Music has been embedded in Benny Rodriquez's life since before he was in kindergarten. At the age of 4, he began putting rhymes together and six years later he picked up the saxophone. Eventually the art form would serve as therapy for the introverted youth, an outlet to express his thoughts and emotions.
Originally from Brooklyn, Benny adopted the lyrical style of Hip Hop known to emerge from the Big Apple. Jay Z, Nas, Mobb Deep, and particularly Dipset were regularly part of his childhood playlists, and his West Indian family helped expose him to artists like Buju Banton and Shabba Ranks.
B.R. currently resides in Charlotte, N.C., so as a southern transplant it's understandable why he also lists Gucci Mane, Ludacris, and Lil Wayne among his favorites. The south's tendency to use 808s and triplet hi-hats have seeped into his sound as well.
After premiering his single “Ante Meridiem” on AllHipHop.com in November, Benny is prepping the release of his debut EP. The collection is expected to arrive in February after several versions have been discarded over the last 8 months ("I’ve gone through about three EP’s and scratched each and every one since May 2015").
Benny insists the EP will be an introspective and inspirational presentation that displays his soul in musical form. The Everett Walker produced cut "Vanilla Sky" serves as an example of the trippy direction the project is taking.
AllHipHop connected with the rising performer for the "Three Questions" series. The interview features Benny Rodriquez talking about the craziest thing he has ever done over love. In addition, he lets loose his latest song "Vanilla Sky."
[ALSO READ: PREMIERE: Benny Rodriguez – “Ante Meridiem”]
You share the same name of a character from The Sandlot. Did you ever have dreams of being a professional ball player?
[laughs] Yeah, I’ve noticed. Believe it or not, I’ve never wanted to be anything other than a recording artist. Ever since I was young, it was music man. I do believe I could hoop overseas if I put my mind to it. I get buckets. Easy.
On "London", you say your girl makes you feel paranoid. What's the craziest thing you've ever done over love?
The craziest thing I’ve ever done over love is Twitter stalk. I know that's a pretty lame response, but I’ve never been the "goo-goo ga-ga" type over women. I can’t sweat anyone. Love is a mutual thing, and it’s either we share it or we don’t, and if we don’t I keep it moving.
Marry, F*ck, Collab: Sevyn Streeter, Janelle Monáe, Kehlani?
Well, I’m a married man, so I’ll only be in the field of collabing. But I would love to collab with Kehlani. So Kehlani if you see this - please see this - hit me up.
[ALSO READ: Three Questions With Phonic]
Check out AllHipHop.com's premiere of Benny Rodriquez's "Vanilla Sky" below.