Contemporary R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Jordan Bratton was only nine years old when he played Simba in a Broadway production of The Lion King, but he eventually gravitated more toward music. Bratton caught the attention of the RCA label, who signed him on the strength of a performance that impressed. In late 2013, Bratton started to build interest outside his native New York with a free digital-download mixtape, The Grey Area, for which he provided all the production work and, rather daringly, made without a single guest spot.
The following year, he was credited as co-songwriter and co-producer on Kim Cesarion's "Angel Wings." Bratton's proper debut single, "Danger," featuring Fabolous, was released in early 2015 as the teaser for the EP Youth, which he also promoted by opening for labelmate Jazmine Sullivan. Released that May, Youth also contained "Prisoner," a track on which Chance the Rapper provided a guest verse. After a handful of singles and featured appearances, Bratton completed Driver's Ed. The predominantly self-produced mixtape was released by RCA in October 2017.