Erica Banks is 1501 Entertainment’s latest star and has reached a new level of fame following the #BussItChallenge.
Its popularity skyrocketed within the first few weeks of the year. The hashtag has been trending on Twitter for several days, and celebrities including Gabrielle Union and “Puerto Rican Princess” Joseline Hernandez have posted their takes on the challenge too, not to mention fellow artists like DaniLeigh.
With Banks’ single peaking in popularity, and putting her on the map as the next female rapper to watch, we’re giving you a breakdown on everything you need to know about 1501 Entertainment’s latest star.
Who is Erica Banks?
Erica Banks is a 21-year-old rapper from the Dallas suburb Desoto, Texas, which seems to be an epicenter of sorts for upcoming rappers. Growing up, Erica was the epitome of academic excellence, earning a 4.0 GPA. She showcased her artistic talents in theatre, the cheer team, and the drill team. After graduating from Desoto High School in 2017, Erica attended Texas A&M Commerce to become a nurse, before switching majors to study business. However, even after changing courses in school, she was still unhappy. She finally decided to quit her sophomore year to follow her dreams, and become a rapper.
“I wasn’t happy, and school was hard,” she said. “I stopped going to class and was just kicking it every day. And I realized that this was not what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to be a nurse. I didn’t know what kind of business I wanted to own. I was so stressed out.”
After calling it quits from academics, Erica would go on to upload her first song ever to Soundcloud in 2018, a record titled “Talk My Shit,” and kept the momentum going from there with a series mixtapes– her debut, Art of Hustle, and two more, Cocky On Purpose and Pressure.
1501’s Newest Gem
As the story goes, Carl Crawford was on Instagram Live allowing artists to share their music with him, and that’s when Erica Banks wasted no time showcasing her talent. The rapper shared her single “Buss It” with him which led to her invitation to join the 1501 team– and they went on to help push the record, breathing more life into it. Since then, Banks has raked up a following of 190,000 fans who can’t help but love her lyricism and undeniable talent.
She spoke on choosing to sign with 1501 during a Houston radio show interview, where she stated, “It was more like an intuition kind of thing,” Banks said. “Im really big on vibes, I’m really big on intuition. I really felt like it was the right thing, the right situation. I’ve been in previous situations where I’ve been offered other situations. That was my fourth offer so I’ve turned down deals before, but I just felt like that was the right one. Ever since then everything has been bool, I mean cool.”
In June 2020, Banks’ music started to make a lot of noise on social media for all of the wrong reasons. Banks received heavy backlash for having extreme similarities to the ex-1501 queen Megan Thee Stallion, who herself had an extremely successful year earning her first #1 single with “Savage (Remix)” featuring Beyonce.
Megan is known for her parking garage freestyles and distinct mannerisms when she raps– not to mention the fact that she was Carl Crawford’s first breakout artist on the same 1501 roster, and the two didn’t necessarily have the most amicable parting, with both legal and personal issues mounting. It is these factors that mainly drove fans’ suspicions that the Desoto native was attempting to steal Meg’s whole flow and look.Even Megan Thee Stallion’s infamous ex-best-friend, Kelsey, spoke up on the copycat controversy, although she refused to bad-mouth Banks and referred to her as “really nice girl.”
Nonetheless, the murmurs of mimicking continued, and Banks has to eventually shut down those accusations, letting the world know that “Texas rappers have that same accent” — although she failed to address their similarities in flow and style, leaving some fans unsatisfied with the response.
Still, with Banks’ career picking up steam, it seems the fans don’t really mind, either.
Buss It Challenge and New Record Deal
The #BussItChallenge has swiftly brought Banks’ career to new heights. The amount of recognition she received for her latest hit has opened doors for a potentially-promising and long-lasting career in rap music. The song has over 200 million views on TikTok and rose to #131 on Spotify’s Daily Chart.
On January 7, Banks revealed that she’d signed a deal with major label Warner Bros Records, and shared a series of celebratory videos regarding her new contract. Details regarding the deal are currently unknown, but it’s safe to say we can expect a major label debut from Ms. Banks sometime in 2021.
Do you think Erica Banks is rap’s next contender? Let us know in the comments.