Hip-hop is in Benny Mails’ blood. The South London MC grew up surrounded by UK rap and even competed as a champion B-Boy as a kid, at events held in Brixton by Crazy Legs of Universal Zulu Nation – a US hip-hop crew founded by Afrika Bambaataa.
Today he demonstrates his this upbringing, with atmospheric cut ‘These Days’, featuring rapper and singer Kasien – another South London MC. With its mellow vibe but skippy flows, it’s a nod to intelligent ‘90s hip-hop lent a sharp 2019 edge.
Announced alongside a headline show at Soho’s Borderline (which sadly announced yesterday it will close its doors this August) the track sees Benny’s bars glide effortlessly over a pared-back, melancholic instrumentals from production trio Earbuds – the slowthai collaborators on ‘T N Biscuits’ and Greentea Peng’s entire ‘Sensi’ EP.
“I wrote ‘These Days’ in the studio with Earbuds and Kasien earlier this year, I grew up with Kas and we’ve been looking to work together for as long as I can remember,” says Benny.
“The song is about being trapped in a repetitive cycle, whether that’s one of routine – or having too much freedom and never knowing your next move. Sometimes in those situations you find that even trying to take a step back and find resolution can be overwhelming, but ultimately the song is hopeful – it just takes time to truly see things differently.”
Benny will play a headline set at Borderline on 20 June. Having already supported the likes of Loyle Carner and opened for Ghostface Killah and Raekwon and Princess Nokia, it’s set to be something pretty special.
Tune in to ‘These Days’ now…
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