About Yankee B.
Jamaican-born rapper Yankee B. emerged from New York City with a fresh ragga/rap sound that incorporated elements of dancehall, East Coast rap, and even jungle techno. Born Joseph Hannam in a subsection of Kingston, Jamaica, Yankee B. grew up during a period of turmoil and witnessed firsthand the violent feuding between political parties in his area. His parents moved to the Jamaica Queens region of New York City when he was in his teens, and in the process he was exposed to the exciting first efforts of the Native Tongues collective as well as upcoming rappers like Nasty Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan. This, combined with the dancehall and ragga he had heard in Kingston, inspired him to try his hand at rapping. After a few years he began to release demos, and soon his first single, "Send Threat," was being released through Jamaica's Stone Love label. He built enough of a fan base in New York to get the attention of DJ Bobby Konders, who began to spin Yankee's "Sexy for Sure" single on his radio show. The track was a success, and soon he was releasing singles regularly through Massive B Records and building a large local following. A show with Beenie Man put him in contact with Gee Street Records, and by 1998 he had signed with the label and released his solo debut, Mucho Dinero. Collecting his Massive B singles as well as several new tracks, the record was a hit on the dancehall charts and even briefly made a dent on R&B radio with "That Feeling," a remake of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing." Despite his success, he didn't follow with another album, but did keep active on a number of compilation tracks, including a memorable duet with Big Punisher on The Year of the Backslap. ~ Bradley Torreano, Rovi