Well on his way to global stardom, Armani White is one of the leading names of the new wave of US rap. The Philly-native first crashed into mainstream ears with his huge global hit “BILLIE EILISH”, and has since gone on to greatly impact the rap landscape with his undeniable charisma and unique approach.
Following head-turning single releases “SILVER TOOTH” featuring A$AP Ferg and “GOATED” with Denzel Curry, White has now unveiled his hotly-anticipated, Def Jam Recordings-released EP Road to CASABLANCO., a project that flaunts the versatility, sharpened-craft and broad artistic vision of the rising rapper. With additional features from Fivio Foreign, Fridayy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes and N.O.R.E as well as the inclusion of Ferg and Denzel, White illustrates an impressive reach and seamless ability for chemistry with other artists.
The potential of White as an artist is far-reaching; his natural ability to construct a hit, his individual tone and flow and intelligent, striking lyricism lay the foundations for the artist to be amongst the biggest stars in American rap.
We connect with the exciting talent to discuss discovering his sound, his excellent new EP, and what’s to come from him in the rest of the year.
Listen to the EP…
Read the exclusive interview…
Who and what inspires you?
I pull most of my inspiration from my story and the stories of other people walking thru fires or facing adversity and making it out of it. As well as just being intrigued by people who live completely different lives from mines, I love to experience new things and write about it.
How did you find your sound ?
My early understanding of music came from growing up in church and watching a lot of the battle rap scene in Philly growing up. What really helped me learn to make music, especially music outside the box was when I discovered the genres outside of hip-hop. I took a deep dive into alternative and rock at one point, just trying to find anything that sounded as far from normal as I could.
How would you define the essence of your musicality ?
I like to call it “Happy Hood Music.” Music that invites you into my world, the good and bad side and makes you feel like more of a tenant than a guest. The goal for me always in creating music is imagery and world building.
“BILLIE EILISH.” really put you on the map! How did that track help shape your sound and your career?
“BILLIE EILISH.” showed me I was right about the stuff I be yelling about in my bedroom when no one else is listening haha. When I wrote the song I was bouncing off the walls, same as when I recorded and same as when I posted it. It allowed me to be more confident in my direction of music; being able to make a hit record just purely out of having fun is a dream.
We loved your recent link up with Denzel Curry on “GOATED.” How did the collaboration come about and what are you conveying with the track?
At first I just made the song for a sync about feeling empowered and like the greatest. After that though, it became something we always played around the house and we started doing the Goated Shoulders to it. I loved the song but because I was just floating on the record for the sync, I felt like a real rap verse was missing. After performing a few times and seeing the energy it had when we played it out loud, I knew Denzel would smoke it!
Similarly obsessed with “SILVER TOOTH.”… how was working with A$AP Mob legend Ferg?
Working with Ferg was fun as hell! The song in itself is so upbeat that you got no choice but to match its energy. The song started off as a FaceTime, I played it a day before I got to LA and soon as I landed we went straight to the studio and finished it. I was eating Bossa Nova the whole time, I remember my food more than anything else honestly.
What has the creative process of the new EP been?
A lot of has been a hybrid of how I usually work and finding times through all of the traveling to make it into the studio and lay some ideas down that I can come back to later. Some of the records were made around the time of “BILLIE EILISH”. Records like Proud of Me and No Mistakes we finished then kept going back to add the special touches onto it. Like the choir etc.
Why is the project entitled Road to CASABLANCO.?
The ‘Road To Casablanco’ is the EP that leads to CASABLANCO haha. It’s a prelude in short, and because we didn’t have room to do everything we wanted with this project, I just let a few of my favorites out the vault while we’re fine tuning the rest.
What are the main themes that you are portraying on the EP?
The biggest themes are battling imposter syndrome and learning to step into my own light. I’ve been the underdog for so long that I didn’t know how to fully become the superstar without feeling a bit of “I don’t want the people I came up with to think I changed.” I’ve always been the enforcer and enabler for myself to try things and try hard. At some point I let that get too cloudy and I used this album to recenter in the mentality of just believing in myself and moving for myself.
What do you want the legacy of the record to be?
I want people to forever remember this as the introduction. A small window to the castle of CASABLANCO. And in 10 years when I’m making some crazy ass music with all these guitar solos and big choirs, they can say “yeah I could see it from his first EP”
Where do you want to take your artistry?
I want to be the biggest thing in music. And begin to venture off into film and television, from all aspects. I think by all standards I’m just a creative, no matter the medium.
What else is to come from you this year?
Right now I have a few festivals and shows we’re finishing up. I’ll be back on late night TV once the writing strike ends and and I’m working on my actual album… CASABLANCO.