Daily Chiefers Exclusive: An Interview With Chicago’s Taylor Bennett

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Coming from Chicago, Taylor Bennett has seen his fair share of music legends walk past his street. From Kanye West, to Chief Keef, and now even his own brother, Chance, Bennett has had to deal with immense competition coming from the Chicago area, and has stared down the barrel of death with ease, as he has seemingly entered the underground hip-hop scene in almost no time. Taylor Bennett’s debut mixtape, Taylor Bennett Show, was well received and helped him reach countless downloads, and almost 10k followers on Twitter. With his new project steadily approaching, Bennett looks to showcase his new talents with his new mixtape, Main Stream Music.

It has been a big year so far for Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett, from balancing his senior year of high school with the recording of his Main Stream Music mixtape, to touring and building a name for himself, has finally started to pay off as of recent. With his highly anticipated mixtape, Main Stream Music, debuting today and high school soon coming to an end Bennett has a decision to make so far as to head straight to college or grow with his music.

With such a decision approaching, we sat down with Taylor to check how he was doing and where he was heading next.

When did you decide to start rapping, and when did you decide to start taking it seriously and pursue it as a career?

I’ve been rapping for as long as I can remember, College Dropout was a huge influence on me early on but I think I really started to ‘take it seriously’ and see it as a job around the time I started recording The Taylor Bennett Show, just seeing how much work and organization goes into the final product. I’d say I’ve always taken rap seriously, but that experience certainly opened my eyes a little bit.

Read more, after the jump.

A lot of people know you as Chance The Rapper’s little brother, probably not much you can do to remove that label but what are your plans as far as the path you take to make a lane for yourself and be more than just “Chance’s little bro?”

Well, the thing people have to remember is that I’ve been Chance’s little brother my entire life, not just since Acid Rap. So, it doesn’t really bother me at all, it’s not even really a thing to me. We’re brothers and we both happen to rap, Chance took off last year and I plan to do it on my own, in my own way.

 

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A common question when it comes to groups of artists, but what are the chances of an upcoming Save Money mixtape with yourself, Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Caleb James, Joey Purp, and the rest of the crew?

Ah, I can’t really speak to that. Those guys are all family and I grew up with them. I had a good time at the Rap Genius house at SXSW doing the cypher with Vic, Caleb, Kami de Chukwu and Towkio, but we’ve all been doing our own thing.

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As far as the Save Money crew goes, do you guys often record together and share ideas or is everyone more focused on their own solo efforts?

I mean, everyone’s friends, we all somewhat grew up together and most the guys are a bit older than me so they’ve always been like older brothers. I run into them all over town. Everybody’s focusing on their projects but at the end of the day, SaveMoney is working hard. Joey Purp and Kene (Leather Corduroys) of SAVEMONEY are opening for me at Lincoln Hall on May 24th.

With so many big artists being from Chicago including Kanye West, Lupe Fiaco, Twista, The Cool Kids, Save Money, as well as Chief Keef and the whole drill music scene, who most influences you and your music?

Growing up I was a huge fan of Twista and Kanye. Now Twista is my big homie. Kanye’s obvious, but Twista is someone I admired since I was a shorty. I feel like I borrow a bit from a lot of the older cats from Chicago but Twista especially.

What is your take on Chicago’s violence and the whole drill music scene?

I mean, the violence, it’s fucked up-what more can you say really? It’s something that’s become a very serious issue in Chicago and reached the national scale but I think a lot of times it’s pushed by media and news outlets for the wrong reasons. As for drill? I think what Keef, Reese and all those guys have done to bring the spotlight to Chicago is fuckin’ great. A lot of people try to draw this line between anyone in Chicago not doing drill and those that are and I think that’s a mistake because there’s so much talent out here in Chicago.

Being only 18 years old, what are your plans as far as school or are you just going to focus on your music career?

Well, I’m about to graduate from Urban Prep, which has 100% college acceptance of it’s graduating classes go on to college so it’s always been in the back of my mind and I took some visits to some schools around the state and whatnot but I feel as though at this point in my life there are some opportunities in front of me that I need to take advantage of. School is always an option, maybe just not right away.

How do you feel you have progressed since your “The Taylor Bennett Show” mixtape and if you could go back in time is there anything you would have done differently?

How do you feel you have progressed since your “The Taylor Bennett Show” mixtape and if you could go back in time is there anything you would have done differently.

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