Through his masterful flow and lyricism, magnetic stage presence, and profound grasp of history and social issues, Pineville, South Carolina’s Benjamin Starr is an artist both timeless, and perfectly poised for his time and place.
The buzz around Starr’s talent has been growing for years through his singles, EPs, mixtapes, and freestyle performances, leading to the release of his first LP in 2015 entitled Free Lunch. Charleston City Paper’s Kyle Peterson described the record as “a soul and R&B sample-infused effort that showcased the emcee’s formidable technical skills and keen political and social consciousness, music that harkens back to hip-hop titans Nas and Talib Kweli.”
Starr continues to further his reputation as a deft collaborator and community leader. In 2016, he released a live band EP with Very Hypnotic Soul Band. VHSB is a group of socially conscious artists who collaborate on high concept genre-bending projects that also includes creative/political podcast Emcees & Esquires, on which Starr is co-host.
He actively speaks and performs for community events such as NEA's Big Read 2017 collaboration with the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the Vesey's Resistance premiere, Emanuel 9 Rally for Unity, Southern Discomfort, Rainbow Rowed (A Free Verse event), Piccolo Spoleto, TEDx Greenville, Pecha Kucha, and Summer Shindig.
A Water Album is Starr’s sophomore album. Starr describes its creation:
"Music is deeply personal for me. After Free Lunch, I needed the time away from music to grow, and to feel; to love and to hurt; and I needed that time to discover and examine more of myself. I was luckily granted enough of those God-given moments to find the inspiration for A Water Album.
"On this body of work, I've been blessed to collaborate with many artists I have profound admiration for – both here in Charleston, and beyond. It is in that spirit of gratitude that I present this album to you, as I plan to not only debut A Water Album , but to also record it live, with the city that inspired much of its creation. I want Charleston to be a part of this recording – it is the only way I could imagine presenting this.”