Baha Bank$

The exigencies of the moment demand a certain seriousness — unless you’re Baha Bank$, a pouty-lipped enchantress who calls herself the Queen of Chicago. Prior to 2020, Bank$ was not a rapper but a bottle girl and a YouTube comedian best known for her sketches on the much-subscribed Korporate Bidness channel. Were it not for a viral rap challenge that piqued her interest, Bank$ may never have started rhyming, but now she’s waging a veritable counterinsurgency against the doom and gloom of local hip-hop. Bank$ has more fun in a single verse than most Chicago MCs will have in a lifetime. She grabbed attention with “Shake Dat A$$,” her delightful, unencumbered 2020 duet with Chance the Rapper (who knew he was a strip club impresario?), and there’s plenty more where that came from. Her August 2021 debut, Big Bank, is an artillery bombardment of Day-Glo beats and mischievous rhymes.