Who Is Erica Banks? Meet the Rapper Responsible For the #BussItChallenge

YouTube | Erica Banks
YouTube | Erica Banks

By now, you've probably seen someone doing the #BussItChallenge on TikTok or, at the very least, you've heard the song. But before you jump in and decide to take on the challenge yourself, you should probably know the woman responsible for it: Erica Banks. The 22-year-old Dallas rapper describes herself as someone with "a huge heart" who "loves big." "Some consider me a girly girl, while others see me as being edgy. I am of the streets," she told The Hype Magazine. "All in all, I am an extremely versatile girl who is on her way to the top. The name Erica Banks represents everything that a boss should stand for."

Erica got serious about music when she was in college, and her passion for it stems from her love of poetry. "I am a poet at heart. That's where it all started. Even in elementary school, I had a strong love for writing poetry. I was always in some type of oratorical contest and I would always win," she explained. "As I grew up I loved music, but that was as far as it went. I then went to college thinking that I was going to study to become a nurse, but as I got more and more into the program, I realized that this was not what I thought I wanted to do . . . One day, I decided enough was enough. I began playing with my rhyming skills again and then decided that I was going to leave school and pursue my dreams as a female rap artist." Get to know more about Erica ahead.


Her #BussItChallenge Has Taken Over the Internet

Yep, the 22-year-old Dallas rapper is responsible for the #BussItChallenge that has gone viral on TikTok. The challenge features her song "Buss It," which samples Nelly's "Hot in Herre" and was first released on Erica's self-titled mixtape in June 2020. As part of the challenge, participants show off their before and afters as Nelly's song fades in the background and Erica's beat comes in. Celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Monica, and Shay Mitchell have all jumped on board.

"It was a surreal moment watching it grow from platform to platform. I'm excited to see women having fun with it and now the guys are joining too," Erica told Nylon. "Watching the women transform is the best part of the challenge, and yes, that's something I relate to. Today I may give you sneakerhead and tonight you'll see me all glammed up."


She Recently Signed to Warner Records

Following the success of the #BussItChallenge, the rapper recently signed a deal with Warner Records. "I am proud to announce that I am now signed to @warnerrecords @warnerbrosentertainment 🎉🎉🎉," Erica celebrated on Instagram. "Thank you to EVERYBODY supporting me, and thank you to @1501_certified_ent 🤞🏾 I'm just gettin started!"


Prior to Her Rap Career, Erica Had Plans to Become a Nurse

After graduating from Desoto High School in 2017, Erica enrolled in Texas A&M Commerce to study nursing. However, she later had a change of heart and swapped her major to business before eventually dropping out to focus on her music. "I wasn't happy, and school was hard," she explained to 1501 Certified Entertainment. "I stopped going to class and was just kicking it every day. And I realized that this was not what I wanted to do. I didn't want to be a nurse. I didn't know what kind of business I wanted to own. I was so stressed out."

She then uploaded her first single, "Talk My Sh*t," to SoundCloud in 2018, which she followed up with two mixtapes, Art of the Hustle and Pressure. Erica's music caught the attention of 1501 Certified Entertainment CEO Carl Crawford, and the rest was history. "When Carl clicked on me for us to go live together, I played my newest single 'Buss It' for him," Erica explained. "He liked it. A couple of weeks after the live, he reached out to me and asked if I was signed to any other label. I told him no, and that's when he decided to sign me to his team."

Nicki Minaj Is One of Her Idols
Getty | Frazer Harrison

Nicki Minaj Is One of Her Idols

In an interview with the Dallas Observer, Erica cited Nicki as one of her inspirations. "I was fascinated by the whole Barbie doll thing," she said. Erica also noted Asian Da Brat and Cuban Doll as idols. "I saw that they were from Dallas, and I thought 'Cool, they're from my city, maybe I can do what they do too.'"

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Watch Erica Banks's "Buss It" Video