On a sunny, crisp afternoon in December, during the last day of Rolling Loud California, Robb Bank$ makes a plea for his flowers. “Niggas really need to put some respect on my name,” he says. And despite the slur in his words, he’s absolutely right. As he deliberately parades about with a bottle of Casamigos in hand, Robb explains how he’s ready to get back to the basics.
No, he’s not basking in the glory days of his edgy, angst-ridden past, rather, Robb wants to reignite that flame responsible for crafting some of his best work – after Falconia, though. Contrary to the rumors, Robb Bank$ doesn’t appear to be retiring quite yet. His forthcoming album is long overdue, despite the consistent beseeching from fans.
“Shedding the skin of Griffith,” is what comes to mind when Robb thinks about his evolution as an artist over the years. His story is one of constant growth, branded by pop culture references that are borderline controversial and anime-themed rhetoric. Last year, he referenced playing a key part in the success of his rap contemporaries, offering guidance to anyone that cared to listen. In other words, Robb Bank$ is the blueprint and it’s a privilege to be under his tutelage.
While trying to avoid the hustle and bustle of Rolling Loud, Robb and I trekked through a narrow opening backstage towards the artist entrance to conclude our short, yet insightful exchange. Where rap’s biggest names have spent years trying to earn a performance slot at the world’s largest hip-hop festival, Robb is revered by his stans as a Rolling Loud OG. “Listen, niggas don’t understand, I’ve been burning this bitch down since the first one.”
Vignettes of the quintessential rapper lifestyle – money, sex, and drugs – permeate the music, giving nuance to the Broward County rapper’s maniacal behavior. Before being escorted to the Power 106 stage for his scheduled performance, Robb frantically searches for his phone, realizing shortly after that it was in his manager’s possession. “Alright. He ain’t pick up,” he says after attempting to connect with his Grammy-nominated counterpart, Faxx Only, via FaceTime.
Towards the end of our conversation, Robb tells me about his plans for the future following the release of Falconia. Simply put, he’s not finished yet. And though he may not ever get the credit he rightfully deserves for being a staple in rap, you better respect his name.
Let’s walk and talk.
FEMTO, how does it feel to bring that movement to the Rolling Loud stage?
What!? Nigga, I am Rolling Loud. Listen, niggas don’t understand, I’ve been burning this bitch down since the first one. Niggas really need to put some respect on my name – know what I’m talmbout?
And if you don’t put respect on my name, I’ma take that bitch.
Is style a big part of who you are as an artist?
Look at me.
Do I look good? Pause.
You flee my boy.
You answered your own question. You already know what it is.
When you hear the word growth, what comes to mind?
Shedding the skin of Griffith and all that anime shit. Going back into the “2Phoneshawty” shit, back into my shit. Niggas that I met like Kie Money. Niggas that I met like Shorty K. Niggas that I met when I got into this shit, that really put me in this bitch. That’s what I’m tryna get back into, after Falconia. And after Falconia, I’m flooding.
With Falconia, your highly-anticipated album, you’re working with a Grammy-nominated producer by the name of Faxx Only. How did that relationship come about?
Man, bitch, lemme tell you something right now, me and Faxx Only, I knew Fax before he ever linked with Drake. Matter of fact (damn I wish I had my phone) – Lysh, lemme get my phone. Fax is my brother type shit. Me and him doing a project after Falconia.
Outside of the album, you and Faxx are working on something else, too?
We working on a collaborative project. We done did a lot of shit. Hold on, it’s important.
(Robb proceeds to call Faxx Only on FaceTime)
Nah, this important.
(Rolling Loud staff urges Robb to get into the golf cart so that he doesn’t miss his performance)
Everybody else get in. You know how I do. Listen, one thing about me, I don’t lie and I don’t play games. If the bitch don’t pick up, that mean I’ma cuss him out later because me and his EP 90% done. Lysh, we ain’t just listen to it in the car?
(Lysh – Rob’s manager – nods in approval)
Alright. He ain’t pick up.
We can leave it off here, though.
We gon’ link back up. What’s yo shit called?
Dirty Glove Bastard.
Dirty Glove Bastard!? Aye, Lysh, you got his info, right? We gon’ tap in later, you heard.