In June 2013, the New York Times posted an article about the work of 22-year-old Delano Brown, who was holding his first ever art gallery show in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with attendees by the likes of Fabolous and Daver Campbell–Chris Brown’s then stylist. Brown (Delano) at the time had been known for his “Yeah Lano” designs, most notably his signature bold floral print, which found its way on a vast amount of canvases, from Timberland boots, to Audemar watches, to even people’s bodies in the form of tattoos, which had actually been one of Brown’s first forms of artistic expression back when he was a 17-year-old in his hometown Baltimore.
Brown would form relationships with and sell these custom pieces to celebrities like Kevin Durant, Teyana Taylor, and Fabolous, the most notable of which being Fabolous’ Brooklyn Nets jerseys which he donned throughout his “Life is So Exciting” Tour. And because Fabolous has forever been regarded as one of rap’s fashion icons, Brown’s already large social media following grew even more once word got around that he was the curator of these pieces.
According to the NYT article, Brown’s goal in the long-term was art, yet what the article made no mention of was the fact that to that point Brown had been making and releasing music for at least three years under the moniker “Lano”. In fact, one of Brown’s mixtapes from his “Artrepreneur” days, Dirty Dozen, can be found on DatPiff and features a track with Young Thug, who’s had “history” with Brown, to say the least.
Fast-forward to January 2016, when a Soundcloud link to a song titled “My Baby” by an artist named 9021BLOW was shared all over social media by some of the biggest names in hip hop, from Diddy, to Lil Wayne, to Timbaland. After a couple weeks of speculation that this was simply the latest industry plant, an article was published revealing the identity of BLOW as, you guessed it, Mr. Delano Brown himself.
While there were (and still remain) no answers as to why the change in moniker, it seemed as if with the backing from BLOW’s high profile celebrity clientele, that he was poised for his big break as a musical act. But unfortunately, things just didn’t pan out the way it was expected after his exposure; as he released a self-titled project under the new moniker onto Soundcloud in late March of that year without receiving any of the same type of circulation or promotion that came with the release of “My Baby”. He then released music onto his Soundcloud sporadically for nearly a year without any significant coverage from online blogs or publications.
Recently, specifically in the past month, BLOW has been releasing music far more consistently, as he’s been working in LA with producers such as Nick City and Vikaden. He’s also put out a song produced by a duo you may have heard of, Daft Punk. On “GIMME A PASS”, BLOW’s unique flow, a mixture of rapping and singing he’s kept since his “Lano” days, runs seamlessly over the trademark production of the world renown French duo.
Up to this day, BLOW’s Instagram account continues to be tagged in posts of people showing their appreciation for the Yeah Lano pieces he designed. There was a link found from last August in which it was stated that the artist was “looking for beats for a new project” and yet no details of the project were available, and it has yet to arrive thus far. Whether or not the new music he’s been putting out lately is a sign of a new project to come, Mr. Brown remains a one-of-a-kind talent nevertheless, and output of his in any form will always be appreciated.