Tuesday, March 1, 2005
ben and i. are an earnest hip-hop duo from Lawrence with a debut CD that shows some promise but lacks the sophistication of some of their peers' releases.
Ben the Rapper keeps it real by rapping about his day-to-day life: school, girls, hip-hop, Lawrence, etc. Lyrically, he comes across as competent but rarely exceptional. His sense of humor on songs like "She's Bad" can be both endearing and juvenile; his flow ranges from intelligent to cliched.
Producer Know1 brings some nice live drum elements into tracks like "Sit Back" and tries hard to mix up his approach throughout the course of the album. "When Eden Fell" works thanks to some fingerpicked guitar and loopy sound effects, but other tracks like "Modern Days Hustle" can get repetitive.
"Based on True Events" is a fair-to-good debut release for a local hip-hop group. A couple more years could easily find these gentlemen developing their sound and releasing something better.