Bank Row is a rapper in Winnipeg.
Where to start, Terence James Ruiz aka. Bank Row, was born July 16th 1992 in Winnipeg Manitoba. When he was only 3 months old his parents split, leaving a young Bank Row coming from a broken home, his mom living in South Winnipeg, and his dad living in Dowtown Winnipeg. Whenever Terence was with his dad he usually took him to his work (which at the time was the balmoral hotel downtown and in osborne village to "The Zoo") where they usually played lots of music because they were both bars/hotels. So Terence had been around music all his life.
At the time music wasn't such a big deal to him because he was still so young, but he'd always find himself bobbing his head with the beat, and singing along with the lyrics, music was in his blood. Up until he was about 9 years old BR had only listened to music he heard, he didn't listen to a specific style, until some of his friends introduced him to the first rap album he listened to "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'" by 50 Cent. He had listened to alot of hip hop before (such as Jay Z, Eminem, B.I.G and more) but he never knew the names of those artists, he just listened... and liked what he heard. So by the age of 10 he started paying attention to the music industry, not quite ready to become an MC but he was paying attention. When he had entered Junior High School (Grade 7) he was 12 years old. He met some new people, one of which became his very good friend named Tyrone aka. "TripSev". He showed him how to spit and tried to teach him the ropes. Terence had always done good in Language Arts class (especially poetry) so it wasn't much surprise when he started writing some "poems" towards a beat. Then he started recording 1 minute tracks, but Bank Row never was the best at listening and didn't follow the advice he was given, he tried his hand at spitting and worked to get himself in the industry... even though he was as Naive as he was...
Bank Row was only 13 when he started his music career, but he was naive, so naive that he wasn't true to himself! Which most know, that will get you NO respect in the rap game. He was rapping about the hood and gun play, sure it had a catchy rhythm and some crazy punchlines, but at what cost? The loss of self respect? BR didn't think it was a big deal, he had seen all these other cats doing it on BET... Why not him right?, WRONG. He had to learn that the hard way. This kinda talk (which is partly a good thing) attracted A LOT of attention, negative attention, extremely negative attention. These false tracks were a huge turn off to his music, he was being labeled as a "wigger" trying to rap, he's changed a lot since then... but he's still working to shake that title
While he didn't exactly come from "the hood" he had seen his fair share of struggles, A LOT of struggle, whether it was getting mugged, his parents fighting, playing the "father figure" at his moms, shaking off "the haters", getting into fights, money issues, etc. etc. these struggles usually come out in his music such as the track "Whatever You Got" " Yeah, I'm ready for whatever you got Too many times ya'll been the jury, I was verbally shot" - Bank Row That's just one line speaking about how Bank Row is constantly being judged and shot down by the crowd, but that's all apart of the biz which he would soon come to learn.
At first when a still naive Bank Row was getting "hater mail" he wouldn't know how to deal with it, he would crack under all this pressure, leaving him constantly stressed and pushing him towards slight depression for the summer of 2005 Terence didn't leave his house much, basically not at all, he felt no cared for him, and all they wanted to do was judge him, he was in a state of depression, he couldn't handle it. At times Bank Row would feel close to suicidal (never actually getting close to attempting it) like he wasn't needed, so for a while he dipped out of the music scene, no opportunities were arising for him and he kept getting ridiculed which he couldn't handle, so for a while he stopped writing music... until he would come to realize how much he needed his music...
About a year later (06-07) Bank Row was back! and hotter than ever! He was back to recording (still disappointed at the fact that his quality was GARBAGE) people were liking his tracks, he was back to doing what he loved, at the time is was still a kind of recreational activity, until he would decide to go full throttle
When Bank Row came back he wanted to start something new, at the time rap groups were the big thing, so he felt he needed to be in a group (not ready to be a leader, he was a follower of mainstream rap [WHACK]) So him and his 2 good friends started "The Young Riderz". They started working on some songs for a demo (this is when Bank Row was starting to really take his music seriously) which created many problems. For ex. one of the members would never show for rehearsal or the other 2 wouldn't pay for studio time and so on, so after a few months with that group and 5 written tracks (not completed) he left the Young Riderz, not that they cared because they are still good friends, and the other 2 weren't really into the music anyways.
After Bank Row had left the Young Riderz he continued working on his solo music, (a lot of which were swagga, money, and fame related) but still being clouded by mainstream hip hop he was rapping like another soulja boy, (with better lyrics) until TripSev had introduced him to another cat in the game that went by the name of "Stattis". When Trip had tried teaching BR about spitting he didn't pay much attention because he was still young, but now that he was older, and had gain leadership skills from his old group he was ready to learn. He had leaned to be who YOU are, hip hop is about representing yourself, no one can respect YOU if you aren't you, the guidance he was given made a lot of sense and cause a huge turning point in his career, Bank Row threw out all his old rhymes and started over, he was "re-born" a new MC, with love and respect for hip hop. He had stopped following and listening to the fake rap and started listening to the real hip hop like Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z, Cassidy, Saigon etc. After finally becoming "real" and true to the game, he put all his work and money into his music, his mother (being as supportive as she is) bought him his first mixer and mic, he went out got the rest and stripped foam from his bed and put it up in his closet, he was now putting 110% into his music to get where he needs to be in the biz.
Now that Bank Row had reached his peak of perfection, spittin real music, with crazy metaphors, catchy word play, and finishing punchlines, labels were trying to get a piece of him, the right labels tho? not exactly. Indie labels had tried to sign him, but since he was no longer a fool, and had become smarter in the rap game, he would ask questions, and almost every time something suspicious would be the reply, so he had turned down a few offers (one time the turn down led to pathetic "name calling" and shut downs, from a "35 year old CEO/Businessman") He just realized he had to work even harder and put in much more time and effort to get his music to the right label, and the right people
To Bank Row his music is almost Therapeutic, he writes when he's sad, mad, happy, or just whenever. It's a way he expresses himself and his emotion, "if it wasn't for hip hop i don't know where I'd be right now" - Bank Row
At the moment Bank Row is still working harder then ever, after releasing his "First Deposit Mixtape" (the day after his release) he went right back to work and already started working on "Second Deposit". "Personally, I've got a love for this hip hop life, it's a constant grind, it gets stressful but you've got to know sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get where you need to be" - Bank Row