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Friends Like These: bbno$ and Rich Brian

bbno$ isn’t entirely sure where he found the inspiration for ‘Edamame’, his July single with Rich Brian. All he remembers is spontaneously throwing out the song’s first and catchiest line: “Balls hanging low while I pop a bottle off a yacht”. Well, it was either that or because he had a poke bowl with edamame in it the same day – he can’t really remember.

bbno$ (pronounced ‘baby no money’) is no stranger to producing addictive hooks, having released one of the biggest TikTok tracks of 2019 in ‘Lalala’ with Y2K. For ‘Edamame’ the Canadian rapper and singer recruited Rich Brian, with the pair being musically aligned when it comes to the serendipitous nature of finding inspiration.

“It’s not necessarily like you’re writing [about] something [that] actually happened,” bbno$ explains to Rich Brian during their Friends Like These video chat for NME. “I just write whatever comes to my brain – and it sometimes works.” Rapper/singer Brian agrees: “I have a certain idea for a bar and then I just write it down. So I have a thing in my Notes just full of one-liners.”

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The pair’s wholesome friendship, meanwhile, is best captured in the slapstick music video for ‘Edamame’, in which they eat cereal, play Scrabble and cuddle together in bed, all while wearing suits of armour. “They forgot to put the shoulder pads on me,” Brian remembers about the chaotic shoot day. “It was straight metal weighing my deltoids down. It was the most uncomfortable thing ever.”

But at least the pair knew they had a winning track on their hands – that’s judging by the last text bbno$ sent to Brian, anyway. “We did it,” it reads. “Super global hit.”

With both artists being well-versed in viral fame, they’re each aware of the far-reaching impact that their music can have on their fans. “There’s always been this longing for me to not be someone that other people idolise,” Brian says. “It’s more, ‘How do I do something that motivates other people?’” bbno$ agrees: “The whole concept of being a positive influence… in the grand scheme of things, I feel we both are just like, ‘Yo, just be happy’.”

bbno$ and Rich Brian also discuss their love for Tyler, the Creator and Kanye West, reel off their favourite karaoke tracks and recall their first-ever live shows. You can watch the pair’s Friends Like These conversation above.

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