#DontSleepHeat: Benkasso Is Staying On His Producer-Rapper A-Game

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    Atlanta has been on a huge come-up in the last couple of years as far as much goes.

    The Southern city has had tons of acts coming out of it that have been making an impact on the hip-hop scene, whether they be veterans or new rookies.

    Within that city, however, there’s also those who are about to step onto the scene and make that impact even stronger.

    Let me introduce to you…Benkasso.

    The Atlanta rapper/producer is currently hard at work on his own material, as well as others, and is trying to bring his own unique sound to the mainstream music scene.

    With influences such as Curren$y, J. Cole, and tons more, we’re sure to be hearing from him on our radio waves soon enough.

    I got a chance to hear from Benkasso, who told me all about how he got his start, how he feels about the Southern music scene right now, and who he wants to work with in the future. See the interview below!

    To learn more about Benkasso and hear his stuff, head to his website here.

    Tell me how you got into music, and what influenced you to start it up.

    Well, I feel like I’ve always been musically inclined, even though I’m really just getting started. At age 10 I had a trumpet in my hand and all throughout HS & college I played. I had always told friends around 15 or 16 “hey I really want to start producing” but didn’t have any equipment or resources to so do. After four years in college I just decided to move back home to GA, started making beats last year and started rapping this summer.

    How would you describe the “Benkasso” sound?

    If I had only only one word to describe my sound, it would be: unique. I feel like what can set me apart from great artists out there is my versatility, I try to tap as deeply into myself as possible to deliver music for people on just about any type of vibe in rap.

    Where do you think you fit in the Atlanta hip-hop scene?

    To be completely honest I’m not sure where I fit in yet within the city. I definitely understand “how” I will but, at this point I’m still just trying to gravitate to the groups who enjoy it.

    How do you feel about the South’s influence on rap today? Some say they’re back on top right now.

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    I definitely agree with the fact that the south is on top right now. It’s like we’ve been ignored so long back in the 90s that it has now become majority of other markets clinging on to our style of sound. I think one bad thing to that effect is that you have an over saturated amounts of artists who copy that sound. It makes the “different” artist’s job harder to ultimately stand out sometimes.

    Who are some of your biggest influences, and why?

    The artist who really made me want to produce music was Curren$y. I heard him here and there when I was in Atlanta but in college I heard him much more heavy in Louisiana. As I started to pay more attention to him, I noticed that he chooses the type of production that can give you old school hip hop instruments also mixed in with newer synths and it’s still so smooth it’s crazy. So I wanted to learn how to produce like that.

    As far as rapping goes, I would have to say my heaviest influences right now are J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Big K.R.I.T., Curtis Williams, and some others. Before I ever picked up a mic Cole was someone I always felt I could relate to. He’s the type of story teller that’s gonna expose himself to the point where it’s something most people out there can relate to.

    Who are you hoping to work with the most in the future?

    If there’s any way I can work with Metro Boomin I’d like to make it happen ASAP. He’s helping change the sound of rap in a crazy way and it would amazing to work with him.

    If you could put any album on repeat, which would it be?

    Of all time? That’s a tough question but I would have to say Kanye West: MBDTF because it really transcended the sound of rap (as his albums always do). Just an album you couldn’t get tired of listening to regardless of the year.

    What’s up next for you?

    Up next I have a new mixtape coming spring 2015. It’s gonna be a continuation of my progression and I’m excited about that. More shows around the city soon as well as a website on the way. Just continue the grind, basically. Making sure the vision actually comes into fruition.