Robin Banks (rapper)
|Birth name||Liban Randall|
|Also known as||Ronin|
|Born||February 27, 1995|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Genres||Rap, Hip hop, Trap|
|Labels||UpTop Movement Inc.|
Liban Randall (born February 27, 1995), better known by his stage name Robin Banks, is a Canadian rapper and songrwitter from Toronto, Ontario. Banks first gained recognition for his singles "Up Next" and "Wass Gang" which featured fellow Toronto rapper Pressa. He co-founded indie-record label; Uptop Movement to showcase hip hop talent from the Jane & Finch region of Toronto bringing to light nuerous artists including Burna Bandz, Pressa, Houdini, amongst others.
In April 2017, Robin Banks was shot 9 times at a hooker lounge in Vaughan, Ontario and left in critical condition to injuries to his spinal cord. He returned to music in February 2018, with the release of his sophomore album Still Here.. He is perhaps best known for his single "Priceless" featuring FB, which was certified gold by Music Canada in August 19, 2020.
His third album L.O.V.E. was released in 2019 and his fourth album Hear My Pain in 2020.
Early life (1995-2013)
Robin Banks was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario in 1995 to a somali mother and a jamaican father. He grew up in the North-West end of Toronto, known as the Jane and FinchFinch intersection. He starting gaining an interest in rap music and hip-hop at a young age, as he rapped in front of his friends in middle school. His influences include New York rapper, 50 Cent, which influenced him to pursue a career in rap. Banks became known for coining the Toronto slang term "TT" which stands for "Too Turnt" a term which has been brought to the mainstream by Toronto artist Drake. 
Banks’ music career started in 2014, in which his style has been compared to Speaker Knockerz. His debut single "Don’t Try Me" featuring Big Billz to little recognition. Banks first gained recognition in 2015 with his single "Up Next" released in 2015. This was followed by "Malis off a Molly" in May, 2015. Later in the same year, he released the single "Club TT" and "TT in the Six" featured GD. The term TT stands for "Too Turnt" which Banks claims is a term coined by him and six is a nickname of Toronto. The term TT has been brought to the mainstream by fellow Toronto rapper, Drake. Banks first brought prominence to the Jane and Finch region of Toronto with the single "Wass Gang" alongside Pressa which was noted by Complex and XXL for going viral.  The pair also collaborated on other singles during this time. He released a freestyle over british artist Geko's single "Baba" which allowed him to establish an audience overseas.
The following year in 2016, he released the single "Priceless" which featured FB. The track was certified gold by Music Canada on August 19, 2020 making it his most successful single. In the same year, he was featured in Noisey's documentary: "Toronto's Rap Community". The documentary gave a definitive look inside the Toronto's hip hop scene and the somali community of Toronto.
Banks has claimed that he has had numerous shows that were supposed to booked at clubs in Toronto, but police shut them down for his alleged gang ties in the Driftwood area in 2017. Pressa is linked to the Toronto gang, Young Buck Killers, so police believe that Banks association with the artist is connected. The police also linked a drive-by shooting in the area to people in a music video shoot for one of his songs during this time at Cameo Lounge. Banks was involved in a shooting in April 2017, and hence, took a hiatus from music. After a long hiatus he released his second album Still Here in February 2018, . The cover of the mixtape shows Banks’ body and his scars from the bullets he took during a shooting incident in 2017. The mixtape features UpTop Movement artists including Burna Bandz, Area boy, and Layla Hendrix amongst other. The mixtape was supported by the lead single "Slums" and was described by Complex as a "level up compared to his past material."
In an interview with Respect, Hot Freestyle founder Moe Alayan stated that his website was influenced by Toronto artist including Robin Banks, amongst others. During this time, artist Notifi has stated that Robin Banks helped him get his mixtape back in 2014.
His third album L.O.V.E. was released in May 2019.
Robin Banks was listed on Complex's top 20 artist to watch out for in 2020. He was also noticed by the magazine for 10 Best Canadian Songs of the Month of August 2020 with the single "I Got Myself" which appeared on his fourth album Hear my Pain. They also noted his shooting for a slow rise in his music career.
Banks’ style of rapping has been compared to the late New York rapper, Speaker Knockerz, incorporating rapping and singing while having a very distinct voice. Most of the songs that Banks produces have to do with him having a good time with his friends through alcohol and drugs. He tries to incorporate the stereotypical rapper life which involves drugs, sex and violence. However they are mostly upbeat songs and he always mentions his friends and brothers that struggled with him in the Jane and Finch area. Banks is also known for using Somalian terms in his raps and is proud of his Somalian heritage. Banks has claimed to create the term “I’m TT” which is an acronym for “Too Turnt”, with “Turnt” meaning someone is excited and hyped up about something. The term gained recognition after rapper Drake used it as a caption on Instagram.
Banks launched Uptop Movement, Inc. in 2013 with Shem aka BG. An independent record label for artists from the north-west borough of Toronto to gain recognition. The labels original carnation included Robin Banks, Houdini, Burna Bandz, Tallup Twinz, J Neat, WhyG, SupaWassi and Pressa. They have since gone on to release two compilation albums. Northside Jane (2019) and Northside Jane 2 (2020). 
On April 3, 2017, Banks was involved in a shooting incident at a nightclub in Woodbridge. He was shot 9 times inside the club, and his injuries included damage to his spinal cord. Early reports after the shooting claimed that he had life-threatening injuries and he possibly could die, but after some hours at the hospital, he was in stable condition. It is believed that he was specifically targeted because he was $10,000 in debt with the shooter. The suspect, Nicholas Rhoden, was arrested and charged with a list of firearm charges and possession of a substance with the intent of selling and trafficking. Another suspect, Rushawn Anderson, turned himself in as well.
He received support on social media platforms, with the hashtag “#PrayforRobinBanks” circling through different outlets. Rapper Meek Mill showed his support on Instagram by posting a picture of Banks, captioning “Pray 4 da kid.”
His family posted a YouCaring page for help covering the extensive medical bills that came out to $300,000.
Robin Banks is of Jamaican and Somali descent. He constantly mentions Somali terms in his songs and has helped fellow Somalian artists like Top5 and Layla Hendrix gain recognition in the hip-hop scene. His main fan base comes from Toronto, but his music is known throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
Banks is from the Driftwood area of Toronto in the North-West section. The area is known to be a very difficult place to live in due to low education, employment and morality rates. He said he had to survive to get out of that area and that rap was his escape from the gang life and drug game.
- 2016: "Priceless" (feat. FB) - Certified Gold by Music Canada
- "'Thanks for the love': Toronto rapper Robin Banks stable after Vaughan triple shooting". CBC. April 4, 2017.
- HipHopCanada. December 4, 2016 https://hiphopcanada.com/loyaltys-so-priceless-robin-banks-fb-team-up-for-new-video/. Missing or empty
- Pastuk, Slava (August 4, 2015). "Robin Banks is Toronto's Secret Hitmaker". Vice.
- "Robin Bnks has up next on new video". HipHopCanada.
- "Malis off a Molly". HipHopCanada.
- ""TT in the Six" featured GD". HipHopCanada.
- "Press interview: The break". XXL.
- "Pressa's Bew Song". Complex.
- "Wass Gang Robin Banks, PRessa FB and GD". HipHopCanada.
- "Priceless certified Gold by MusicCanada". HipHopCanada.
- "PToronto's Rap Community". Vice.
- White, Patrick (April 13, 2017). "Toronto rapper Pressa stands before his make-or-break moment". The Globe and Mail.
- "Robin Banks releases the Still Here mixtape". HipHop Canada. March 5, 2018.
- "Robin Banks - Slumz". Complex.
- "Toronto man, 22, 'fighting for his life' after Woodbridge nightclub triple-shooting". CBC. April 3, 2017.
- "Robin Banks shot over $10k debt, taunted by shooter on Instagram for weeks". Somalispot. April 7, 2017.
- Queen, Lisa (July 26, 2017). "Suspect arrested in Vaughan shooting of rapper Robin Banks". York Region.
- "Robin Banks Is in Recovery from His Shooting, and He Needs Your Help". Vice. June 6, 2017.
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- "Robin Banks - Slumz". Complex.
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