benaddict’s production on ‘Strange Plants’ manages to simultaneously have a beat that is beautifully spacious, firm and punchy. The blend of low level acoustic guitar chords and more intricate solos that pepper the track create the framework within which the poignant message can be delivered. This one is strong on so many counts. Lock into the lyrics and digest what is being said
Introduce yourself – what’s your story with music?
I go by the name of Benaddict, from the South of England, about 40 mins from London. My Dad is a musician and there was always some form of music in the house. He played a lot of guitar and is grade 8 on the violin. My brother and I naturally followed in his footsteps and got into playing different instruments from a young age. I was introduced to hip-hop when I was around 11 / 12 years old by a neighbour who was babysitting us. He was part of a label called ‘Defcon Records’ who were from around my area and put out some dope underground stuff. It wasn’t until I was around 14 when I started to really get into it and found the album ‘Between A Rock And A Hard Place’ by Artifacts that I felt fully invested in hip-hop and knew it was something I really wanted to be a part of.
I listened to a lot of UK stuff with a couple friends from school like Taskforce, Jehst and Foreign Beggars. We used to chill and smoke before and after school and free-styled in the park just joking around. I started making beats on my brothers old MPC around this time too but never really went anywhere with it. Around the age of 16 I really studied the art of writing and flow, it gave me an outlet from all the madness going on around me. I recorded my first demos around age 18 and I guess the rest is history!
Give us the story behind ‘Strange Plants’
I was heavily influenced by a lot of UK hip-hop. There was often a focus on the government and injustice of the way the country was run and opened my eyes to what was happening around me. I never really chose this sort of thing as a topic for writing as I felt like it had already been done right by the heads I looked up to. There were a couple of things I became more aware of and were in the forefront of my mind around the time of Brexit, amongst the ongoing patriotism by people from the UK I’ve witnessed over a number of years. Brexit seemed to highlight the underlying racist views a lot of people have and gave them a platform to feel comfortable voicing their views. Patriotism in the UK, being proud to be British is something I don’t think I will ever understand. We live in a country built on slavery, injustice and invading other countries for our own personal gain. I just can’t get down with being proud of that. I feel like ‘Strange Plants’ was just a summary of the unease I feel being part of a country that holds such false values given its bleak history.
Let us know what’s coming up from you this year – shows, releases etc…
I’ve got a few things in the pipeline but nothing I really want to announce yet. I guess you’ll have to wait and see haha.
#NewMusic tip – another artist we should be looking out for
Everyone needs to keep their eyes out for Verbz who recently released an EP on Radio Juicy with Mr Slipz. I feel like he’s got the kind of vibe the UK has been missing for a while. You can check it here:
Another guy who I highly rate at the moment who I feel is mad underrated is a dude from New York who goes by the name of Kerell. In my opinion he’s somewhere between Loyle Carner and Reggie Snow, but from the US. You can check his stuff here.
#NewMusic from England