Bay Area rapper, MBNel, returns with his introspective new single “Don’t Say” out now via Muddy Boyz/Empire. Born and raised in Stockton, a city in Central California with a busy rap scene, MBNel built a reputation on the west coast for his combination of hummable melodies and relatable trench tales. On this piano-driven track, we witness the Filipino-American rapper reflect on his come-up, sharing stories from his struggle and contrasting them with his recent success “Designer clothes for all the times I used to borrow clothes/They tried to set the play, I hit that audible.” In the video, we witness Nel taking a break from the grind and indulging in a well-deserved vacation as he jets to London, Amsterdam, and the sunny Cayman Islands with some of his closest friends.
His first new song of the New Year, “Don’t Say” arrives on the road to Started In The South, the Stockton, CA native’s next EP. Arriving during a period of sustained growth from Nel, the new EP finds him reflecting on his success and paying homage to the streets that raised him. The “south” in the EP’s title refers to its position at the bottom of the map–Nel started at the bottom, but he’s quickly emerging from his circumstances off the strength of his authentic anthems.
MBNel ended 2022 on a hot streak, releasing songs like the devastating ballad “Fadeaway,” dedicated to the memory of a fan who recently passed away, and “Toxic,” a relationship drama and duet with the rising singer Haben. Born and raised in Stockton, a city in Central Cali with a busy rap scene, MBNel built a reputation on the West Coast for his combination of hummable melodies and relatable trench tales. The 25-year-old artist has a loyal following who respond to his naked authenticity, a quality on display on his 2021 project No Hard Feelings. In the wake of last year’s success, Nel is challenging himself artistically, pushing the boundaries of his sound as he continues to express his truth.
Check out the “Don’t Say” music video from MBNel below: