Yatta Bandz wins fans with his sharp, emotional melodies, pouring his heart and soul into each and every bar. Coming through with a new collection of romantic rap ballads, the Bay Area sensation shares TUFF LUV, his second full-length album. The follow-up to his successful debut project Perfect Storm (over 100 million streams across platforms), TUFF LUV demonstrates Yatta’s ability to succinctly describe matters of the heart, distilling complicated situations into memorable hooks with his conversational melodies. The 21-year-old artist is wise beyond his years, demonstrating deep knowledge of self on “Hard Headed,” expresses the patience to wait for true love on the heartfelt “Find My Way,” and spits sincere game on the recent single “4Lifers.” The new album finds Yatta tapping into his raw emotion and delivering his best vocal performances to date on album highlights like “Way Out West“ (over 3.5 million total streams to date) and “Polaroid.” Featuring appearances from 3Breezy and Tatiana Manaois, TUFF LUV is available everywhere via EMPIRE.
To accompany the release of the album, Yatta shares the video for “Polaroid,” a highlight from the album. Tiptoeing around electric guitar curlicues, dramatic pianos, and soulful vocal samples, Yatta works a fast-paced melodic flow, looking at a past relationship from a birds-eye view. While he attempts not to dwell on his heartbreak, he understands, but still struggles to accept, that his partner’s decision to move on was the correct one: “You deserve better than what I could give/Tryna say ‘f*ck it, it is what it is’/Hard to say that when I keep lookin’ back, reminiscing on all of the sh*t that we did.” In the video, directed by AdamKG, the young rapper channels his pain into his performance, recording the song at EMPIRE’s San Francisco studios while scenes from his old relationship come to life through a series of polaroid pictures. Earlier this week, Yatta Bandz teamed up with Major Stage to share a performance of “Fallin Again,” another TUFF LUV highlight.
Born in Hayward, an East Bay city south of Oakland and north of Fremont, Yatta endured a rough childhood, experiencing periods of homelessness during his elementary school years. He found refuge from his hardships with his love of music, immersing himself in the discographies of artists like Juice WRLD, J. Cole, XXXTentacion, and Polo G. Yatta first found an outlet for his creativity by posting his original freestyles on Instagram, building a following that naturally followed him to SoundCloud, where he released underground hits like “Loyalty” and “Somebody,” and to YouTube, where he cultivated a following of over 202k subscribers. Yatta broke out in a big way in 2022 with the release of singles like “Don’t Go” (25.4 million Spotify streams, 7.5 million YouTube views) and “Unseen Scars” (25.2 million Spotify streams, 3.1 million views on YouTube audio), both of which can be found on Perfect Storm, his debut album.
With the newly-released TUFF LUV, Yatta hopes to expand beyond the Bay and earn some national recognition. Stay tuned for much more from the 21-year-old rapper.
© 2023, Seth “Digital Crates” Barmash. All rights reserved.