Rising rapper/songwriter Dre Bennett makes his entry on our site with  FRUITS, a 17-track body of work that centers around the world view of a young black man in this ever-changing world. The project which is his sophomore LP takes inspiration from the rapper’s experiences ranging from personal flaws, self-awareness and balancing street smarts with pure intelligence stemming from spiritual and scientific spheres. The production is handled by a plethora of producers including Dre Bennett himself and fuses a handful of genres such as hip-hop, R&B, reggae and Southern trap styles.


He uses some sem-autobiographical themes on several tracks like the opening “OldYoung” where he leads us into his world and his tumultuous upbringing over a bouncy piano backdrop and the “I Bow” where he breaks down the craziness of the streets with precise and detailed lyricism such as“Man, I work too hard to be trying too hard/WhreI’m at is a cross between science and God, I got lost in the valley, you can tell by my scars”. “Quantum” has a medieval flute sample and has an overall cinematic feel and a bass-heavy bounce. Here, Dre is in his element and flexes on the opposition with his stylish and expressive rhyme schemes. In the anthemic “Dre’s Way”, the rapper reminds us that he is charting his path and doesn’t pay attention to the naysayers and detractors and the following track “Evidence of Greatness” explores the rapper’s work ethic and go-getter mentality as he spits “I am not a cheap thrill for cheap shots/I think I found my sweet spot in the studio and my seat’s hot” over a moody and sparse soundscape.


“BFY” has an experimental and scenic vibe and sees Dre sharing his feelings for a special lady whom he pines for. He pours his heart on wax and yearns for her touch once more. The record is quite short and doesn’t get up to the two-minute mark unlike the adult-rated “2x Wet” where he details a steamy session with his girl using water themes. His lyricism here is surgical and vivid enough to paint graphic imagery of two adults getting to know each other physically. On the self-produced “I Found Euphoria”, Dre crafts a dark and scenic bouncy beat made up of solemn strings and thick 808 drum grooves. Here, he rides the beat like a seasoned surfer as he flexes his verbal muscles with ease before completing the job with a soothing melodic hook to match. This is followed by the playful “The Good Song” which celebrates the results of hard work and then we see Dre basking in the good life he has built for himself. Dre continues the celebrations on “EO”, over a mid-tempo punchy trap backdrop as he takes time from the never-ending hustle to enjoy the sunshine.


“Alpha Centauri” explores Dre’s journey as a young black man and independent artist trying to find his footing. Over the haunting backdrop, he explains with lines like “This is the ying and yang of how I feel inside, I am Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde/Butt ass naked, I’m more than fly, no ganja still more than high, I don’t need a gun, still Mordecai” before detailing his work ethic and the ups and downs that come with this music career. He acknowledges the pros and cons and reminds us that staying positive and resilient will surely yield success. “Max Diamonds” starts with machine gun hi-hats with solemn strings that slowly build up into an off-beat exotic soundscape underpinned by stylish flows and engaging rhyme schemes and a Patois-infused chorus and the final track “What They Don’t Teach You” help bring it to a closure. The rapper shares several experiences that helped shape him into the man that he is right now. From the losses, wins and uncertain moments, Dre gives listeners a crash course into his life with a refreshing candour and heartfelt viewpoint.


Overall FRUITS, covers quite a lot of grounds and listeners can get a full picture of his artistry. The production is clean, crisp, bouncy and at times experimental but it works for the most part and his laidback smooth flow is easily accessible. Some other choice tracks for audiences to check out include the reflective “Mantra In The Mirror” and introspective “SLAV”.


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