Jarren Benton - Skate
Though this record’s title might bring Lupe‘s Kick Push to mind, ATL up-and-comer Jarren Benton has a lot more in common with a certain Detroit native – that’s right: Benton’s flow, polysyllabic rhymes, and humorously abrasive subject matter (complete with cartoonish sound effects) on Skate are all eerily reminiscent of Eminem. Let me emphasize, though, that this isn’t a bad thing – the style suits him well, and the creativity on display here suggests that there’s a lot more to the emcee than a not-half-bad Shady impression. It clearly takes cojones and plenty of personality for a rapper to stand out over production this quirky; Jake One bookends each shouted hook with a couple of bars in cut time, and J.B. shines on these breathless segues. The self-proclaimed “hip-rocker” is currently in the process of weighing major label offers. With the unique style he brings on Skate, it’s easy to see why both Universal/Motown and Def Jam are angling to add him to their rosters.