The emergent New Orleans rapper Alfred Banks has garnered critical acclaim from some of Hip-Hop's most esteemed publications. In addition to being named one of Complex's 10 upcoming New Orleans MCs, Banks has been featured prominently on HipHopDx, Okayplayer, The Source Magazine & on DJBooth's list of Top indie rappers from Louisiana. Having performed at renowned festivals like Atlanta's A3C, New Orleans' Buku and Austin's SXSW, Banks has also made considerable headway in Europe, starring in a Volkswagen ad campaign featuring his song "HomeComing" in addition to achieving performances in Germany and Spain. In late 2016, the BBC's Russian network interviewed Banks, extending his reach well beyond Europe.
In 2014, Banks joined former XXL Freshman Mickey Factz's 15-city "The Red or Blue Pill Tour" as an opening Support. In 2016, Alfred Headlined his own "The Beautiful" tour of 17 cities & most recently touring with Ted Talk Speaker/Rapper Marco Pave for "The RiverKings2Tour," which was co-signed by Chuck D of Public Enemy. Thus far, Banks has also shared the stage with Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Lupe Fiasco, The Wu-Tang Clan, and A$AP Ferg, and his live show earned the attention of RevoltTV, who crowned Banks the winner of their 2015 "LocalLoveTour." Additionally, he and G-Eazy teamed up to create the song "My Style."
Most recently, Banks released his LP, "The Beautiful." "The Beautiful," inspired by his brother's struggle with mental illness and his eventual suicide, serves as his third album & most ambitious to date and features a conceptual approach dealing with schizophrenia and the complexity of identity. In early 2017, the National Alliance of Mental Illness & UnMaskNola both took notice of Banks' music and its focus on mental-health awareness, and partnered with him on promotional efforts for "The Beautiful." He recently released his latest project "Road to a Rolex" and opened up tours with Big Freedia and Tank and The Bangas.
Banks, who struggled with homelessness while attending Loyola University on a full-ride scholarship, opted to leave academia behind and pursue MCing full-time. Outside of music, the New Orleans native has made a name for himself through his unapologetic sense of personal style, and can often be seen sporting a fresh pair of sneakers and a scarf tied around his mic. His essence of individualism is something he applies to his life mantra, which is embodied by his UnderdogCentral movement. Created in 2012, UnderdogCentral is a metaphor & represents the Place where the Overlooked go to hone their skills & return to become the admired. You can find Alfred Banks across social media with the handle @UnderDogcentral.