Four years after being voted in by fans as the People’s Choice selection for XXL’s 2014 Freshman Cover, JarrenBenton is starting over. He’s a seasoned veteran doubling down on the lyricism he made his name on, but his new music experiments with new emotion and bottles up the last few years of his life.
In 2012, the Decatur emcee began making a name for himself on the outsider indie label Funk Volume, where he carved out a unique brand of ferociously lyrical, tongue-in-cheek horrorcore. At the label, his early mixtapes carried titles like Huffing Glue with Hasselhoffand Freebasing With Kevin Bacon, equal parts comedy and terror, like a goofy slasher flick come to life. Benton’s time with Funk Volume was punctuated by a debut album and a follow-up EP (My Grandma’s Basement and Slow Motion Vol. 1), national and international tours, and then, in 2016, the label’s sudden fold.