What is Ben Listening To? Chance, The Rapper

Every city has its trove of rappers that dually highlight and embody the ethos, struggles, and culture of his or her respective metropolis. A few weeks ago, I chronicled Danny Brown, a Detroit artist, whose scraggly appearance, troubled past, and current rebirth in many ways parallels his home. For this post, I’ll feature Chicago’s Chance, […]

What is Ben Listening to? Dr. Octagon

Like any umbrella art, rap is divided into numerous sub-genres. There’s cloud rap, psychedelic rap, hip-hop, rap rock, gangster rap, you name it. For this post, I’ll explore a vastly unexplored sub-genre: horrorcore. Horrorcore, according to its reputable Wikipedia page, is “a sub-genre of hip hop music based on horror-themed lyrical content and imagery.” Within the horrocore cannon are some […]

What is Ben Listening to? Aesop Rock

Arguably the greatest white, jewish rapper out there is Aesop Rock, an underground hip-hop musician from New York by way of San Francisco. Not to be confused with ASAP Rocky, Rock — or Aes as he’s colloquially referred to — is one the most lyrical, perceptive, and, above all abstract rappers in “the game”. Ian Bavitz’ […]

What is Ben Listening to? Milo

Self deprecation is not a common feature of many rappers. It’s even more uncommon when the subject of the deprecation is the rapper’s own music. It paints a pretty pessimistic view about the art, and the artist itself. But it’s also very honest and self-aware, two traits that separate Milo from nearly any other rapper. […]

What is Ben listening to? Real Estate

In a manner contrary to many of the singers and rappers I listen to, I grew up in the suburbs. I was not raised in the urban, lower-income neighborhoods that most of my favorite artists happened to have spent their respective youths. Instead, I experienced the entirety of my childhood  in suburbia, surrounded by strip […]

What is Ben Listening to? Sun Kil Moon

I’ve documented almost exclusively hip-hop acts in my previous passion blog entries. I’ve also documented almost exclusively positive, or at-least optimistically up-beat artists. It’s time to flip the script for my next post. Sun Kil Moon is a folk rock group from San Francisco, and in many ways one of the most melancholy band’s I’ve […]

What is Ben Listening to? Digable Planets

If there’s a constant between nearly all rap artists, it’s that they love to talk about themselves. Be it the cars they drive, the drugs they consume, the woman they elope with, or the cities they represent, rap is undeniably a mode of self expression. In large part, this comes from rap’s roots: largely a […]

What am I listening to? Danny Brown

Old is a relative word. For rapper Danny Brown, old is 33 — his age last year when he released his second studio album titled, well, “Old”. A late bloomer to the rap game, Danny Brown rose to prominence in 2011, after his first album, “XXX” (XXX=30, again a reference to his age), dropped. Brown’s […]

What is Ben listening to? Deltron 3030

T0o many rappers, it seems, spit verses on money, women, violence, and cars. You’re hard pressed these days to find an emcee who speaks to the corruptions of society, the threats that a military-industrial complex pose, and the issues that arise from potentially dangerous increases in technology. But few rappers are like Del the Funkee […]

What is Ben Listening To? Das Racist

I have always had a very varied taste in music. Since I’ve started college, my library has only expanded. In fact, one of the most pleasurable surprises of living in the dorms my freshman year has been discovering new artists through those around me. We all have different backgrounds, and thus different tastes in the […]

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