There’s a long list of universally acclaimed artists that have carried the West Coast banner for their generation since hip-hop first hit the Pacific Ocean. Beyond each of the superstar rappers who have earned their place in West Coast hip-hop history, there’s a common tradition tying the West together: a fierce dedication to doing it yourself, making the music you want to make, and setting new trends while bucking old ones. The new generation, armed with talent and technology are able to produce the next big hit from the comfort of their bedrooms.
One such newcomer is Ben Green. “Change Up” is the debut single by nineteen year-old, Venice, California artist Ben Green. A product of public schools, and currently in college, Ben has been freestyling since he was twelve and writing songs from the age of fourteen. He is getting ready to redefine the scene and what it means to be from Cali.
“Change Up” is bursting with creative gusto and finds the young artist coming into his own musically, adding lush layers and melodic flourishes to his strong arsenal as a pure rhymer. There’s plenty of California flavor in Ben Green enthusiastic delivery and plenty of bounce in his LA-centric beat selection as he drops the track’s central line: “Don’t go dumb while the world goes stupid, gotta stay above it all, keep that Birdseye view”.
He’s got the skill set and smooth going swagger to chase down the ghosts of each of his influences. Bookmark Ben Green now so you can show your friends how far ahead of the curve you were after he inevitably blows up.
Green’s devotion to deceptively complex rhyming is easily apparent; hit play on the single and you’ll bob your head along with his infectious flow, but pick apart those lyrics on paper and it’s clear that Ben is a top-tier writer and wordsmith. That combination of swag and intellect is bound to take him far, and no one should be surprised when he’s buzzing on a bigger stage.
Contemporary hip-hop is becoming less and less about gritty street bars and more and more about genuine, from-the-heart music. If that trend warms your soul Ben Green is the perfect artist for you to get acquainted with.
Ben has taken his own personal path to find his sound, and the music he makes is so undeniably his own – his authenticity is irresistible on “Change Up”. Sonically, Ben Green fits on the shelf next to those melodic-inspired acts with sticky hooks, and lots of sharp references, but his perspective and songwriting style are entirely unique, while still maintaining a strong pop appeal.
Let’s hope Ben Green is able to ride his modern feel-good wave of sound and land the recognition he deserves. I think we should get ready for a long, storied career — the man isn’t even 21 yet!