Atlanta’s Benkasso has a great way of drawing you in. His music, his visuals, and his presence in general is thought out, compelling, and personal.
He recently upcoming new EP titled “Hard as Hell 2,” speaks on his personal trials and tribulations as an artist. Much of it is about depression as an artist and how he got through it. I hope it helps others see the beauty of art and how it gets us through dark periods in life. Benkasso was very honest and I appreciate every question he answered.
Hey Benkasso! Thanks for talking with us! Can you give us a short intro on you?
I’m a 25 y/o artist+producer from Atlanta GA.
Just to start off – you just told us you’re from Atlanta. Tell us about the hip hop culture there.
Atlanta has the most influential rap scene around but I feel like there’s two parts. A whole untapped subculture where the inspiration isn’t all derived from trap. I think through radio videos and the biggest names, the nation understands about 30% of what really goes on in Atl rap culture, at best. I think that’s any city though past music. You can’t really truly know there culture if you’re not from there or aren’t there Day in, day out.
Yes, I agree with you Atlanta is very influential in the rap scene. But there’s always that subculture that us outsiders won’t truly get to see. Are there any artists that you look up to or are inspired by in your state?
I don’t really believe in looking up to anyone anymore. I think that puts people in a pedestal making their accomplishments seem like something you can’t do yourself & being in the same age range as most of these guys I don’t think that’s good on the psyche long term. I definitely salute Future (& a few others) as the STAMPED legends in Atlanta. Honestly most people are just sonically copying future now so it’s inspiring to see someone constantly raise their own creative bar.
You recently dropped a visual for the intro to your new project which I was thoroughly impressed with. The song is tough and your spitting some real shit! Tell us a little bit about how that song and visual came together? What inspired the song?
Thanks. The song is the intro to my new project. I’ve worked on it for about a year now and it drops this Sunday. The inspiration all stemmed from the beat first. Co produced by (@_themonsta) basically I sent him something and he finished out the rest with a great end result. The intro is really the theme of the tape, struggle. The title which is also a sequel is basically explaining being an artist period is hard as HELL. Making it is not easy. Through out the whole project goes deeper into details w depression
So your project drops this Sunday, what’s the title of it? And any details you can tell us on what we can expect from it?
It’s called Hard As Hell 2. You can honestly expect for this to be the best mixtape this year across all rap. With the exception of Nard & B on 1 track, every song was produced by either me or The Monsta. Expect a totally brand new wave of sound with THUMPING beats.
You said from the project we can expect stories about how hard it is to make it as an artist and that you will go into detail with depression. Is that something that you’ve dealt with as an artist?
Yes I’ve personally dealt with depression. Yes Every artist goes thru a period of being completely unknown. Now the amount of time is different for each person but I think that’s the hardest part. The longer you have to deal with being unknown it messes with you. You start to second guess how good you really are more and more while questioning things like destiny and wanting to know why certain people get chances you feel you’re way better than without coming off as a complainer. I believe every single artist goes through this.
Yeah every artist or anyone who is chasing their dreams goes through it. So shout out to everybody chasing their dreams, never give up. It’s good to see that you’ve got through that tough time. I look forward to hearing about it on the project. You and the monsta collaborates a lot. What is it like when you guys collaborate? How did you meet?
Me & the monsta have never actually met. After Hard as Hell 1, he was the only producer that kept actually supporting and re-posting what I do. As a fellow producer, it motivated me to keep working with him and cut off those who just take the lease money and keep pushing. It’s motivated to never forget I can produce too & make a sound of my own. I’d put him up there with metro or anyone else when it comes to quality he’s THAT good. We have a good rhythm going & I’d like to see it continue in the future.
Yeah you two make a good duo. It’s good to see the chemistry that you two have together. What do you hope to achieve with the release of Hard as Hell 2? What’s next for you after this?
I hope to gain a fan-base. I think that’s the most concrete way to put it. I’ve honestly got an album in my head so that’s what I hope to next but I don’t wanna put that out without the right audience yet.
No last words. Thanks for the interview!