Hip-hop is currently in a phase where the generational divide is greater than it ever has been, meaning vital elements of a once rich and thriving culture have been pushed aside in the name of innovation and redefinition. There were times, however, that hip-hop managed to broaden it’s scope while simultaneously enriching the culture and bringing in new skills to the existing elements, and this growth was mainly due to the way that new acts and participants embraced and pushed these elements forward. Thankfully, this aspect of hip-hop is not completely extinct, as Ben Buck demonstrates on a daily basis. His latest single, Checkmate, echoes back to a time in the early 1990s where hip-hop reached a true mainstream and underground harmonic tipping point : raw rap over high level production (shout out to UGGO for the monster beat), overlooked elements of the culture showcased (Ben Buck‘s prolific beatbox skills), braggadocios and self-validating lyrics, and most important of all, raw energy focused squarely at the listeners’ hearts and minds. These single releases by Ben Buck have me hype about what the upcoming full length holds in store, so I’ll definitely keep all of you in the loop once it hits. In the meantime, check out Checkmate on your favorite streaming service, and always support your local creatives!