444-0019: Esay Bando - A Cinderella Story

It’s been a long road to this point but today we welcome the first EP from former D-boy turned rapper Esay Bando. 

A Cinderella Story is a rich and varied 6-track project produced by Rich Kidd with help from DRTWRK. It’s about loss, growth, violence, greed and all the ways they intersect, and it’s a deeply mature release for a new artist.

Bando is a man with a lot to say and he plans to say it all. The inspiration for single “’96 Hova” is a prime example in the way it is poignantly shared in the artist’s words. 

“I’ve fought for my freedom, I’ve fought for my family, I’ve fought for my life,” he relates. “This was probably the hardest song to make because I’ve never felt so vulnerable in my space… this one is for the survivors!”

Having to get home early each night was the reality that inspired the A Cinderella Story concept, along with with the parallels of a person looking to transform his life. The project also includes singles “2 Legit to Quit,” a street anthem which introduced the city to Bando’s unique drawl and knack for turning a phrase.

Previous single “Out The North” relates the story of the Chilean-born artist being stuck in Canada for more than a decade battling legal troubles and recording on house arrest, against the relatable backdrop of trying to break out of Canada as a new voice in the rap game.

“The number one thing that I’d like to be known is that the completion of the project happened under curfew,” Bando told us earlier this year.


A Cinderella Story is the story of getting away from the bids and the pain and the cycle and you will hear it in the six tracks, mixing hard-hitting street rap with melodic, reflective music, trying to carve a clear path from inside the struggle to outside of it.


A Cinderella Story is now streaming everywhere on 444% in partnership with Bando’s Stashbox Culture.

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