, he continued to drop volume after volume until we had 46 minutes of new music across 4 new EPs.
We asked him about his logic, and here’s what he emailed us back.
“Honestly, I just felt like I was making a ton of music for the purpose of dancing / working out. But some of the songs ended up being old school lyrical hip hop, some were slower mood songs, and some were up beat EDM songs. So that’s how I decided to roll these out.
- NRN VOL. 2 = Chill by the pool tracks
- NRN VOL. 3 = Sentimental and slower tracks
- NRN VOL. 4 = DANCE & WORKOUT tracks
- NRN VOL. 5 = Old school lyrical hip-hop tracks
Brandon didn’t just stop there, he pushed for a memorable album cover as well… in fact, he designed 4 different collectible album covers which he’s consider launching as NFTs to his biggest fans.
Why crypto? This is the second part of his strategy, he’s embracing new tech much like Timbaland and Snoop are. Even before launching to the public, his songs were able to acquire 50K streams just in Audius alone. Audius being a crypto fueled version of SoundCloud. The crypto community went bonkers and started sharing his work. Quickly surpassing the charts, he found himself having 5 of the top 50 most popular songs on the platform during launch month.
But as he said,
We have clearly found an underground gem here in Brandon. His passions for music, plus his ability to both rap and produce beats leads to an incredibly unique sound. We highly suggest you check out all 15 new tracks, it will get you hooked on this generational artist pioneering a new brand of hip hop.
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