I had the pleasure of seeing McGill native Jordan Benjamin, AKA Benj, perform alongside Busty and the Bass last year at the Toucan. After producing the success of their recent hit, Tryna Find Myself,  I doubt Busty needs much of an Introduction. Benj, on the other hand, was their less recognized, but immediately infectious MC making the show one I won’t forget. With his first full Mixtape, Snackpack: Volume 1, Benj has compiled a collection of well produced and well written tracks that have been on repeat in my house for the past week.

With the first listen of Snapback, it’s clear the mixtape has success in production; flowing seamlessly from upbeat jams to those tracks you want to just sit down and smoke to. From the base heavy pump of songs like Mana Mana to the laid-back, monotonous tones of Nightfall, this is truly a record for any situation. The samples used in some of these tracks, Mana Mana and I’m A Bad Mutha especially, really add some personality. I am of the opinion that a good beat needs a good sample. Snapback doesn’t cease to impress with a pull from the funky James Brown and a hilarious yet infectious beat made from a Sesame Street skit. Despite the numerous talented producers on board this mixtape, a great deal of praise is owed dutifully to Benj himself, who helped to produce over half of the tracks.

Production considered, Benj’s mixtape would not be complete without his intelligent and witty lyrics. Being the McGill student he once was, the kid has a talent for rhymes. Benj’s voice seems to fit every song he spits on, creating some lyrically pleasing substance to go over that production i was obsessing over above. Being the Toronto kid I am, Benj’s narration of experiences across Ontario in songs like Muskoka and Beside you also seems to intrigue me even more as I find myself relating to much of what Benj raps about.

Overall, Snapback: Volume 1 is a an excellent breakout record for Benj. The McGill kids are on the rise; and I don’t think this will stop anytime soon. Safe to say I’m already excited for Volume 2, and hoping that it includes a collab with Busty.

-Spencer

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