The video for “Don’t Look” was made in collaboration with the historic Bob Baker Marionette Theater, est. 1963, the oldest and longest running puppeteer theater company in Los Angeles. The puppets and props were made entirely from scratch to bring the cover of Beat Tape II to life. Thank you to Bob Baker Marionette Theater for inspiring the imagination of generations – and thanks to Ryu Okubo for the album cover.
Benny Sings: “First and foremost, I’m a beat-maker. I started making music in the mid-90s while listening to De La Soul. When I write songs, I always start with the beat. Like a songwriter strumming their guitar, I drag kicks and snares.”
After releasing his album Music in April 2021, Benny had several beats he hadn’t used, and decided to follow up his original self-released Beat Tape (2018) with a new collection. “The idea came to me to ask some rappers to join on the beats, to pay homage to where it all started: hip-hop. It was all very effortless, because there wasn’t a higher goal of wanting to write the perfect song. I was just having fun doing what comes naturally.”
The many guests on Beat Tape II include British R&B singer JONES on “Look What We Do”, Stones Throw MC The Koreatown Oddity on “Song 13”, and Mocky, Cola Boyy, and Marc Rebillet on “Beat 100”. Kenny Beats produced “Don’t Look” with Cory Henry, while Canadian rapper and singer Rae Khalil appears on “Beat 5” and “CGEOOL”. PawPaw Rod, MadeInTYO, St. Panther, Oddisee and Faberyayo also feature.
Benny says: “I feel so grateful to have all these new and established talents on here that make Beat Tape II what it is. I got people who are not very well known for rapping to rap. Mocky’s first albums, which I played a lot when I was younger, were rap albums, so it was great to ask if he would do that again, go back in time. Cola Boyy is a great singer, but his voice is perfect for rapping, so I was really excited to hear him do that. I’m also excited for my first collab with Kenny Beats. Hope this can be a start of some new stuff, who knows :)”