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Lay Bankz

After going viral on social media with high-energy dance videos set to her 2022 breakout “Left Cheek (Doo Doo Blick)” and her 2023 hit “Na Na Na,” rapper/singer Lay Bankz shows off her range as an R&B vocalist on her 2023 debut EP Now You See Me.

A Philadelphia native, Bankz drew equal inspiration from talent both local (emcees like Beanie Sigel and acts like dance collective the Dollarboyz) and international superstars like Beyoncé and Aaliyah. By the age of ten, she was singing and rapping in equal measure; at 15, she released her first single, 2019’s “Passion.” Her career began to heat up in 2022 after signing with Artist Partner Group and releasing “Left Cheek (Doo Doo Blick),” an empowerment anthem that gained increased attention when she set her own dance moves to the track in a social media video. A year later, she put the same formula to “Na Na Na,” a fast-paced pop/rap number sampling Louchie Lou and Michie One's “Rich Girl.” It topped online viral charts and spun off hundreds of thousands of videos of listeners imitating her latest dance. After a pair of guest appearances in the summer of 2023 -- on a remix of Ciara's “Da Girls” and NLE Choppa's “It’s Getting Hot” -- Bankz finally issued her own debut EP, Now You See Me, which earned applause for its forays into hip-hop (“Ick,” another viral hit) and R&B (“Flowers,” a tribute to Philadelphia rapper PnB Rock, who was shot and killed in 2022). ~ Mike Duquette

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