South Side Chicago‘s own, Taylor Bennett released his debut single “Be Yourself”, exclusively with Raisa Bruner of TIME Magazine giving them an in-depth look at his upcoming EP. “ Be Yourself” arrives via TBE (Taylor Bennett Entertainment), today at all digital music retailers and streaming services. The profound track produced by Stix, sets the tone for his upcoming project, discussing Taylor‘s passion for social/financial inequality, mass incarceration, injustice and being honest–Taylor‘s journey in becoming unapologetically himself.
His return from his Sophomore EP, “Restoration Of An American Idol”, alongside Mike-Will-Made It, Chance the Rapper, Lil Yatchy, KYLE, Jeremih and others— Taylor seeks to dive a bit deeper and hold a mirror up to his himself and out to the world. Enamored by the idea of transparency the Chicago Bred MC has spent the last year working on his upcoming project which he describes as “reading from his journal“. The intimate, sometimes uncomfortable, honest truth of himself is something Taylor felt necessary to speak about. When asked how the title track and EP came to be, he related to TIME Magazine:
“The EP is called “Be Yourself”. I was very inspired by Young Thug. He’s a good friend and very talented praised Atlanta, Georgia recording artist. I went and stayed with him in the studio for two days while I was on tour. I went over there and just kicked it. Man, I’ll tell you, there’s nobody that’s harder working and also nobody that’s more comfortable with being themselves…”
“…Life can be whatever you make it, if you be yourself. There’s also a famous picture, a sad clown, sitting down in the same position and that really inspired me, as well as, the Jeffrey artwork by Young Thug. I thought, why not go out and go for it? When I sent the cover to him, he said “man, what do you think? It says, Be Yourself, you know what I’m saying” ? So, I did.”
The title track’s artwork is also just as important as the song. Moving into a performance art space, Bennett uses the cover to make an even louder statement. He strips down, against a “festive” background, in nothing but the glory of his truth. He sits amongst floating balloons and confetti representing his 21st birthday and his decision to make his sexual preference known– the underwear, symbolizes the strength & pride. Bennett remains unbothered and unscathed, bare to the world, unapologetically being himself and pronouncing everyone else to “Be Yourself”. Hoping what seems to be an “uncomfortable state”, will welcome conversation and light to shine into places where it hasn’t been seen in a long time. It’s bold statements like this that the Mid-West sensation, is often likened to other elite Chicago artists and socially conscious rappers—but has proved to be the lone wolf, separating from the pack, being an advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves. Extraordinarily on the music side, he’s opened up for Hip-Hop heavy weights; Nas, Vic Mensa, YG, Curren$y, Tory Lanez & more. With iconic comparisons to artists such as Common, Andre 3000 and Mos Def, the MC has racked up over 60 million + streams across streaming platforms. Called the “Next Generation Rapper” by Iconic INTERVIEW Magazine, Bennett has spent the past year selling out 2 back to back tours from his 2017 “The Taylor Bennett Show” to his 2018 “Restoration of An American Idol” tour. He’s just getting started and continues to prove himself to be one of 2018’s stars to watch.
Check out his sit down interview with TIME Magazine HERE