Let’s face it, when it comes to Hip-Hop Atlanta is often overlooked. Backpacking purists normally snub the city due to its trendy dance songs, ring tone rap stars, and its lack of “real rappers.” And while acts like Luda and Outkast are generally considered the crème de la crème of Atlanta, the rest are normally snuffed. Neither a trap star nor the newest dance step trend setter, Jarren Benton set himself apart from the cookie cutter mold. He’s of Atlien breed, which is refreshing for many who are looking for something fresh out of the Atl. And with his new album, Jarren Benton Meets SMKA: Huffing Glue with Hasselhoff, Benton rips apart naysayers and dissects popular misconceptions that tangle his beloved city.
Opening the album with “I Will Not Lose,” Benton quickly goes from zero to sixty like a McLaren F1, and explains how he will forever be cemented to the game. In “Get Load of Me Now,” the leather faced rap spitter amplifies, spitting feverish and venomous lines like, “I’ll kill a rapper, puke, get squeamish and run/what’s being hot to the man that extinguished the sun.” And unless you’re stopping to catch his one liners, the album seldomly ceases to slow down. Steam rolling from track to track, Jarren hits an apex with “A Space Suit and a Parachute.” Indeed, SMKA crafted the perfect moon bouncing instrumental for Atliens Jarren Benton and Aleon Craft. While Benton drops two solid verses, Aleon Craft lime lights by giving a show stealing verse. Another track worth noting is the up tempo, head banging “F#ck that Sh!it They Drinking,” featuring Tom P. Here, SMKA creates another sensational heater for Benton that would bust the mercury out of any thermometer.
If there are any weak links to be pointed out on this album, they would be tracks “Ima Murder” and “Justin Beiber” which suffer due to non progressive instrumentations and mediocre lyricism. And while funny, there’s no need for two skits when there are seven full length tracks. Indeed, Jarren would have done better by supplementing the album with two complete songs. Moreover, with topics ranging from murdering emcees, hoes, haters, and posers, it would have been nice if Benton’s subject matter was as extensive and versatile as his delivery and wordplay. Although notable, these weak spots create subtle blemishes for the album. The production provided by SMKA is almost impeccable, and for a debut album, it’s not too bad. Will Jarren Benton be hailed as Atl’s newest champion? Only time will tell. But for now, just take a whiff of Benton’s and SMKA’s noxious masterpiece- It won’t hurt you.