(Deathbomb Arc, 2014)
This is True Neutral Crew week apparently. On Monday, I posted about their freaky deaky new mixtape #POPPUNK on which Benedick, to pretty much everybody who has any idea about anything, expectedly killed his verses. Kablammo. Done.
But get this – he’s got a digital album out called El Negro, and, um, check it out. Actually, hang on a second – El Negro is about to grace our presence in physical form! And it’s got a bonus track not on the original digital edition? Huzzah! Enter “H8 Everybody [Enter the Black Prince],” a brand-new Benedick tune. That’s the video for it up there. Rock it for a second.
It’s pretty poppy, isn’t it? That’s ’cause it’s a hip hop “tribute to pop goth groups like The Cure,” and it really does have that vibe. There’s even a Siouxsie Sioux namedrop in there. The video is brilliant, with a comatose-ish Benedick sporting a ramshackle scientific contraption on his head and holding a computer screen on his lap, on which a non-comatose-ish Benedick projects what ostensibly is going on inside the rapper’s mind. Then he kind of argues with himself for a while.
The verses are incredible, and it’s amazing how conversational a tone the rhymes take on – they twist and turn through the young rapper’s psyche. As the video progresses, the Benedick with the contraption on his head becomes more and more agitated with the manic personalities and advice being exhibited and delivered by his screen persona. I’m reminded of a friend who used to warn me, “I imagined you, I can unimagine you anytime!” I’m glad he didn’t. But Benedick gets fed up with his computer-screen self and ends the conversation with, “Well what do you know, you’re just a figment of my fuckin’ imagination!” Boom, unimagined. Kind of.
It’s also amazing that he does all this video and production stuff by himself. It’s straight-up great work, fully realized and artistically rendered. And, I think it must be said that if Benedick ever hits the East Coast, we’ve got to get together for a Firefly marathon – his “Best in the Verse” t-shirt is a nice touch. Hip hop spitfire + geek elite fashion sense = mega intrigue. And he likes Bach, or so his hat says. That’s cool too.
El Negro is a must-grip. Buy the CD for “H8 Everybody.” But check it out here too for the fun of it.