'Benzy and friends' : Lil benzy - album review

One of New Jersey's brightest young musicians hits listeners head on with a collection of sounds that emulate club-heavy rap in it's most uniform state. While Benzy and Friends does feel conceptually shallow at times, the debut project stays sonically and thematically consistent, attacking one lane from start to finish with little hesitation - giving listeners a bonafide reason to expect great things in the future.



There's something about musical consistency, especially on an album.

Consistency means self-awareness.

Self-awareness in music is priceless.

Too often, we're forced to stomach a new artist whose inability to recognize his/her own musical flaws is the nail in the coffin that is their demise.

Lil Benzy knows exactly what he's doing. For this reason, his debut project, Benzy and Friends, benefits heavily from simplicity. "Chobani", the album's lead single, uses pitched keys and booming downbeats to push an otherwise simplistic theme into the album's forefront, making it one of the projects highlights.

Another heavy strength on Benzy and Friends is the features. While no singular guest verse is head-and-shoulders above the rest (granted, Tony de Shayes feature on "Chobani" is a melodic triumph), Benzy does an impeccable job of arranging his features; every guest works with their respective beats seamlessly.

As much as staying sonically consistent can be a triumph, in equal parts can it be a burden. Benzy has really solidified one sound - it's glowingly obvious throughout the album. This is a double-edged sword though; Benzy and Friends feels monotonous at times, but that's not to say it lacks quality as a result.

Lil Benzy comes from Greek heritage. Fittingly his international appeal shines through on various occasions, but none more than "Garimpeira" - a track that screams "ZEZE" with a foreign twist, making for one of the album's best records.

Speaking of "ZEZE", one will quickly realize that Benzy's sound draws a few comparisons from techniques you'd see from Travis Scott, particularly the echoey vocals and a couple verses. In combination with his beachy, international sound makes for a formidable combination from front to back.

"First Date", another one of my personal highlights, is a Pierre Bourne-esque beat that sees Benzy gliding over the dreamy instrumental, speaking his eventual dreams into hopeful existence. Ant Beale's vocally driven verse is enjoyable too, largely for it's ability to compliment the underlying beat that accompanies his voice. Start to finish, this is easily one of my favorites on Benzy and Friends.

All in all, Lil Benzy's full-length debut has its ups-and-downs, but the young artists attention to keep his voice and sound uniform is impressive to say the least. So, what's next for Benzy? It's so hard with young artists, but I'm hoping he expands on his sound, adding unique elements that carve out a niche for the Jersey MC.

Additionally, I want to know more about who Benzy is, his project is sonically fantastic, but it lacks personality from the artist at times.

If Lil Benzy can keep his sound and simultaneously add a personal element to his message, the skies the limit for the one of New Jersey's most promising young voices.

Keep pushing Benzy, you're up next.

-Carter Ferryman-