YBN Cordae’s Powerful Video Shows How The World Can Treat You When You’re Broke
YBN Cordae is currently enjoying his breakout success since dropping his debut solo album, The Lost Boy, late last month. The concept LP looks back at the 21-year-old’s life seasons and the hardships he has overcome. In the last year and change, he processed those pains into power, now with an album in the Top 20 of the charts.
Earlier this month, the artist with Maryland and North Carolina roots impressed fans with a trio of HOT 97 freestyles that bridged a generational gap in the genre. Now Cordae drops a visual to accompany his single, “Broke As F**k,” to detail his come up from rags-to-riches story.
“Broke As F**k” kicks off with an introduction into YBN Cordae’s early years. He remembers feeling poor, mourning loved ones, and being separated from siblings all at once. Over a piano-driven instrumental, he raps his chorus: “I was broke as f*ck / Down up on my ass‚ had the lowest luck / Used to ride the bike up to the store‚ I need a Rover truck / A Bentley coupe / Yeah, I’m wearin’ Prada‚ I like Fendi too / Grandma passed, had a heart attack, only 62 / My cousin shot / Got me paranoid, who to trust or not / Gave my brother 25 years, that really sucked a lot.” He takes these lyrics and shows those bike rides to the store in the visual.
Steady flowing over the Trap-tinged production, Cordae addresses his initial interests in Hip-Hop music and creating a plan toward a career in music: “Flashback to Brasstracks / And we was playin’ ‘No Problems’ / We was crankin’ all the classics from the spring to the autumn / And I said motherf*ck / Need a bad b*tch with a tummy tuck / How I make a million from a dollar? It was dummy luck / Need a new Lamb’, no sedan, f*ck a Hummer truck / I’m aiming for the top / I’m steady climbing, f*ck a runner-up.”
As the song’s second verse begins, the track hits a switch in production and tonally becomes lighter, mirroring Cordae’s newfound fame and attainable career. “Mom and dad never had a d*mn thing, d*mn shame / Now I’m poppin’ champagne on a private jet, f*ck an airplane / Order Bossa Nova, eating plantains / Presidential Rollie, f*ck a campaign / Impeach, ni**a / Ten deep, ni**a / Remember days we was wearin’ J’s, and a gold chain, only had three figures / So fortunate / Proportionate, Lost Boy, ni**a, no coordinates / Remember Christmas? We was gift-less, three-foot tree, no ornaments.”
The first half of the song’s video shows Cordae riding his bike to a store and stealing small goods from a convenience store, only to eventually get shot by the store’s owner while fleeing. As the beat switches, we see a brighter future for Cordae, which may represent taking the choice to pursue music. A clever, albeit straightforward, display of the rapper’s potential outcomes from experiencing an upbringing in poverty.
The Lost Boy features involvement from J. Cole, Chance The Rapper, Anderson .Paak, and Pusha-T.