Last week Yogocop Records released a new video from Benaddicts’s recent LP, The Garden of England and so I thought I’d use the opportunity to tell you how fucking good the album is. If you’re yet to experience it, suffice it to say it is easily one of my favourite UK releases of this year and is arguably one of the more accomplished releases of the year too. Ninety Three is a good indicator of why, with Benaddict’s at once relaxed and intricate flows, weaving through Ded Tebiase’s head-nod instigating production. People keep trying to tell us boom bap is dead, but take this as Exhibit A in the case against that argument.
The rest of the album follows in that same vein, with a couple of thought provoking, deeper feeling tracks thrown into the mix, like Bullet Boy, the Dil Maddy produced December and Struggling, which features Awfer and Bronte Shande, and touches on the all too important subject of suicide among young men. These are balanced out with tracks like Does Anybody Care? which features label mate, NuphZed and harks back to the days of bar for bar MC duos, which entered the endangered rap species list after the 90s and have enjoyed a recent renaissance thanks to the success of RTJ. There are also guest spots from Illiterate, Omaure and Brighton-based vocalist, Ella Mae, who provides more 90s flavour with her hook and harmonies on Keep Striving.
The whole album is definitely borne from the mind of someone who has a large amount of understanding and respect for the tenets of rap and its history. And managing to capture that classic sound without becoming a cliché is something that serves to highlight Benaddict’s passion and talent even further. You can stream The Garden Of England below and downloads are available here.