Armani White

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Promoting what he calls “happy hood music,” rapper Armani White toiled underground for several years, releasing independent projects such as Keep in Touch (2019), before he broke through with the ebullient “Billie Eilish” (2022). The N.O.R.E.-sampling viral hit has led to a deal with Def Jam, White’s first placement on the Billboard Hot 100, and a follow-up single, “Diamond Dallas.”
Philadelphia native Armani White (born Enoch Armani Tolbert) knew during his childhood that he wanted to become a rapper, and stuck to it. He started rhyming during early adolescence, and before high school clocked time in a studio. His first commercial recordings appeared during the latter half of the 2010s, and included “Public School,” the Sango collaboration “Casablanco Freestyle,” “Onederful,” “Stick Up,” and “Touché,” among other tracks. Some of these appeared on Keep in Touch, a 2019 EP dedicated to his father, who had died of prostate cancer. Following a handful of singles and assorted featured appearances, White offered his second EP, Things We Lost in the Fire, in 2021. “Billie Eilish,” a single featuring a sample of N.O.R.E.‘s “Nothin’,” went viral the next year, and gathered even more steam after it was picked up by major label Def Jam. White quickly returned with “Diamond Dallas,” issued that August, just before “Billie Eilish” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100. ~ Andy Kellman