Signor Benedick the Moor is officially* the most exciting rapper around today.
*Tha Knows Most Exciting Rapper Awards 2016
His music is like Opeth / Dead Kennedys / Shakespeare / Andre 3000 slash fiction and who wouldn't want to read that? Although according to the Last.fm tags for Opeth's last album "mikael has a smal penis" so maybe it wouldn't be that good.
Notice how mikael has a smal penis guy took three attempts to get it right and obviously didn't know how to delete tags so his angry bedroom fumbling is stored for all to see.
SB the Moor's incredible 2013 debut El Negro doesn't have any Last.fm tags so that probably needs sorting. Not you though, mikael has a smal penis guy! You stay miles away!
Why don't we all have a listen to El Negro right now and marvel at how someone could make something this astonishing before they were even 21 years old. Listen to this FFS.
We've been wanting to cover S-Bends since we launched the site but we don't like doing standard interviews so it took a while to think of a cool idea but eventually a cool idea did appear. We pulled together 10 interviews with other people and randomly assigned them a letter. Some are interviews with people Bennymoor has cited as influences and others are ones we picked because we thought they might throw up some interesting questions. Without knowing who the interviews were with, Benny-M gave us a letter and a number and we posed him the corresponding question. Essentially we borrowed from a bunch of sources and turned it into something new. A BIT LIKE HIP HOP DO YOU SEE??!!??
Welcome to Interview Roulette with Signor Benedick the Moor!
Interview G Question 6 - Rage Against The Machine - 1999
Will the new MP3 technology, as Chuck D predicts, revolutionize the music industry, and put the tools for worldwide distribution, and the profits from it, in the hands of the musicians themselves? Should it be free?
Signor Benedick the Moor: Its funny how this question, though dated, is still relevant. I feel like we’re at the tail end of a transition, where no one will own music. I don’t remember the last time I bought an album, outside of purely supporting an artist I like or a friend. It’s all streaming. I use YouTube, unpaid subscription, but now with Tidal and all that shit, and even SoundCloud has paid subscription services. I still like making tapes and CD’s and vinyl but they’re really just collectors items at this point, which I suppose can be a plus. I've been experimenting with making hand-dubbed, cassette only releases just to see how many people will actually buy them.
So far it doesn't seem like the shift to streaming actually helps artists make money. You can hear anyone from TSWIFT to Open Mike Eagle (jokingly) complain about it. But it definitely helps them (us?) put their music out there. It’s so simple now to send a link to an entire discography, and to just listen to it for free as many times as you want. And, I'm sure there’s always something to complain about, with regards to giant corporations being involved. I've only known streaming so I can’t say for sure, but I don’t imagine it’s really that much worse for musicians than record labels hoarding CD sales.
A7 - Jello Biafra - 2013
Do you use your art as a tool to inform?
SBTM: Sort of. I think I'm also transitioning to that point. Before it was purely out of love of art and emotional necessity/catharsis but as that becomes less necessary, and as I hope to help others, that definitely becomes more of a focal point. But i never wanna be preachy. I prefer the Socratic method, just get people to question and think for themselves.
C5 - Donald Trump - 2016
George Shultz, it’s interesting, was associated with a foreign policy of Reagan that was very much devoted to promoting democracy and freedom overseas. Is that something you think in today’s world the United States should be doing?
SBTM: I don't know, I think democracy is a little outdated right now. So while I think “promoting” freedom and liberty are great goals, that never seems to be the actual case with “promoting” democracy. Plus, people use the word “promote” very liberally, and it honestly conjures images of war in my mind, when used like this lol. Plus, it just reminds me of missionaries, “promoting” Christianity hahaha.
E2 - Philip K. Dick - 1976
Let’s get rid of a couple of clichés first. SF is a ghetto. People say, yeah, it’s a ghetto. Then on the other hand they say it’s a literature of ideas. All literature is supposed to be a literature of ideas. Right? So why is it that science fiction gets tagged with that and in the same breath is tagged as a ghetto? And people can put it down and pay a lot less money and get a lot less recognition and so forth.
SBTM: I don't know if this is the same now, but If I had to guess I would say it has to do with the cycles and evolution of everything. No one disputes that “classical music” is a valid art form because it’s paid its dues, and only the best best best of the music is remembered. Same now with jazz, and to a lesser degree rock n roll. Rap is so new that old people are hesitant to give it the time of day, and it's so easy to point out all the shitty artists cus they still exist. But no one remembers the shitty composers from Mozart’s time, because even the shittiest composer we can remember was still good enough to be remembered 300 years in the future!!! It’s impossible to predict these things but I would say Kanye and Kendrick, contemporary artists right now, will probably be remembered for centuries to come. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, they've set the bar so high at such a broad, global level that they will become the iconic representation of rap, that anything less than that will probably be forgotten (in the public's eye, anyway. Fans and historians will know better). Or maybe it won't even be them, but some next generation. But that seems to be the way history treats its artists.
So referring specifically to sci-fi in the 70’s, I’d say the genre had really only been in the public eye for maybe 30 years, which is pretty analogous to rap right now. So you have all these artists that are really pushing the boundaries of not only the genre but of art in general, yet struggle to gain respect in the “high art” category because of snobs. But now with filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Alex Garland (Ex Machina), etc, it’s pretty indisputable that their films are artworks first and “sci-fi” second.
B10 - Jay Z - 2009
You say that Kanye had the record already sequenced in his head and I assume you put a lot of effort into how it all hangs together, so how do you feel about people picking and choosing tracks when they listen to the album? iTunes encourages people not to sit down and listen to records anymore – does it bother you?
SBTM: That’s funny. I can’t really say it bothers me cus that's all I know being a young millennial. I can say, however, that as a consumer myself, I’m just now embracing the “single” philosophy; whereas for most of my life I only listened to albums all the way through, and never out of order, I find myself going to YouTube and listening to specific songs. Mostly because I’ve been listening to more “pop” music, where the artists are less likely to have a good album, but indeed have some incredible songs. I’m still definitely an album listener, and I like to think that most people that listen to my music are too, but just being older and seeing different perspectives has changed my perspective.
D3 - Angela Davis - 2014
One of the things that struck me as I've gone back and revisited this history --is that Martin Luther King starts this movement for economic justice just before he's assassinated. The Black Panther party is just getting off the ground here in California and in a way there seems like there was a march towards merging these issues of class and race in the late 60s that somehow got derailed.
SBTM: Well unfortunately, the worst thing for a government is change.
I don’t think very many people know about the shift of focus from civil rights for blacks to civil rights to poor people of all colors by MLK. Most people don’t know that the idea of breakfast in school was started by the Black Panthers, who would bag up food and hand them out to poor (children-aged) students. I don’t think most (maybe white) people really know what either of them really did (and I am certainly no expert). I definitely don’t remember learning much about it in school. I assume that the idea of all the poor people truly banding together was just too frightening; even more so than the wrath of blacks banding together. The potential loss of power was just too great. Which is scary considering today, with all the fear mongering going on right now in the US. It’s pure divide and conquer, and for some reason people can’t see that.
Change is the worst thing for a government, but the best thing for the people.
F9 - Koji Kondo - 2014
Have you ever considered branching out and doing your own solo career or making music for some other industry?
SBTM: Yeah I actually just sent off some intro music for a friends animated short, hopefully it’s to her liking. I would love to be more and more involved in animation as time comes (animation was actually my first love), and I actually have a few theatrical projects I’m working on, as well as some ideas for graphic novels and serial television. My sincere hope is that my music career is over by the time I’m 30 so I can move on, though I’m already branching out into other projects.
I8 - Outkast - 2012
In the chorus, you mention "you're all about the dollar and I'm exonerated." Can you tell me a little bit about what you mean?
SBTM: I don't know what song that’s from but I imagine it’s another rewording of “I don’t do this for the money”. And there are people that you come across that only think about money, maybe not even in a greedy way but in a sad, obsessed kind of way, whether it’s because they grew up poor or still are poor or just equate wealth with success for whatever reason. And they’re never fun to be around.
But at the same time, this is a job. I still make very little money from this job, and while in the beginning I was driven purely by musical exploration and cathartic release, I find that as my skills get more and more honed, my questions become less of “wonder what would happen if I did this” and more like “ok, now how do I turn this thing I’ve made into dollars???”
I suppose my perspective has changed for the moment, where now I’m more interested in sharing what I’ve done with more people, communicating on a broader scale, and you just need more dough to be able to do that. And, I essentially own a small, independent business, selling merchandise I make from my home and sending off “resumes” so that venues will essentially employ my services, which also requires money. Yet I’m always chasing the ever elusive profit margin farther and farther away hahaha.
H1 - Federico Fellini - 1986
Signor Fellini, tell me a little about your background and your first film job.
SBTM: Well that's such a broad question lol “a little about your background”??
I’m not entirely sure how to answer that, but I suppose as far as skill-wise, my background is very inter-disciplinary, with very little formal instruction. I was always most interested in doing things and studying things, so I would usually forgo hanging out with friends or, when I got older, going to school, to study and make music and draw. I did eventually go to the local community college for two semesters and a summer, where I immersed myself in theatre as well. I took an intro to acting class and did 5 plays over the next 6 or so months, including Twelfth Night by Shakespeare.
My first film job was working on a movie called Excess Flesh, by Patrick Kennelly, while I was working under Jonathan Snipes (Captain Ahab, clipping.) I wanted to learn more about, well, everything non-musical in music. I worked at his studio for a few months, and in return he mixed Opus 3 for me. Anyways, on the actual job, I did some sound editing, putting in sound effects and doing cuts and things like that, as well as making a few source cues for these imaginary TV shows that you can hear but can’t see. It was pretty cool. That was at the end of 2014 when I still had very little working experience in the industry.
J4 - Quentin Tarantino - 1998
Can you think of an example where your perspective at a certain moment really changed the way you approached something?
SBTM: Yeah right now really haha. I mentioned it briefly I think earlier, but I’m now more concerned with communicating my ideas, as opposed to creating new ideas. Which, thinking of art in a theoretically bipartisan view, is a complete turnaround. Before I wanted everything to be big, complex, grandiose, verbose, etc. But I’m really trying, now, to boil it down to its most necessary components. To communicate with the audience in the simplest way possible, without losing any of its meaning or energy. I suppose the idea is in line with minimalism, but that's not quite how I’m approaching the process. More like simple-ism, haha. Shoot first ask questions later, in a sense. I’ll worry about the details after I’ve gone through the process of just putting whatever I’m feeling down, without regard to questions like “is this too over played?” “will people think i’ve sold out??” hahah. I don't really think they will but that's just my self consciousness coming into play.
I was recently very influenced by Lil Yachty and Mitski, to reinforce this strange idea of duality. Both are (in my eyes) so very exposed, and have reduced themselves down very close to the bare minimum. Mitski elegantly bares her soul. Yachty is unabashedly unrefined in his catchiness. Neither seem too concerned with what anyone thinks, but utilizes that as a way to hone themselves and be unique as opposed to being lazy. Both immediately intrigued me and inspired me to be similar.
THA KNOWS: Hey, thanks so much for doing this and putting so much thought into your answers. We had no idea how this would go but it turned out brilliant.
SBTM: No problem dude I'm all about experimenting and trying shit out! Thanks for having me.
Go here to buy El Negro, garage raps vol. 1, Signor Benedick's Spooky Reader's Theater and Maiden Voyage Suite for less than two quid.
Go here to buy Opus 3 - A Man Atop the Tower.
Go here to buy sbthemoor ep.
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