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Spragga Benz (2018)

Music Review: Spragga Benz – ‘Spread Out’ ft. Hype and Fever

Spragga Benz just released a new single, “Spread Out.” The track is from his forthcoming album, called Chiliagon. A chiliagon is a 1000-sided shape. The album will be released in the near future and features 12 tracks from the legendary deejay, producer, and singer-songwriter.

British artists appearing on the album include Rodney P, Doc Brown, Illaman, Killa P, Black Josh, and dancehall luminary Harry Shotta, as well as the production talents of Zed Bias, the British duo Hype and Fever, Sukh Night, and Cadenza.

Hailing from Jamaica, Spragga Benz’s (aka Carlton Grant) galvanizing dancehall sound has captivated listeners since the early ‘90s. Beginning as an underground sensation, Benz quickly skyrocketed to the big time. A recording deal with Capitol Records magnified his popularity beyond Jamaica.

Benz’s sound accommodates pop, R&B, dancehall/dandiya, and hip-hop. This has led to collaborations with Ben E. King, Wyclef Jean, KRS-One, Foxy Brown, Lil’ Bow Wow, and Stephen and Damian Marley. He’s also made waves as an actor, with roles in Brooklyn Babylon, and Shottas, co-starring Kymani Marley, Paul Campbell, and Louie Rankin.

Benz’s sotto voce whisper starts the track off, murmuring, “When di gyal dem hear di voice dem ah jump a spread out.” Then the tune gets right into a boom-bap hip-hop groove bursting with a reggae-flavored cadence. It’s as if someone laid down reggae-tiling on a hip-hop floor, utilizing thickly droning synths, a crunching beat, and layered, potent vocals as the bonding agent. In other words, “Spread Out” presents a dominant dancehall/dandiya ambiance shuddering with energy.

The tripartite vocals – Benz, Fever, and Hype – ride over each other, infusing the tune with a variety of tonal textures that blend together into a tasty fabric of tiered sonic expressions.

“Spread Out” imparts torrid Jamaican music rife with a pulsating rhythm, wicked sounding synths, and stellar vocal delivery.

Follow Spragga Benz on Twitter, Instagram, and Spotify.

About Randall Radic

Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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