- Benefit, the original diy underground legend, got his start during the golden era of hip hop culture.
- He began battling on ThaLandz.com and moved on to his city’s premiere underground hip hop
radio station where he finished both runs undefeated.
- Before recording software was widely available, and without access to beat machines, Benefit
developed an unorthodox production method using primitive wave editors to make music.
- He recorded using a $5.00 skinny white computer mic, and $12.00 sound card.
- Benefit produced, wrote, recorded, and mixed songs throughout the tail end of hip hop culture’s
golden era using these methods.
- After compiling enough material for an album (the self titled Benefit album), he gave it to a contact
who worked within an infamous underground music piracy group.
- This contact released the album throughout a network of underground music pirates in the years
before the internet was used to legally distribute music.
- The album spread rapidly, and Benefit gained notoriety and one of the most creative emcees and
producers in the underground.
- Over time, more people began to use the internet to distribute music and a company called Napster
became a prominent platform for people exchanging music in mp3 format.
- Controversy arose as the corporate power structure felt that people trading music online would hurt their
profits and weaken their control over over the culture.
- The American legend, Chuck D of Public Enemy, sponsored a contest where emcees could rap on a
song voicing their support for freely trading music through Napster.
- Over 800 emcees entered the contest, including Benefit, and people voted on who they felt had the
best song/contest entry.
- Benefit won by thousands of votes, and claimed the $5,000 grand prize (Benefit Napster entry).
- He continued to make music, sell beats, and license tracks for film and tv.
- And then, at the height of his underground fame, he disappeared.
- For over a decade nobody knew why he quit writing and recording songs and rumors continued to
surround his disappearance.
- Now, over a decade after his classic underground album was distributed, Benefit has resurfaced and
has began releasing new material.