Album Review | Jarren Benton – My Grandma’s Basement

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This album was released on June 11th in the year of our Lord 2013. This review was requested by Aman Mann; if you’d like to request a specific review, it’s 5 dollars to my Patreon account. Anyway, this was Jarren Benton’s first album. I’ve never listened to a full project from him, but I’ve always thought he was a pretty talented MC based on what little I’ve heard. This album was released under Funk Volume, and I know that shouldn’t mean anything to me, but I’m kinda getting a bad feeling that there’s gonna be at least one really cringy song on here. Hopefully I’m proven wrong. Actually, I’ll be shocked if there is. I have faith in Jarren. I’m pretty much expecting this to sound like Andre 3000 mixed with Eminem over Trap inspired production. That’s coming from someone who’s never heard a Jarren Benton album tho. But yeah. I think this is gonna be dope.

Track 1: Yaya (Skit)

I’ve already listened to this entire track. It’s absolutely pointless. It’s literally just Jarren’s grandma saying “you’re listening to my grandson’s album.” She sounds kinda like my great aunt Pauline. Anyway, I’m not gonna rate this track since it’s not a song, obviously.

Track 2: Razor Blades & Steak Knives Feat. Hemi (Prod. Kato)

Okay, I’m gonna love this shit. This beat is hard as FUCK. Jarren Benton is probably the closest thing to a black Eminem. He has a very cartoonish, yet aggressive style of lyricism. I guess he’s kinda like a darker, edgier version of a black Action Bronson too.

Razor blades and steak knives / I’ve been tweaking off of this meth; been up for eight nights / My producer is Asian, so he ate rice / And practice kung fu and meditate in the daylight.

This is fucking awesome. The first verse was fantastic. Oh boy. Yeah. He’s definitely a black Em. This hook is rough. It’s not bad enough to ruin the song. It’s definitely not helping tho. Hemi’s vocals aren’t bad. His singing is fine. It’s just a little too Poppy for me. He’s literally singing “la la la la la.” It just sounds kinda out of place when it’s juxtaposed with Jarren’s aggressive style. Man… The similarities to Em are so blatant.

Yeah, needles, dope and opiates / Who gives a fuck if I talk about drugs? Get over it / Male chauvinist, hit a girl with a bowl of grits / And shove her fucking face in a bowl of shit; so inappropriate.

People say Hopsin is the black version of Em, but that’s a criminally severe misjudging of Eminem’s quality. Em made MMLP & SSLP. Hopsin made fuckin’ Pound Syndrome. I guess he’s similar to Tech N9ne in a lot of ways too. The main difference is the fact that Jarren Benton doesn’t take himself way too fuckin’ seriously.

I’ll punch a hole in the asphalt / Go eat a fuckin’ dick like a f███t on bath salt / You mad soft; if I’m a prick then it’s my dad’s fault / I throw a dead cat on your porch and dash off.

Don’t those look like Em’s bars? He killed both of the verses. The hook was rough, but aside from that this shit is excellent. This is dope af.

Track 3: Life in the Jungle (Prod. Kato)

This hook is fuckin’ terrible. The beat’s nice tho. I don’t know who that is singing the hook, but whoever it is doesn’t sound very good to me at all. Okay, this beat is hard as fuck. Jarren’s flow is crazy too. The first verse was great. The hook is REALLY shitty tho. Jesus. The second verse was dope af. If this song didn’t have a hook it’d be so much better. Oh fuckin’ shit. The way the beat switches up for the final verse at the end is fantastic. He killed this shit. Okay, I fuck with this song. That hook was really fucking bad, but Jarren saved it. This is dope.

Track 4: Don’t Act (Prod. Kato)

This hook kinda sucks. It’s definitely better than the previous one tho. The beat’s decent. The first verse was cool. This is probably my least favorite song on the album so far. The more I listen to it the more it annoys me. Oh boy… He pulled a Rick Ross on the second verse. It’s a real shame because I liked the flow he was using. Smh…

Sippin’ on Mad Dog 20 / I’m goin’ full ‘tard like Timmy / I’ma tryna get this ho up out her Fendi / Slip a lil of somethin’ in her Remy.

Nah. I know he was probably saying it just to be edgy, but no. It didn’t work. I don’t like this verse. His flow was cool, but aside from that I’m not feelin’ it. This isn’t a good song. It’s not absolutely terrible, but the only aspect that really stood out to me for any reason was his flow, and even that wasn’t super amazing. This is wack to me.

Track 5: Big Rube Interlude (Prod. Spittzwell)

Big Rube killed this shit, but the production is way too dramatic. This was cool, but it’s not something I’m ever gonna wanna listen to again. I’m not gonna rate this as a song since it’s just an interlude.

Track 6: Dreams (Prod. Spittzwell)

Oh God. This song has the same beat as the previous track. This hook is corny. Lyrically, this is the same as Dreams by Cozz. I’d rather just hear that song. Jarren’s flow is nice, but, once again, that’s the only saving grace of this song so far. There’s no percussion during the first verse. Same goes for the second one. Yeah. Nah. I liked the verses, but sonically this isn’t for me at all. I’m not feelin’ this shit.

Track 7: The Way It Goes Feat. Planet VI (Prod. Reckless Dex)

This beat is fucking great. Jarren’s flow on the first verse was nice, but I wasn’t crazy about it lyrically. The lyrics on the hook are kinda shitty too, but Planet VI’s vocals aren’t that bad. The second verse was cool. Planet VI easily had the worst verse. His flow wasn’t too bad tho. Eh. This isn’t a bad song. I enjoyed it. I just don’t think it has that much replay value. I liked the production, and the first two verses were kinda cool, but nah. This is just okay to me.

Track 8: Cadillacs & Chevys (Prod. Roc N Mayne)

This beat is decent. I feel like I’ve been saying the same thing for the past few songs. His flow is really nice. The lyrics aren’t doing too much for me, but they’re not really bad. The hook’s fine. Okay, cool. I like this song. The second verse was fantastic. This is probably my favorite track on the album. It has one of the most tolerable hooks, and Jarren’s flow is great. This is dope af.

Track 9: Heart Attack (Prod. The Kraken)

Oh fuckin’ shit. This beat is dope af. This is a heartbreak song. It’s really edgy shit. Like something a heartbroken white emo kid would listen to before shooting up a school. Just look at this shit.

I remember you cutting yourself with razors and bleeding / And you told me my love was the only reason you’re breathing / I was always right there for you; I thought I was special too / What happened to us? Bitch, I’m killing what’s left of you.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s just something to take note of. The hook is tolerable. Oh. Wow. Lmao. Okay, yeah this is definitely school shooter music. I know that’s a fucked up thing to say, but this song would not exist without Em. That’s pretty much what it is. It’s just an Eminem song. Guess what he ended up doing in the second verse… Killing the girl who broke his heart. That’s right. This is… I feel like I’ve already heard this song from Em, Tech N9ne & Hopsin on multiple different occasions. There’s not exactly anything wrong with this song, but I don’t ever wanna hear it again. Nothing about it really stands out. I kinda liked the production, but it wasn’t good enough to make this song worth listening to more than once.

Track 10: My Adidas (Prod. Kato)

This song is a clear dedication to the classic “My Adidas” single by Run-D.M.C. The beat’s not bad. Jarren’s flow is real nice on the first verse. I don’t really give a shit about the subject matter—I’m not gonna pretend to ever care about brand promotion in music—but this is a decent song sonically so far. I like the hook a lot. The scratching is dope af. The second verse was nice. It’s just kinda bizarre to me how dedicated Jarren is to a shoe brand.

Paid a grip for these damn kicks / It’s art on my feet, bitch / Like Warhol on a canvas / My girl say I need help; I got a sick fetish for this brand, bitch.

This is better than the previous song, but it’s still not really something I think I’d ever come back to. The beat was decent. The only thing that really stood out was the scratches on the hook. Jarren’s flow was good, but not more so than any of his other verses. It’s not a bad song. It’s just not for me.

Track 11: Smells Like Feat. R.A. the Rugged Man & Mic Buddah (Prod. Spittzwell)

Okay, this should be good. I’m not familiar with this Mic Buddah guy, but y’all know I love R.A. the Rugged Man. The beat kinda reminds me of the Thief’s Theme by Nas. I think that’s Mic Buddah on the hook. It’s fine. It’s not anything Jarren or R.A. couldn’t have done themselves. I can tell this is probably gonna end up being my favorite track tho. R.A fuckin’ snapped on that first verse. God fucking damn. Of course he did. This comes as no surprise. I’ve never heard a wack verse from this dude. I’ve never even heard a “decent” verse from him. He kills every single track he’s on.

I smack Leatherface, and laugh at Jason / I stick my dick in that Lucifer chick that used the crucifix for masturbation / Satan’s coroner, kiddies lock your door; it’s the art of war / Spittin’ horrorcore since Lionel Richie was a commodore.

There are so many fucking lines I wanna quote. He fucking rapped about having sex with green aliens and eating out Hillary Clinton. This verse is fucking unbelievable.

“Yeah boy” like I’m Flavor Flav with a big clock / Dispatchin’ any competitor; you’re regular / Detachin’ your retina; the blood-shedder bitches piss on me / My dick meat stink like pastrami / My white ass is whiter than Mitt Romney.

He slaughtered that shit. Jarren’s verse was really fuckin’ good too. His flow was really fuckin’ nice. His verse wasn’t as good as R.A.’s, but that’s not saying much. R.A. spazzed on that shit. Jarren was great too tho.

Me and R.A. the Rugged, you fuckers gon’ love it / You a bitch, you snuggle with men, take dick, kiss it and chug it / I’m a glutton; eat buckets of nuggets of human flesh / And blow his rap budget on crack, snacks and puppets / Fuck a metaphor, I meta-morph into a feather dwarf / With a knife, and slam my dick inside the dresser drawer / Strangle you while stranglin’ myself to see who die quicker / Poppin’ your casket with a pistol like “surprise, nigga.”

This is easily the best song on the album so far. It’s dope af.

Track 12: Even More No Homo (Skit)

I’m assuming this is a sequel to a skit on a previous project by Jarren Benton. It’s pointless as fuck. It was obviously meant to be funny, but I’m not 12 years old, so there’s no way he can get me to crack a smile by pretending to be a closeted gay man talking about “two dicks touching” and saying “no homo” after. This was a waste of my time.

Track 13: Bully Feat. Vinnie Paz (Prod. Kato)

This beat is really fuckin’ dope. Hmm… I’m already halfway through the song. I’m enjoying it, but the way it’s structured seems kinda amateurish. It’s just one verse from Vinnie Paz and then another one from Jarren. Then the song ends. I guess it’s better than having a shitty hook. I liked Vinnie Paz’s verse a lot, but I think he can still do better than that. Jarren’s verse was better in my opinion. He was a little more versatile with his flow. Vinnie kinda just stuck to the same cadence. Jarren killed it. I don’t really have any severe gripes with this track. This shit is dope af.

Track 14: I Deserve It (Prod. Kato)

This beat is pretty good. This first verse is really nice. His flow is dope. The hook’s not bad. I’m enjoying this song. It’s not the best track here, but it’s got some of the most personal lyrics on the album so far.

Tried suicide once; didn’t have the balls to go all the way / Thought a bottle of pain pills would take all my hurt away / I was so in depression, and all this pain was gon’ murder me / I’m still standing, bitch; go tell the fuck niggas come murder me.

There’s not really much for me to say about this. It’s just another really good song. Again, it’s not my favorite song on the album, but I definitely like it. This is dope to me.

Track 15: Go Off Feat. SwizZz & Hopsin (Prod. M16)

Holy mother of fuck. Jarren fuckin’ blacked out on this first verse. His flow is so fucking dope. This beat is crazy too. Okay, maybe THIS’ll end up being my favorite song on the album. Oh shit. Never mind. This hook isn’t good. It doesn’t ruin the song, but it’s definitely a problem. I’m gonna be honest; SwizZz probably has one of the worst voices I’ve ever heard from a rapper. I’m not feelin’ his verse. This hook is really not good… Hopsin’s verse was a Hopsin verse, so it was cringy as fuck. His flow was cool, but nah. It’s an okay song I guess. Actually, nah. Fuck this song. This shit is wack to me.

Track 16: We On (My Own Dick) Feat. Dizzy Wright & Pounds (Prod. Kato)

Based on the title of this track, I don’t think I’m gonna like this song. I don’t know. I shouldn’t judge it by its title I guess. This beat is great. Ok, never mind. I think I’m gonna like this. The beat is dope. The hook kinda sucks, but it’s not too bad. Gotdamn. Jarren snapped. That first verse was fantastic. Dizzy Wright did his thing I guess. It was good. It didn’t really blow me away, but I enjoyed it. His flow was nice. Pounds easily had the weakest verse, but it was tolerable. Jarren came back in right behind him and slaughtered it. This shit is dope af.

Track 17: PBR & Reefer (Prod. SMKA)

Oh shit. This beat is really nice. I’m not crazy about the hook. It’s one of the better hooks on the album, but that’s not saying much. This is an obvious choice for a single. Eh… I’m not really feelin’ Jarren’s flow on the first verse. The hook is pretty long winded. The second verse was a little better. I don’t know. This kinda reminds me of something I would’ve heard on Side B of Old by Danny Brown. The second verse was cool. Eh. I don’t know. I really liked the production and Jarren’s flow was nice, but nah. I’m not gonna come back to this.

Track 18: OJ Feat. Elz Jenkins (Prod. Kato)

This beat is hard as fuck. The hook is fine. Jarren fuckin’ killed that first verse. I’m not crazy about this Elz Jenkins guy. His verse wasn’t that good. It wasn’t terrible, but he didn’t really add much to this song. I could’ve done without him. The final verse from Jarren was good. This is just another good song. It’s not gonna blow anyone away, but it’s mildly enjoyable. This shit is dope to me.

Track 19: My Grandma’s Basement (Prod. Oh)

Holy fuck this was a long ass album. Okay, final song. Here we go. This beat is pretty fuckin’ cool. Jarren’s goin’ in about how his hunger for success drove him to a point of suicidality. The hook’s fine. The first verse was great. This really reminds me of some earlier Danny Brown shit. He killed the second verse. The third verse was fucking fantastic. This is easily one of the best songs on the album. I have absolutely no problems with it. This is dope af.

Final Thoughts:

You know, I honestly didn’t like this album. I think Jarren Benton is a really talented MC, but this shit was kinda wack to me. Nothing about it really stands out in a super memorable way. It’s just a good rapper spitting aggressively over some hard hitting Trap inspired production with weak hooks, and of course the occasional introspective track. It’s pretty much exactly what I was expecting. I think this album’s greatest downfall is its lackluster hooks. Either that or the formulaic structure. It was also a bit too long. I think Kato’s a competent producer, but that style he has just doesn’t really do much for me. The quality of the production was pretty standard. I’m definitely glad I finally listened to this album because there’s a lot of good material here. I just think he could’ve trimmed a lot of the fat. It’s worth listening to if you’re a fan of Jarren Benton, but don’t feel like you’re missing out if you decide to skip this project. I’m not really feelin’ it personally.

Favorite Song: Smells Like

Least Favorite Song: Go Off

Verdict:

D

40-49

Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album

One comment

  1. I remember the buzz concerning Jarren from all the indie bloggers. You’d think this guy was the literal hot shit lol.

    Me personally was not impressed when hearing the guy.

    Much like Hopsin’s debut album it suffered from being far too gimmicky and cliched, it left me feeling bored and hoping this shit would end already. It would have been better off if Dame/Hop/whomever was in control of song selecting would have left it at 13-15 cuts.

    But alas we got this giant turd bomb.

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