With his debut album set for release August 7, its exciting times for Brighton based MC and producer Benaddict. A well recognised name on the scene thanks to a consistently killer output of mixtapes and tracks, and known for trashing live shows with his Dreebs affiliates up and down the country and across Europe. The Garden Of England will not only be Benaddicts debut, but the first full length artist release, and with that first full length vinyl release, from Yogocop Records; who have been doing their thing in Brighton since 2012, carving out their own niche in hip hop with their signature kicked-back, seaside sound.
“I guess a debut LP was always the plan from the start, I could have carried on doing dubs mix tapes but I see it as a natural progression. Life got in the way for a while but in reflection I’m glad it took this long. If I wanted to get all philosophical about it I’d say everything happens for a reason haha. I take a lot of inspiration from different things but the album title is a phrase used for my home county, Kent. It’s also a bit of a tongue in cheek reference to all the 100% legal horticulture I used to get up to.”
With the album up for pre-order on Bandcamp, we can get a sneaky little listen to two songs from the album, the first a bouncy back and forth between Benaddict and NuphZed, weighing up the age old concern of working on new projects or getting shitfaced. The second a more introspective trip, with the always on point Awfer backed up with the smooth tones of Bronte Shande. Both tracks hint at an album as dexterous, and head-boppingly good, as we’ve come to expect from Yogocop.
“I think [the albums] preserved the same kind of sound I’ve always cultivated. My first love was golden era boom bap and I don’t think it’s strayed from that vibe too far. I’d say a lot of the subject matter has developed from my earlier releases, back then I had an exclusively intimate relationship with weed so that was what 95% of my music was focused around. As I’ve moved away from that it was only natural to widen my perception and It’s filtered through into my lyrics.”
Even a quick skip through his Soundcloud page reveals a host of different tracks, lyrically covering topics that are at times weighty and intensely personal. Showing an artist with a broad lyrical style, able to find inspiration in all life’s details.
“Pretty much anything [inspires me to write] really. Everyone’s got a unique conception on what life entails, why the fuck we’re here and what’s right and wrong. For me, the hip hop I enjoy most is the stuff I can relate to. Everyone is essentially alone on this crazy planet so feeling a part of something is important. I write about the things that effect me, personal experiences and opinions. It always amazes me when people message me and say how my music has helped them through something deep in their life, that’s pretty much what it’s all about for me.”
A recurring theme for Benaddict’s song writing has often been his ability to spin a yarn to the beat, something he suggests dates back to hearing Immortal Techniques Dance With The Devil at the age of 13.
“It was fucking mental. It was like a whole new world of hip hop had opened up for me. The way a song can evoke the same, if not more emotions in some cases, than a film or visual representation of a subject is something special and that really intrigued me. There’s another lesser known tune by Verb t and Skrein, ‘The Thrill is Gone’. That’s nuts too. Without getting too deep, the best music achieves the aim of translating words/melodies into a feeling that’s experienced by the listener. I guess that’s why shit pop music about ‘love’ targeted at emotionally confused 14 year olds is so successful.”
Not pedalling shit pop music, Yogocop has gone from strength to strength since its humble beginnings in 2012, and continues to grow, remaining entirely artist-run and independent.
“Sometimes I think it would be easier having some smarmy executive in charge of the whole label haha. Tryna keep everyone happy in a business is difficult, especially when it’s run with friends. It started off as some mates who just wanted to put out some music and gradually became a label, a lots changed since we started back in illiterates basement, what seems like decades ago. We just wanted have some kind of platform to release our music and it’s pretty much stayed that way. Over the past few years we’ve been getting a bit more business minded but it’s still kept the same homegrown feel, I don’t think it will ever stray from that. Dingo!”
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