PnB Rock is an American rapper and hip-hop recording artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He lost his father to a criminal when he was just three years of age. He was raised in the Germantown neighbourhood, which was not considered ideal by any means. He grew up listening to and taking inspirations from ‘Gangsta Rappers,’ such as Tupac Shakur and Biggie. He had to quit high school due to financial issues, and after spending some time among petty criminals, he decided to make a career in music. In June 2014, his debut mixtape, ‘Real N*gga Bangaz,’ was released, and it enjoyed moderate success. Atlantic Records signed him on, and thereafter, Rock started gaining immense attention from the local music-loving crowd. His 2016 single, ‘Selfish,’ finally did the trick of bringing him into the mainstream limelight and placed him on the ‘US Billboard Hot 100.’ This also led ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine to include him in the ‘10 New Artists You Need to Know’ list. His successful journey continued with his soundtrack for the major film ‘Fate of the Furious,’ with Wiz Khalifa.
Childhood & Early Life
PnB Rock was born Rakim Hasheem Allen, on December 9, 1991, in the Germantown neighbourhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. . His family faced poverty while Rock was growing up along with four other siblings. Having four children made it very difficult for the family to sustain their normal lifestyle.
In order to earn a living, his father became involved in illegal activities and in1994, was killed in a gang feud. His mother was burdened with all the responsibility for the poverty-stricken family. She frequently checked into shelters with her children, and Rock spent most of his early days in these shelters.
Rock entered school and fared well. Apart from being academically good, he was a highly popular kid. Many students followed him around. However, this very popularity led him to score poor grades and contributed to his ouster from the school.
At the time, his uncle, who was taking care of the family, died in a gang war, and this turned Rock’s life upside down. He started leading a life of petty crimes and drug peddling. He was sent to jail for three years, at the age of 19, after being accused of robberies and selling drugs.
Inspired by his struggles in life, Rock started writing songs in prison. He was determined to start life afresh, once he was out of prison. As soon as he was out of jail, he started uploading videos on Instagram under the hashtag #tbh, a viral trend that allows people to sing about other people’s pictures.
Around this time, his popularity rose further, and he decided to make his own music.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
In early 2014, Rock collaborated with one of his neighbourhood friends, another music enthusiast, and they came up with a track named ‘Weekend Baby.’ The song focused mostly on chaotic sounds, rather than on vocals or melody. Nevertheless, the song went big in the Philadelphia club scene and made Rock confident about his skills as a musician.
After the local success of the single, Rock started working on his debut mixtape, which was based on the poetry and the song lyrics he wrote when he was in prison. The mixtape, titled ‘Real Ngga Bangaz,’ was released in June 2014 and received respectable response.
This paved his way to get noticed by major music companies, Atlantic Records being one among them. They located Rock and offered a deal, which he gladly accepted, and his first project with Atlantic was a mixtape, titled ‘RnB 3,’ in 2015. This was his third mixtape , and by then he had already earned a big name in the ‘Gangsta Rap’ scene.
His authentic blend of R&B and rap music did the trick of establishing him as one of the very few new artists who didn’t follow any set pattern. His music was being loved and respected at the same time.
In June 2016, Rock released a single, titled ‘Selfish. The song became an instant hit and debuted on the ‘US Billboard Hot 100’ at the 51st spot. This was his first tryst with nationwide success and in October 2016, he was honored by ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine. He was included on the magazine’s ‘10 New Artists You Need to Know’ list.
Rock collaborated with Fetty Wap for a mixtape, titled ‘Money, Hoes & Flows.’ Similarly, Rock collaborated with many other musicians, such as Kodak Black and Kevin Hart.
In 2017, his album ‘GTTM: Going Thru the Motions,’ was released by Empire Distribution and Atlantic Records. It was initially said to be his first proper album, but music critics called it a mixtape. The album peaked on the ‘Billboard 200’, at number 28, and sold more than 1,00,000 copies within a week of its debut.
His amalgamation of feel-good R&B music with deep and heart-felt love stories had the fans going crazy for his music. He was subsequently signed on by the producers of ‘Fate of the Furious,’ to record a soundtrack for them. Rock worked on the song titled ‘Gang Up,’ which also featured 2 Chainz, Young Thug and Wiz Khalifa.
He presented another single, ‘Horses,’ with A Boogie wit da Hoodie and Kodak Black. He was featured on the annual ‘Freshman Class’ list of 2017, released by XXL. Finally, in November 2017, after years of working on mixtapes, PnB Rock released his full-fledged debut album, titled ‘Catch These Vibes. The album title and the cover art were released by Rock in September 2017, on his Twitter account, and the album featured 18 tracks. Many of the songs were done in collaboration with other artists, and the album is still enjoying a successful run in the market.
PnB Rock has had a difficult past, which he never shies away from talking about, in his songs. Most of his songs are autobiographical in nature, and he says that he is here just because of his past and he would not change a thing even if he could.
Rock has four siblings, including an autistic younger brother, and one that died in a gang feud, a few years back. He frequently donates money for autism research and other social deeds.
Rock likes to keep his relationships secret, but it is assumed that he started a romantic relationship with a girl when he was 15 years of age. They broke up in 2009, when he was sent to jail, but he admits through his song lyrics that he has never been in love ever since.
However, he did have a few relationships, and one of them ended with him having a daughter, Milan, who was born in October, 2013.