Benjamin Miles & Eddie Logix – Play It Forward (2011)
Artist: Eddie Logix x Benjamin Miles
Album: Play It Forward
1. Begin The World
2. Meaningful Work
3. In Sickness And Health
4. My Mind
6. Tree House
7. Good Right Now
8. Pay That Tab
10. Play It Forward
This is one of those albums that somehow found it’s way to me and I eventually listened to…and subsequently loved. The note that came with the album was that the producer, Eddie Logix, found beats that perfectly fit the emcee, Benjamin Miles. And you know what? You can tell. Each track relates to a different part of Benjamin Miles personality to the point the album has an autobiographical feel to it.
Lets go in on some of these tracks…
In Sickness And Health compares Miles’ relationship with hip hop to the relationship with a woman and then in the second verse to that of a father to a child (hip hop my baby, and you never catch me shaking it). This is a concept that has obviously been done a number of times, but there is something about Miles’ sincerity that makes me partial to this joint. Logix uses some piano keys to lead into the track and some ambient sounds that make this production stick to your ear drums. Miles talks about his frustration with hip hop but also relates that his love for the music has never, and never will diminish. He is trying to elevate music while others dumb it down.
My Mind is essentially a Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde tale. Miles lets us on to the fact that sometimes he just can’t control how he feels no matter how much he may detest that feeling. Eddie Logix uses a very sparse bass line, some flute, and some choppy keys to give this track a very neurotic feel. Miles completes the track by doing the chorus himself. All aspects of this song really come together.
Good Right Now narrates two stories, both heart felt. The first verse shows the resiliency of a single parent and her love and affection for her child. No matter how much work and stress was incorporated into life, they were good right now, because they were with each other. On the second verse, a woman copes with a disease that effects the way she looks, and how she too can come to find happiness. This track is a winner because of the message, the stories, and Eddie Logix production. I really enjoyed the female vocals on the chorus. Check some of Mile’s second verse:
She says she’s good at this juncture / Holding hands with a man that loves her / Hasn’t felt that for like five summers / Would ever happen at all? She used to wonder / She been different ever since her hair wilted /Beautiful flower but the petals went missing / Stem was still fresh so the boys showed interest /But only for an instant, never consistent / She was exposed and her heart got callous / Mean ass girl that you ought not challenge
This song has the depth I crave from artists. When an emcee uses his experiences and insight on a track, only good things can come about.
On BTW, Eddie Logix fixes up the one song that you could describe as a ‘banger’ off of this album. The rest of the album is much more subdued but this production allows Miles to just flex his lyrical skills, and he says just as much on this track: “I should do me and make high brow music / but banging my chest is just too amusing”. He was just doing it to show that he can do whatever the next emcee can, and maybe just a little better. Is it shameful that I really liked this track? I feel like I am being mocked by the artists over my enjoyment. Oh well…
Is this album perfect? Probably not, but can I point out flaws within it? I can’t. Play It Forward has so much to like about it. I’ve never really listened to an album where I thought I was learning about the artist as I listened to each track. By the closing cut I really thought I knew the man. That my friends is the power of music. It’s for albums like this that I do this blog. I had never heard of Benjamin Miles and Eddie Logix before, and now I am able to impart their gifts, and this album to you. Play It Forward is free. I hope you take the time and enjoy it as much as I did.