Taylor Bennett, the 19-year-old brother of indie-rap wunderkind Chance the Rapper, is ready to break out on his own with his debut full-length album, Broad Shoulders, executive-produced by Tay Bennett Entertainment and UPNORTH Music and co-executive-produced by Joseph Cabey. Listen to the exclusive premiere of the Chicago rapper's latest below.
When Bennett originally entered the studio with Detroit-born producer Ludlow to begin working on new music following the success of his mixtape Mainstream Music, the pair of longtime friends had no idea what they would end up with. Ludlow describes the sessions as feeling "like a big puzzle."
"We just came into the studio every day, and the picture started to get clearer with every song," Bennett adds.
One aspect that makes the project particularly special to Bennett is the fact that it is his first sample-free collection of music. There were practical reasons for this; as an independent artist, he wanted to forgo the legal issues with selling music containing samples of other people's work. From an artistic perspective, the organic sounds used to create the LP were inspired by Ludlow's Detroit upbringing and the city's soul, funk and electronic scenes. The pair worked with one microphone in the vocal booth, and the producer used his body to generate noises and percussive sounds for the music. "There was something about Ludlow that spoke to me," Bennett says with admiration, noting how difficult it was to find a sample-free producer to collaborate with. "I could write to [his music], and to more than one song, at that."
Along the way, Bennett brought in friends and family to help collaborate as well: Donnie Trumpet, Joey Purp, King L, Max Schneider and Bennett's own brother Chance, who appears on the LP's second single, "Broad Shoulders." Even with Chance's brief assist, Bennett is intent on the world knowing that his latest project is all his own and that his work is independent of both his brother and the music business itself. "We're working around the system to still bring good music," he says. "We're really trying to build our own industry."