By Andrea Nazarian
Bbno$ doesn’t take himself too seriously, and it’s working. Since 2016, the Vancouver-born rapper (real name Alexander Gumuchian) has dropped a steady stream of bouncy rap bangers, unexpectedly blew up in China, and gained up millions of listeners from around the world – all while keeping a tongue-in-cheek attitude toward the whole thing.
With a Canada-wide tour with Vancouver hip-hop duo So Loki under his belt, and the release of his sophomore album “Recess,” bbno$ isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. A follow-up to his 2018 debut “bb steps,” “Recess” is stacked with distorted, wonky hip-hop tracks loaded and ready to slap. The 22-year old has refined his delivery on the LP, spitting a mumbling, fast-paced flow that skips like hopscotch over producer Lentra’s percussive beats. From the album title and cartoon cover art to absurdly funny lyrics like, “Tater totter Harry Potter please get off my dick,” Gumuchian’s fun-and-games attitude is alive and well.
Bbno$ knew he wanted to pursue music full time while recovering from a competitive swimming injury a couple of years ago. Bored resting up at home, he started making tracks for fun, quickly falling in love with the process and diving in one hundred percent after finishing up his bachelor’s degree. Inspired by SoundCloud rappers like Yung Lean and Pouya, Gumuchian has kept a DIY philosophy towards musicmaking since day one. Like his peers, he’s leveraged the SoundCloud platform, continuously making tracks exactly how he wants to, connecting directly with producers and putting out content without the help of a label.
“I don’t want to be that guy who’s super over confident and conceited about being a rapper because everybody can be a rapper nowadays,” Gumuchian explains over the phone from L.A., where he’s recording more music. “Even though I might not make tracks as quickly as other rappers, I definitely have fun doing it and it’s not as much of a stress for me.”
bbno$’s career got an unlikely boost overseas after one of his tracks got played in a dance video by mega-famous Chinese dance crew TFBoys. A member of the crew danced to Gumuchian’s track “Yoyo Tokyo,” instantly making him a viral sensation in the Asian country. The unlikely shout-out racked him up millions of plays from Chinese fans and gave him the opportunity to perform a sold-out tour through the country in 2017. The experience was a huge motivator for Gumuchian, who hasn’t stopped making music since.
Describing his style as “oxymoronical rap” – a juxtaposition of lighthearted lyrical content with hard, punchy delivery – bbno$ is most definitely the jokester of the SoundCloud rap generation. “I don’t have anything particularly important to say in my bars. I’ve lived a reasonably normal life until now and I didn’t have any major struggles other than breaking my back swimming,” Gumuchian says. “I think rapping about a lifestyle that I can’t relate to doesn’t make sense. I don’t want to rap about shooting people, I’d rather rap about rolling up with my Nerf gun.”
Gumuchian has been working constantly and has more music in his vault than he knows what to do with. With “Recess” out on all platforms, bbno$ isn’t going into time out any time soon.bbno$, hip hop, Soundcloud Rap