Benny Mails is back from hiatus and he's not here to play. The dancer / rapper from South London first started recording music at age 15 after jumping into a cypher with his elders at a house party. Gliding from one art form to the next seems like it must be pretty natural to this young creative.
Part of the group Nihilismus alongside Cesta, Saddler The Kid, Dariés Street-Soul and Papa Chayse, they have an air of the new-school with a wise old soul quality that should appeal to all fans of good homegrown music. The talented group have performed great sets at The Pit Live events and had an hour takeover live on The Pit LDN Show on Radar Radio last year. Benny Mails also recently blessed Tiffany Calver's NTS show with the bars he's got for days.
I Blocked My Dealer is Benny's first release of 2017 and his debut solo music video, which is hopefully an indication for a follow-up project. If you're like me and like a snarling heavy bassline, when the second layer of bass hits you'll be fully sucked in! It will leave you feeling like you've been slapped silly after the first listen, and I say first listen because lyrically you're not going to pick up on everything. It's like the gift that keeps on giving.
The meaning of the song is somewhat open to interpretation according to whatever your vice may be the message is to block your dealer, give it a break and get a grip.
In regards to production there's elements of Eskibeat that gives a nod to Grime's great Wiley, amongst who Benny has the potential to fit in with nicely. Genre-wise he is similarly not easy to define. Benny's complex lyrics and flow can certainly sit comfortably on either Hip Hop or Grime. You can't question his wordplay; there's nothing simple about it. Coupled with a beat that takes some unexpected changes in direction, it equates to a banger that deserves to be on repeat.
For a first video, the experience is simple but effective with some innovative spins on camera angles and the editing is in sync with the beat. His fellow Nihil members and photographer Ashley Verse can be pointed out as cameo features in the video. The subtle elements of design with silhouettes and contrasting hard lines of the street scenes offers a clean and refreshing alternative approach to the typical hood video. Peep the visuals below.