“For once, everything in Detroit hip-hop is clicking, and KOD is a step closer to Lonnie reaching a breakthrough that so many Detroit icons before him couldn’t.” – Pitchfork
“He’s been a prominent figure in Detroit since the mid-2010s.” – Pitchfork
“I got something to prove right now. I feel like my breakout moment hasn’t even come yet,” declares BandGang Lonnie Bands. A forefather of Detroit’s ongoing Rap renaissance, Lonnie has amassed over 100 million video views across dozens of tracks and visuals that stream into the six and seven figures. Introduced as a standout member of the six-man BandGang crew, Lonnie has carried that momentum into collaborations with Shoreline Mafia, ShredGang, and others. However, after a string of mixtapes and albums, the pressures in BandGang Lonnie’s private life affected his stride. “I lost everybody,” he admits of tragedies throughout his family, rap group, and inner circle. Over two years, pain transformed into perseverance. On October 7, BandGang Lonnie Bands emerges with his H2K album. Hard 2 Kill refuses to retreat. Across 16 songs featuring Young Nudy, BIG30, EST Gee, and others, Lonnie insists his moment has arrived. “Can’t nobody mess with me on this one. This album is coming from the soul.”
From Detroit’s 6 mile section, Lonnie attended high school with Biggs, Javar, and PaidWill. The four teens started rapping together, reflecting the realities of their neighborhood without pretense or compromise. Eventually adding AJ and Masoe, the group became a dominant force in Detroit’s street rap scene. “Honestly, anybody since 2015 that caught a buzz in Detroit had to come through me first,” Lonnie states. The group embraced hometown producers, establishing a new sound of charged-up tracks mixed with raw, often offbeat deliveries. “The light went on Detroit,” Lonnie says of 2016, when BandGang’s “Out My Business” video reached millions. Tee Grizzley collaboration “Straight To It Followed,” a video single now with over 20 million views. HypeBeast declared Lonnie “a future superstar,” while Complex also singled out the long-haired rapper and praised his Antisocial solo for its blend of originality and musicality.
During the late 2010s, Lonnie balanced his vital role in the group with a burgeoning solo career. Work with Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, and Sada Baby followed. By 2020, that momentum changed. AJ (aka Jizzle P) and PaidWill were each fatally shot in Detroit, among other tragedies, less than four months apart. “I lost everybody—my best friend, my cousin, two people in BandGang, and I lost a son,” the 26-year-old details. He continued to drop music periodically, but Lonnie attests that his moves lacked passion. During this time, one of the brightest spots in Lonnie’s life, his six-year-old daughter, asked him why he wasn’t making music anymore. “That got to me,” the proud and devoted family man admits. He returned to his daily recording regimen with a new intensity. “It made me go harder. I’ve gotten better at my craft; I’m taking my time. Usually, I’m just punching in and freestyling. Now, it can take me the whole day to do just one verse.”
H2K sends a message from BandGang. “I love that Detroit is getting the attention right now; I just hate how they try to count us out. It’s like they’re trying to blackball us or get us out the way—I named my album Hard 2 Kill, ‘cause they can’t,” Lonnie asserts. He titled his personal favorite, “Shoulda Got A Verse From Drake,” for attention. “I hope Drake sees the video or somebody plays the song for him. He could change a brother’s life.” Others are already showing love. Young Nudy delivers a powerful verse on “Glocs & Choppas,” while EST Gee and The Big Homie appear for sizzling collaboration “HOT.” “We put the features on the hardest records,” Lonnie explains. He was strategic about beats too. “I like my stuff to sound like something other rappers wouldn’t know what to do with.” BandGang Lonnie Bands refuses to have his contributions erased; H2K leaves permanent marks for one of the architects of the new Detroit sound.
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