Alabama rapper NoCap got an early start in performing, rapping onstage by the time he was nine. When he reached his late teens, he developed a style that incorporated emphatic Auto-Tuned singing and soul-searching lyrics about growing up within a dangerous street life. After releasing a few tracks online, NoCap broke through with several viral singles. He kept this momentum going with mixtapes like 2019's well-received The Backend Child and 2020's Steel Human.
NoCap was born Kobe Crawford in Mobile, Alabama, and got into music through the mentorship of a man his mother was dating. With this man's help, NoCap and his brother began performing live shows locally, rapping and singing while they were still just children. When the romance between his mother and this early mentor fizzled, the young rapper took a break from music until his teenage years, when he came back with an intricate and emotionally reaching style comprising sometimes-rapped, sometimes-belted sung vocals. In 2017, he began releasing music online. By the next year, he'd broken through with the single "Legend," as well as his debut mixtape, Neighborhood Hero. NoCap also collaborated with Atlanta rapper Rylo Rodriguez in 2018 on the Rogerville mixtape.
The following year, the fully formed mixtape The Backend Child arrived, with buzz surrounding the heart-wrenching single "Ghetto Angels." The mixtape featured guest spots from like-minded rappers OMB Peezy and Quando Rondo. Before the end of 2019, he returned with another lengthy mixtape, The Hood Dictionary. The 16-song collection doubled down on the confessional, gospel-tinged style of his previous project and featured a remix of "Ghetto Angels" featuring new verses from Lil Durk and Jagged Edge. In July of 2020, NoCap surprise-released the mixtape Steel Human. The 16-song project included guest appearances from rappers such as DaBaby, Boosie Badazz, and Lil Uzi Vert. ~ Fred Thomas