Friday, October 22, 2010

How About Just a Cool, New Record?

Not too long ago, I tweeted something to the effective how it was nice that - for the first time in a long time - there was so much good music coming out, it was getting a little hard to keep up with. Robbie from Unkut twittered back, "Really?! I must have missed it all, then." LOL But seriously, there's a lot, and I've been covering some of it, but there's still a lot more for me to get to. Like, for instance, this little 12" that just dropped.

Beneficence is a New Jersey MC who's been flying under the radar for a long time now. He put his first 12" out in 1994, and he's been quietly putting out stuff ever since then. This is his latest 12" single, which just came out on Undisputed Entertainment.

"Heavy Hitters" might get your attention because of who's on production - Diamond D (who he's worked with before). And this is a really nice effort from him, too. It's a simple, mellow track with matching piano and bell loops that are instant head-nodders; and Beneficence compliments it with a relaxed, confident flow and autobiographical raps. Ben's not an immediately impressive MC - there's no tongue-twisting flows, brilliant rhyme patterns or novelty-value punchlines. But he's the right kinda guy from a beat like this.

The B-side, "Royal Dynasty," isn't quite as compelling, but it's another solid track, produced by DJ LKB. The beat's a little harder, faster and definitely respectable, but it doesn't grab you like the A-side. And when the track isn't stealing the show, it does leave Ben feeling a little, well... boring.

So, pick this one up for the A-side, you'll definitely be feeling it... and just take the B-side as a little bonus. Both tracks come in vocal (they're labeled as "Clean," but I don't think there are any curses in the first place - in fact, he takes a stand against cursing in "Heavy Hitters"), instrumental and acapella versions. This is the lead single off his upcoming fourth album, which will presumably be CD and mp3 only. And this isn't one of those pricey limited deals, so if you're still buying hip-hop vinyl, it's an easy choice.

Update/correction 11/3/10 - I'm told that actually the full-length album will be released on vinyl, and we can expect it to drop around January, February 2011.

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