“With the 2015 arrest that threatened to derail his rising career now decidedly in the rearview, Fredo is back with a newfound sense of purpose: more viral, more hardworking, and more determined to advance than ever before.” – The FADER
“New Gen Winter 2019–His city’s favored up-and-comer and its most versatile rising act. Songs like ‘No Mo’ show his penchant for soul-searching narratives and music-as-medicine melodies; his debut full-length is full of the street-savvy records that brought YoungBoy Never Broke Again to rap’s top spot; the success of ‘Oouuh’ proves he has a one-of-a-kind ability to reach all sides of the hip-hop and R&B spectrum.” – HYPEBEAST
Life hasn’t been easy for Fredo Bang, the rising Baton Rouge-raised rapper born Fredrick Givens. Between losing two close friends and spending two and a half years in jail, Fredo has already experienced some of life’s toughest tribulations at just 23 years old. Despite these challenges, Fredo’s music has taken his hometown and beyond by storm. 2018’s 2 Face Bang put him on the map with breakout single “Oouuhh” and a string of songs like “Shootas on the Roof” and “Father” fueled his momentum as one of last year’s most exciting new rappers to watch.
“Growing up in [Baton Rouge], you gotta be smart about your moves,” he explains reflecting on his childhood in Louisiana’s capital city. As early as age 11, Fredo began to see the world around him like a game of chess, learning to be particularly mindful of his surroundings and make decisions carefully. “My mind was more open to things [at that age], and I was seeing things—I wasn’t blind,” he says. A man of few words, Fredo spares little detail in conversation, preferring to evoke his personal narratives in the melodic hooks and effortless raps that propelled him to street stardom and viral internet fame.
Fred became Fredo Bang thanks to a nickname his late best friend, Krazy Trey, a local rapper in his neighborhood, gave him. He credits Krazy Trey for encouraging his own rap career, and the moniker, an ode to Chief Keef, stuck. Tragedy first struck Fredo’s life in 2014, when his best friend passed away. “I was still a child and I had a lot of pride issues,” he says about mourning Krazy Trey’s death. Following the loss, Fredo began to pursue music with even more conviction.
Fredo’s penchant for melody reveals the musical prowess he gained as a member of his middle school and high school bands. “There was a girl in the band that I liked,” he admits. “She signed up, so I signed up just to get at her,” he says, touching on his early, inadvertent introduction to music. Fredo played in the band for eight years, developing skills in both clarinet and French horn, and playing for the concert and marching bands. Eventually, he impressed enough ears to receive a scholarship at Texas Southern University in Texas. Instead, to stay close to home, Fredo eventually enrolled at Southern University before dropping out when he was arrested and locked up for aggravated battery in 2014.
“Jail gave me a way to think and see what’s important and put a game plan together,” Fredo says about his time behind bars. In jail, the rapper regained a fervor that he says matured him. “[I felt like] a waste of a life. [I thought] I serve no purpose here, so when I get outta here, I gotta make something of myself.” The experience was a trial of his strength, and a challenge that only made him stronger.
“Oouuhh” and “Father”, two of Fredo’s most popular records to date, were born during his lowest point while in jail. In 2017, he experienced another devastating loss when close friend and collaborator, Da Real Gee Money, died. “I never really got a chance to deal with it. When it first happened I was really traumatized by it,” he explains. “I ain’t eat for three days, I wasn’t sleeping, I was in a bad place.” Today, the single has amassed over millions of views on Worldstar and YouTube, and scored Fredo a remix from Kevin Gates.
“I just stepped away from the world. I had to find a way to push through because at the end of the day, I still got bills to pay and I still got family that depend on me,” Fredo says about the career-defining moment. His new mixtape, Pain Made Me Numb, is a sobering and honest investment in these principles. “I just wanted to express myself and give people more insight into me—a look into my mind,” Fredo says of the project. As far as what’s next, Fredo has one goal: “I’m just trying to make a career, a long lasting career, that’s all.”
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