Hailing from West London's Mozart Estate, Marvin William Bailey lived the street life as part of the Harrow Road Boys -- before translating his struggle-led lifestyle to the mic under the alias of Fredo. Delivering his verses in a blunt, almost effortless style, the rapper produced radio anthems and underground classics in equal measure, finding his biggest success alongside Dave on the #1-charting "Funky Friday."
Few debut singles have as much impact as Fredo's "They Ain't 100": marking not only Bailey's first single, but his first time on the mic, the 2016 track received millions of streams across the UK, swiftly landing an OVO Sound Radio co-sign from Canadian superstar Drake. The same year, he released two further singles - the swaggering "TrapSpot" and bassy "Pattern Gang" - before featuring on the remix to Kojo Funds and Abra Cadabra's "Dun Talkin" alongside Yxng Bane, Frisco, and JME. With a forthright, almost-spoken delivery, Fredo's narratives embraced the authentic experiences of the Harrow Road Boyz, capped off with the heavy, swaggering soundscapes of the mid-2010s trap scene.
Soon, Fredo was building the foundations for his debut mixtape. In early 2017, the rapper dropped the brash "Get the Pot," while an appearance on the Fire in the Booth freestyle series cemented him as one of the city's hottest rising talents. The tape, titled Get Rich or Get Recalled, arrived in March that year: lacing the bravado of his work thus far with a smattering of conflicted street tales, Fredo's debut tape provided the high-stakes narratives and blunt-force braggadocio fans had come to expect from the West London talent. Sophomore tape Tables Turn arrived just a year later, taking a noticeably more radio-ready tone with traces of afroswing and a feature from Hackney's Not3s. Yet it was a quick pair of singles that soon turned Fredo from hot talent into national superstar: an appearance on Stay Flee Get Lizzy's "Ay Caramba" provided the rapper his first top-40 appearance, before Dave collaboration "Funky Friday" landed Fredo the coveted #1 spot in October 2018. A modern classic of the UK rap scene, the track saw both MCs trade slick, cocky bars over a minimal beat, marking both artists' first chart-topping appearance.
Moving into 2019, Fredo used his newfound momentum to drop debut album Third Avenue, which painted a rounded picture of the MC and produced top-40 hits "All I Ever Wanted" (with Dave, #15) and "BMT" (#25). Another major success came just a few months later with MIST collaboration "So High," a bouncy, club-led banger that peaked at the #7 spot on the UK charts. After closing out the year with a show-stopping appearance on Daily Duppy, as well as charting singles "Netflix & Chill" (#13) and "I'm the One" (#39), the MC set to work on his sophomore album, Money Can't Buy Happiness. Previewed by anthems including "Scorpion" (#37), "Back to Basics" (#20), and third Dave collaboration "Money Talks" (#3), Fredo's second tape marked new directions for the stalwart MC - such as his UK drill debut - while continuing to deliver the weighty trap on which he built his name. ~ David Crone & Liam Martin