What is there to say about Benefit? Well, other than that his music is dope, not that much since his album is distributed solely as a CD-R with a lazer-printed cover, I don’t know much about the guy. Apparently he’s an unsigned emcee trying to start up his own label, So Sick records...as far as I can tell.
I was first introduced to Benefit when I heard the song ‘So Sick’ on the Internet, and I was impressed off the bat. His battle lyrics and dope, breathless flow (through the help of studio editing) backed by tight production are what impressed me. When I got this album I was expecting more of the same, but didn’t get it. The only song that can be compared to ‘So Sick’ is ‘Proceed with Caution,' which is on a similar tip and almost as good. But the similarity is acceptable since ‘So Sick’ doesn’t even appear on the album.
But, it turns out ‘So Sick’ was not the first I’d heard from Benefit. I had already heard him and didn’t know it. Many months earlier I had stumbled across a song I figured to be a joke by a non-emcee called ‘If I Owned a Midget.’ But after I listened to the song and laughed quite a bit, I realized that this guy was a serious emcee who had made a funny song. His name just didn’t stick in my head.
The main thing that sticks out about the album is its diversity. Benefit touches everything from humorous subjects, to battle rhymes, to the dead serious. All 3 of the battle tracks (‘Exact,’ ‘Proceed With Caution’ and ‘Supreme’) are clumped at the beginning of the album. ‘Proceed with Caution’ and ‘Supreme’ are both quite dope in all aspects. ‘Exact’ doesn’t live up To these tracks, except in it’s production, Benny comes with some relatively simplistic rhymes on this track, though the chorus was pretty fresh.
Next we have the humorous subjects. The aforementioned ‘If I Owned a Midget’ is Benefit’s fantasizing of the great times he could have if he ‘just owned a little pet midget named Gordo’. As far as comedy tracks go, this one is a winner. The better of the two comedy tracks is ‘Warp to World 6-9’. This track is laced with a sample from the Mario Brothers game. I know what you’re thinking; "It’s been done!" Yeah, but Benefit flips it iller than anyone else I’ve heard do the video game thing. And the content of the song is hilarious. He’s reminiscing about his time as a child attempting to beat the game, Super Mario Bros. because he believes that when you beat the game, you get Mario some play with the Princess. And the chorus...haha...listen to that chorus.
The rest of the tracks on the album are all on the conceptual tip. And Benefit brings it in this fashion as well. On ‘My Enemy,’ Benefit personifies commercial hip-hop as his enemy, and it’s coming after him. The track is executed well, as the production and rhymes are frantic, which goes along with the content of him trying to escape his enemy. In the end, he finds his enemy's weakness. ‘Blind Following’ is one of the albums better songs, as Benefit attacks organized religion. Though I don’t agree with the content of the song, it is executed very nicely. A tight beat, and nice rhymes along with a chorus constructed of vocal samples that is really catchy. I just have a problem with how he determines all following, to automatically be blind following. Then again, he raps about having a pet midget...
There aren’t many flaws with this album. I was feeling, literally, every beat on the album. As a writer, he is extremely creative, and talented. At some points he sounds a little too relaxed on the mic, but not often. The way he flows with all of the beats is on point, but nothing ground breaking. If you’re looking to hear dope, creative rhymes on tight production, and support an emcee trying to make it.