On Shuffle: Signior Benedick the Moor – “A2onality”

Seriously, LOL! I don’t even know what to say anymore about Signior Benedick the Moor, the prog rap (god, is that getting old or what, there, Benny?) alter ego of Christian McLaurin. This year’s physical release of his debut El Negro on Deathbomb Arc, along with a cassette EP on the label as well – not to mention his collaboration on True Neutral Crew’s #POPPUNK mixtape (and yes, I almost typed “True Neutral Crue,” albeit without umlaut) – have cemented his releases’ status as “must-hear.” And to go along with an interview in The Wire, we get a new track. Guess what? “Must-hear.”

Freaking “A2onality” – who writes songs like this, let alone rap songs? Compositionally based around twelve-tone technique, or “dodecaphony,” Benedick has utilized a method “devised by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg … ensuring that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are sounded as often as one another in a piece of music while preventing the emphasis of any one note.”*

For a rap song. Your move, Kanye.

And then he flows all over this composition like crazy, spinning an insanely detailed tale of a farm-dwelling family on the brink of witnessing or experiencing an alien abduction, or something like that. But throughout the five minutes of the song, Benedick pretty much has written a treatment for a screenplay, such is the depth of detail in the songwriting. Imagine DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Nightmare on My Street” multiplied by about 500 and you’re getting close to the density. (Disclaimer: Signior Benedick the Moor does not remind me of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.)

And it’s a one-off. The track was recorded exclusively for the interview. What’s on his “cutting-room floor”? I want to know!

Well, hopefully we won’t have to wait long for a new release – he’s got a new album coming out sometime in the near future on Juicy. Holy crud, can’t wait.

In the meantime, enjoy “A2onality,” because it is impossible not to.

*Yes, from Wikipedia.


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