Benny Starr

Crown of SC

HIP-HOP | Benjamin Starr

Rapper Benjamin Starr's 2015 album Free Lunch should need no introduction for local hip-hop fans. It was an infectious mix of laid-back jazz beats and heartfelt lyrics that demanded a societal course correction. Needless to say, it was easy to fall for. Starr kept rapping his way through concrete walls in 2016 with his involvement in the Very Hypnotic Soul Band and his single "Flowers," featuring local emcee hero Matt Monday. This year, Starr's returning to the world of solo records with a dedicated sequel to Free Lunch, titled der. The pronunciation is "water," by the way. "It's what I feel is needed after Free Lunch," says Starr. "[Free Lunch] had a defiant tone. It was like me speaking to anybody looking to devalue my people ... [der] is like my back is turned on speaking to them, and I'm speaking directly to my community." The new album will feature members of the Very Hypnotic Soul Band. Lyrically, the upcoming release will concentrate on various topics like spirituality, love, and the relationships between black men, women, and youth. "I'm just diving deeper into being more open emotionally." d r is expected to get a release in mid-August. ­ —Heath Ellison THURSDAY