Bankrol Hayden is a 19-year old artist from Modesto, California, signed to Atlantic Records. He is of Ecuadorian descent. He first broke out onto the scene in 2018 with his hit single, “29,” a melodic, emotional song in which Bankrol Hayden raps about nearly being killed in a serious car accident.
The rapper’s music can be characterized by his high-pitched, youthful voice and his hard-hitting, energetic flows. Usually both rapping and singing on the beat, Bankrol Hayden combines his knack for creating modern, trappy records with soulful, heartfelt singing, more fit for R&B.
He often raps on sad-sounding piano and acoustic guitar loops, but can also switch it up and hop on more upbeat, modern-sounding beats. Some people have compared his music to Post Malone’s, though it is definitely more in tune with hip-hop than Post Malone’s music. Since popping out onto the scene, Bankrol Hayden has appeared on various major media outlets, including WorldStarHipHop, No Jumper, Power 106 Los Angeles, and others.
Background and Upbringing
Bankrol Hayden was born Hayden Inacio on September 30th, 2001, in Modesto, California. He began rapping in eighth grade and made his first song, “Modesto,” when he was thirteen years old. Bankrol Hayden credits Kid Cudi as his favorite artist and one of the people that influenced him growing up.
His first attempt at releasing music as a young adult was in early 2017 as a sixteen-year-old. That year, he put out a song on Soundcloud called “Humble” under his real name, Hayden Inacio. The track didn’t gain much traction, but his fortune changed a few months later when he put out a music video for a song called “Ride With You,” featuring his friend Cal.
He released this song under his current stage name, “Bankrol Hayden.” In an interview with Real 92.3, the teenager admitted that there is so significant meaning behind his rap name. He did intentionally leave out the second “L” in the word “bankroll,” though, so fans could more easily identify him. Compared to his first release though, “Ride With You” was very successful and helped Bankrol Hayden first start to build a fanbase.
The Tragic Accident
Just days later, Bankrol Hayden’s life would forever be altered. On November 29th, 2017, he was involved in a serious car accident that left him significantly injured and two people dead. The rapper was in the backseat of a car when his friend, a 16-year old girl who was under the influence of marijuana, crashed into another vehicle. Bankrol Hayden was left lying on the floor, unconscious. A mother and daughter in the other vehicle were killed. He suffered a broken back, broken ribs, and an injury to his small intestine. He was on life support for six days.
The driver, a close friend of Bankrol Hayden’s, was arrested on murder charges. The rapper says that many people tried to blame him for being involved in the incident. He also says that he struggles with PTSD and still feels uneasy while driving. He says after being released from the hospital, he also felt slightly addicted to the painkillers he was taking. He eventually stopped taking the medications he was prescribed. Following the accident, Bankrol Hayden decided to really hit the studio.
The tragic accident inspired his first hit single, “29.” He says he wrote the song while recovering from his injuries in the hospital. In the song, he raps, “We was drivin’ hella fast, I woke up seeing nurses. Happened in a second, mind spinnin’ like a circus nigga. I’m in the back seat, how the fuck it’s my fault? November 29th, almost died up on that asphalt.” The song quickly took off, serving as Bankrol Hayden’s introduction to the rap game. It has gained over 26 million streams since its release. The music video for the song appeared on WorldStarHipHop’s Youtube channel and has almost seven million views.
Making a Name for Himself
Around the same time as “29,” Bankrol Hayden was also gaining some attention from his disco-influenced trap song, “Drumsticks” featuring MBO Zay. The cover art for the song features a Popeyes logo with the two artists’ names replacing the font.
With his fanbase quickly growing, Bankrol Hayden continued to build on his momentum, dropping a remix to Drake’s number one single, “Nice For What.” The lyric video for the song hit a million and a half views on Youtube. He saw similar results on his next release, “Sandlott.”
The song feels very romantic, showcasing Bankrol Hayden’s singing and rapping abilities over a peppy, old-school melody. The music video for it has over a million views on Youtube. Bankrol Hayden started off the next year in 2019 strong with the release of his single, “B.A.N.K.R.O.L..” The song was a change of pace, with Bankrol Hayden rapping fast on an aggressive piano beat with booming 808s. It was one of the first times the fans had heard the artist rap under a “tough guy” persona. The song performed well, with over three million views on the music video on Youtube.
Bankrol Hayden also gained some exposure as an opener for MadeinTYO’s “Sincerely Tokyo” tour in March of 2019.
The Northern Californian rapper really started to buzz in July of that year with the release of his single, “Brothers,” featuring Luh Kel. The song features some infectiously catchy flows from Bankrol Hayden over a smooth, moody guitar loop. As of today, it has amassed nearly 100 million streams on Spotify. The exposure from “Brothers” earned Bankrol Hayden a record deal with Atlantic Records that same year.
In January of 2020, he put out his first label-backed single called “Costa Rica.” The Kid Laroi later hopped on the remix to the song, which made it onto Bankrol Hayden’s next album. The remix is currently sitting at 139 million streams on Spotify and is one of Bankrol Hayden’s biggest songs to date.
Bankrol Hayden collaborated with The Kid Laroi again three months later on Y2K’s single, “Go Dumb,” featuring blackbear. In February of 2020, he went on tour with Lil Mosey for the promotion of the artist’s album, “Certified Hitmaker.” Just a few months later, in May, Bankrol Hayden followed up his last successful song with another smash single, “Rich Bitch.” It has 47 million streams on Spotify and nearly four and half million views on the music video on Youtube.
To kick off 2020, Bankrol Hayden went viral on social media for a video of him performing an acoustic version of “Brothers” with Einer Bankz. Einer Bankz has helped make countless artists in the past go viral online, including Swae Lee, Chance The Rapper, Polo G, Juice WRLD, Ski Mask The Slump God, CJ, King Von, and more.
Bankrol Hayden had micro-viral moments before in his career, but this was the first time that he had really blown up. The 15-second video of them performing the song has over a million views on Youtube and was covered by several media outlets. Bankrol Hayden was a regular poster of freestyles on Instagram and Twitter, but in terms of viewership, this video clip surpassed them all.
“Pain is Temporary”
In June of 2020, Bankrol Hayden put out his debut album called “Pain is Temporary,” featuring many of his past hits, as well as some new songs like “Fuck With Us,” “Callin (Ballin),” “Die Right Now” and more. The project is produced by Vinnyforgood and Wallis Lanes. The first song, “Divorce,” performed particularly well for an intro song, hitting almost five million streams on Spotify. The song is about seeing his parents separate as a kid and dealing with the consequences that came with it. The song “School Girl” really fits into Bankrol Hayden’s signature sound, marked by a solemn guitar melody.
The lyrics of the track are consistent with the rapper’s despondent mood in much of his music. In the verse, Bankrol Hayden says, “It’s me, it’s never you. I say, “Lil’ baby, a throwback.” Lean in and kiss you, your lips chapped. You do your games and I play that. Without you my world is pitch black.”
Besides Luh Kel and The Kid Laroi, the only other features on the project are Lil Baby and Polo G. The song with Lil Baby, “Drop A Tear,” has 15 million streams on Spotify and 3 and a half million views on the music video on Youtube. The song with Polo G, “Whatchu On Today,” has about 13 million streams on Spotify and nearly 3 million views on the music video on Youtube. In terms of content, topics on the album range from romantic relationships to designer clothing to guns.
Controversy with Domzxo
In July of 2020, a video labeled “The Dark Side of Bankrol Hayden” was released, providing a timeline of Bankrol Hayden’s come-up as an artist in Modesto, California. According to Helloyassine, a Youtuber who makes hip-hop-related content and has over 150,000 subscribers, Bankrol Hayden received substantial help growing his rap career from a fellow Modesto artist named “Domzxo.”
Domzxo was a rapper in the early 2000s who was able to find success on platforms like Myspace and Youtube. He was relatively popular in Northern California, and some of his music videos have millions of views. He was seen in many early videos with Bankrol Hayden, recording, travelling, and spending time with him.
According to Helloyassine, who has screenshots of conversations between the two parties, Domzxo had essentially coached Bankrol Hayden as a rapper, designing his first logo for him, advising him to sell merchandise, mixing and mastering all of his music, and overall, giving him insight into being a successful artist.
There is also speculation that Domzxo helped Bankrol Hayden get the “29” music video posted to WorldStarHipHop. It is believed that Domzxo also told Bankrol Hayden to wear his back brace from his car accident in the music video and helped take care of him. There are two video clips of Bankrol Hayden visiting Atlantic Studios before his contract that Domzxo appears in. However, the two have not been seen together since 2018. During that year, Bankrol Hayden made a song called “Bestfriend” that allegedly featured Domzxo’s little brother.
However, it was never finished, and after an apparent quarrel with Domzxo, who was mixing and mastering the song, Bankrol Haydn decided to drop it without the feature on it. The song received criticism for dropping in sound quality midway through, which Helloyassine attributes to Domzxo not finishing mixing it. Since this incident, the two have not collaborated on any music.
What To Look Out For
The trajectory of Bankrol Hayden’s career has spiked dramatically in the past two years. With his unforgettable hooks and distinct voice, it is safe to say that the young rapper’s future is bright. The rapper has admitted that he has “checked out” of school and plans to fully pursue his music career. In terms of his sound, his first album carries influences from several different spaces in hip-hop, as well as R&B. Whether he diverges from this sound remains to be seen.
Bankrol Hayden looks to build on this success in 2021 with the release of his sophomore studio album. Recently, he has also been involved in providing relief for victims of wildfires in California, encouraging his followers to donate to the cause. He posted a vlog of him in Fresno, California, donating supplies to firefighters and victims of the Creek Fire. In the video, he is seen helping set up service areas for victims, handing out food, drinks, and clothing, and taking pictures and talking with fans.
The rampant issue of wildfires in the Golden State is one that struck close to home for Bankrol Hayden, and he has been vocal about it online. This is the first charity-based event he has been spotted in.
Bankroll Haydn currently has over 800,000 followers on Instagram and 10,000 followers on Twitter. He has over 3,000,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. His Youtube channel has over 400,000 subscribers.