Benny Ben’s World Father, Husband and Ya Favorite DJ’s Favorite DJ

28Mar/111

Mini-Reviews: Rick Ross – Teflon Don – Def Jam.

Posted by benny

rawss

Let’s get this out of the way first. This *could* have been (almost) flawless if it didn’t have a song with f*ckin’ Trey Songz. Let’s be clear: inclusion of Trey Songz = preclusion of classic status. I just deleted that one off the bat. Now with that out of the way… You listen to this album and you get the feeling that Rozay really cares about making good music. The officer’s subject matter is far from honest in most cases, but the lyricism and production will pull you in without fail. Notable exceptions include the one–two punch of “MC Hammer” and “BMF” in which lyricism is tossed in favor of over the top fraternal twin Lex Luger beats and a big fat ass yelling at you about his foreskin, which I happen to enjoy a great deal. Ross gets to flex his wordplay a bit on the Illuminati flavored “Free Mason” with Satan himself, Mr. Shawn Corey, and celebrate excess with its current king, Kanye Tudda on "Live Fast, Die Young." DJ Clark Kent and Ne-yo (I know…) help cook up a lush banker on “Super High”, and surprising collabs with Cee-Lo (took me awhile to warm up to "Tears Of Joy" - had to dig it back out of my recycle bin), Raphael Saddiq and Erykah Badu resemble the guest list on a late ‘90s Common album. I liked "Aston Martin Music" too, but I can't stand hearing it on the radio now every time I eject my iPod adapter tape to hide it in my glovebox when I park downtown. It's about to be deleted, lest it pop up on my iTunes shuffle and embarrass me while I'm with someone in the car. To sum up, its one of the better .rar files of the past year. Take out the Trey Songz joint, substitute the mixtape banger “Knife Fight” w/ Kool G Rap and you’re in business.

15Mar/110

Mini Reviews: Strong Arm Steady – In Search Of Stoney Jackson – Stones Throw Records.

Posted by benny

strong-arm-steady-stoney-jackson

Shouts to Hugh Whitaker for putting me on to this. This one was unexpected, but a nice show of Cali hip hop unity. Highlights include a couple of guest verses from Planet Asia (whose time to shine has yet to come, but WILL come soon), as well as the conscious food jam “Chitlins & Pepsi” which plays like a 2010 update of ATCQ’s “Ham & Eggs.” Nice to hear some Madlib beats featuring rappers.

19Jan/110

Photos & Press Updated

Posted by benny

Cuteness...

My Inspiration

Ellery & Oscar Moore

and hilarity...

...ensue.

26Oct/101

In the Club and On the Streets: Random Facts (or How to Make Booty Music Nerdy)

Posted by benny

DJ Benny Ben - In the Club and On the Streets

Design by Colorblind Creative. Photo by Susan Brown Kennard.

Family & friends, last month my family over at A-Side Worldwide saw fit to feature yours truly on their notoriously dope podcast. It’s been a hectic couple of months for me, preparing for and welcoming a new baby into the world, and this is the first chance I’ve had to share with you my experiences recording what may be my best work to date (of course you will make that decision).

Having said that, I’ve decided to share with you some “actual facts to snack on and chew” in regard to how this mix came to fruition. Of course, I’ve included some colorful commentary that you yourself may determine the accuracy of.

Before you read any further, point & click here, subscribe to the podcast for iTunes, and hit play on this mix:

http://www.asideworldwide.com/podcasts/in-the-club-and-on-the-streets/

For even more background, head over here for my thoughts on what this mix means to me:

http://fryinginvein.com/passion/miami-bass-detroit-booty-jit-chicago-juke-whats-the-difference/

Don’t forget to copy and paste these links to send your friends.

Now then...

Random facts about this mix:

IX Lives of Now On and A-Side Worldwide had been after me to do this mix since winter of 2008.

I finally started it in February 2010.

It was posted in September 2010.

I recorded this mix in the studio of acclaimed producer Bob Stoopz of the Detroit/ Miami rap outfit Stoopz-N-Breeze. Who better to record a mix that is often times a literal blend of Miami and Detroit DJ culture?

The day I started recording this was the day I found out my wife Breanna was pregnant for our 2nd Child (my son Oscar) - just born the other day October, 15.

Stoopz and I recorded this between Feb and May 2010, getting together an average of once every week and a half, barring snow days.

Though the graphics for this mix prominently feature the Fryinginvein.com logo, the site’s gatekeeper GambitDMC (add him on AIM) was only at two of our several (almost weekly) recording sessions. Catch him EVERY SINGLE WEEK at #TweetTea.

This mix was made with all vinyl (hang on – this is gonna start getting nerdy) except for 4 songs. One never existed on wax. With the other three, I spent hours & days looking through my storage unit, my house and my parents’ house to find my copies before finally giving up and using Serato. Big up DJ Graffiti for helping to usher me into the digital age.

I recorded the main mix in about 3 sessions and did pretty much straightforward DJ sets mixing one record to the next. Then over several more sessions, we went back over many of the instrumental parts and I mixed acapellas, or stripped down tracks with vocals. Then, we looked for stripped down vocal tracks and mixed funkier beats underneath. The overall effect was to create a “four track” feel, but not have it be too perfect. I wanted for there to be almost always something new going on, and for it to progress from a basic DJ mix into pretty much a fucking bonanza, and then cool down toward the end. It’s pretty well an homage to all the greats I grew up listening to mixtapes by: Wax Tax N Dre, DJ Godfather, DJ Ugly, DJ 2 Smooth, Gary Chandler, 12 Tech Mob & others.

At one point in the mix (starting at 21:32), FOUR records can be heard in the mix at once. Guess which four tracks and I have a gift card from Henry’s Palace for you for one private dance.*

The first piece of wax we recorded was “Time Space Transmat” by Model 500 (Juan Atkins) and the last one we laid was “Bangin’ the Beat (Bangapella)” by DJ Assault. This was one of the ones I couldn’t find my wax for. After scouring my storage unit for the 1.5th time, I said “screw it,” and installed Serato on Bob’s Atari XE. It was tough to find the right place for that one. I knew I wanted the stripped down “Bangapella” mix, but there was already so much going on in the mix (hint for the challenge above), that I wasn’t sure it would sound right. However, thinking back on my trip out to LA last year with A-Side in which we chanted that refrain non-stop (“RTs” ensued on Twitter, in fact), I knew it had to be on there. Luckily we were able to fit it in, and “maximize the ability of the four track.” Soon we had a perfect fit and it became the title track.

The “Let Me Bang” track is sometimes credited to DJ Assault or DJ Deeon.  Assault has included it on mixtapes. The track though is produced by Deeon, and there’s even a repress of the remix under his name on Databass Records. But the OG releases were credited and broken down differently. The original, credited to the alias Debo, was released on Dance Mania Records (along with “1995 Hit” a “Hit it From the Back” remix also included here) on the Split Personality EP. The original is the one that starts on the “Big booty bitches...” verse, and the remix, credited to another alias, Low End Theory (also on Dance Mania Records) is called “L.M.B. (RMX)”  and is on the 3455 EP (along with “Suck It” which is also on this mix). The remix is better known and starts out with “This track is for them player haters…”  Both versions are included here.

Equipment-wise, we used two Technics 1200 turntables, a Gemini 626 mixer, a Vestax 07 Pro mixer, two Shure M447 needles, two Prozack Turner promo slipmats, one Upstairs Records slipmat, a bad-ass Apple computer with the OG version of Protools, a Mac book Pro (thanks @HubertGAM), Rane Serato software & hardware, a couple of crates of records, an Atari XE, a Sony Minidisc Walkman, a small Realistic mic and one good ass mic to record this magic.

I was lucky enough to get some drops from some of my famous friends (Self Says, Loe Louis and my Sky Children homies Buff 1 and Mayer Hawthorne). When I got the drop from 14KT I was surprised to hear singing in it. Bonus!

Bob Stoopz recorded me in Protools and when we got done, we had a session so large that he was forced to delete several gigs of snuff pornography and Dan Marino highlight reels just to get it to “bounce down” to an .mp3. How we ran Protools on an Apple II, I’ll never know.

When we finally got everything laid down and it was time for Bob Stoopz to do the mixdown, he turned to me and exclaimed that this was “gonna be a nightmare” for him.

Bob Stoopz sports the strong scent of Jordache cologne mixed with Taco Bell’s Spicy Chicken Burrito, and he could only get me in for studio sessions in between visits from “Woodward’s finest.” I’ve never seen so many hookers over 40.

The process of recording a booty mix (particularly the content of the music) presents any number of opportunities for either I or Stoopz to say “That’s what she said.”

Bob Stoopz was will soon be compensated for his studio time with a case of Labatt Blue (per Bob “you can’t get this shit in Miami!”) and a couple of trips to the Sonic drive-in which he refers to as “tits & tots.”

Coming soon: A geographical breakdown of the mix by artists'  hometowns  (pie chart if you’re lucky).

*No prize will actually be awarded.

3Mar/100

Exclusive Interview with TheUrbanian.com

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Benny & Friends at Lager House pictureIt is not often that the world gets to hear from ya favorite DJ's favorite DJ, so when someone does wrangle him it tends to be big.  Sydney Hawkins caught up with Benny for an interview that went on TheUrbanian.com and it came off pretty nice.  Epic shout out to Sydney and the entire Urbanian camp.

At the end of the interview, there's a link to Benny's Pill Mix that appeared on Rude Jude's Shade 45 show. Since we're nice people, here's the link: http://www.sendspace.com/file/r9b420

Here's a snippet:

SH: This was obviously a bright spot in your music career. What other things have you been into over the past few years? What would you say are some other highlights?

BB: Highlights…there are so many. 6 1/2 years on the radio at WDBM… a childhood dream. 4 years doing Elevation at the Firefly w/ Graffiti & Buff 1. My homie Mayer Hawthorne bringing me out to LA this past year to open at The Roxy & play the Do-Over party at Crane’s. Just being out there with my Sky Children / A-Side Worldwide family, Buff 1, Now On, AML, 14 KT and all those guys. I’m so proud of all the success they’re having right now, and really just honored to be a part of the crew. The highlights are really just the relationships I’ve built with people like them, Hubert, my man SelfSays, Stoopz-N-Breeze, BLAKE Eerie, the list goes on. I’ve been blessed to meet a lot of good people.

SH: Any notable projects or gigs coming up that we should pencil in?

BB: Next up I’m working on a recording a podcast for A-Side Worldwide (http://www.asideworldwide.com/), that should be done later this month. I might finally release the 2 year old mix CD I’ve been sitting on called “Money Twelves”… Not sure about club gigs but folks can hit me up on Twitter (@DJBennyBen) if they want to book me. I think the last one I did was Oslo. I’ve also got some weddings coming up too. My homie Hubert & I have some things in the works as far as a DJ service as well, so be on the lookout.

For the full interview, check An Urbanian Exclusive Interview with DJ Benny Ben.

19Jul/090

Pardon the Dust!

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Welcome to my web domain! Pardon the dust. We are currently in the middle of redesigning the site. Feel free to enjoy this mix from an old Cultural Vibe show.

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