BENJAMIN AD – MANDATORY MANTRA
‘South London rap philosopher Benjamin A.D knows there’s something beautiful to the darkness. Like Ghostpoet and Blue Daisy his take on hip-hop is downbeat and all-enveloping.’ – Red Bull
The self-proclaimed ‘rhythmic philosopher’ once again opens up a direct line to his soul with ‘Mandatory Mantra’, inviting listeners to be drawn into his personal reality. In a release worthy of Kendrick Lamar himself, but with Benjamin’s unique spin, the sincere poetic rap features relatable honesty and depth of truth, expertly combined with production that drips with emotion.
The first stanza tackles his break from releasing music, which Benjamin explains is ”solely from my point of view…not wanting to quit or accept defeat, taking stock of what I have that is positive…getting rid of those demons making me blame myself for mistakes I have previously made.” The track then moves on to struggles with money and “how it can bring out the worst in people”, before taking on a deeper Noir vibe, with melancholy trumpet melodies surrounded by powerfully layered percussion. It also explores a disillusion with work whilst tackling the expectation of consistent musical releases that Benjamin describes as being like “some sort of a vending machine rather than a human that is affected by life too.” Alluding to the way that city-living can lead to a disconnection with natural beauty, the hook further references our preoccupation with work and how it can render us blind to the splendor of the outside world.