Fresh Prince of Maftown: Benny Cray

Dinah Ramonyai

Benny Cray is a songwriter, ghost-writer, a producer and overall a music philosopher. I don’t just write and perform music, music for me is a spirit”, Benny Cray talks about how his music is his way of touching people.

Hours before he drops his new single “High” at Hatfield Chisanyama on Friday 9 February, Perdeby met up with Benny Cray the self-proclaimed Fresh Prince of Maftown for the lowdown on him, his music and his future plans. Perdeby went into details about his hit tracks, how Motswako shaped him and how Pretoria continues to shape him and his music.

When asked where the name Fresh Prince of Maftown comes from, Cray explains that “Maftown has a philosophy… Maftown is like an arts academy, everybody wants to be an artist, [they] want to be on tv […]” After working with some of the Mafikeng kings like HHP who mentor artists and now recently having performed on the same stage with another one of Mafikeng’s giants, Cassper Nyovest, this past December, and also making an appearance on SABC 3’s show Fanatics Benny considers himself one of the many upcoming Mafikeng princes.

While his previous tracks “Black Coffee” and “City” bring chilled vibes that are not conventional to the hip-hop genre, Benny’s chilled hip-hop style strays from the normal hard rap and punchlines in hip-hop. This diversion from the norm is influenced by his moving from Mafikeng to Pretoria. “When I came to Pretoria that’s when I saw music on another level and I was like ‘woah’ Ok, I’m in the city […] I can’t be selfish and just rap in Tswana, the City sound is actually the urban sound because I’m here, I’m moving with the times.” When asked if he will ever serve us the usually expected Hip hop Benny said “Nah I don’t think I’ll ever go there,” he continues to explain “I feel like rapping is the starter pack of Hip-hop, the grade one and you cannot say you’re an artist and then say you only rap, and I’m an artist.” These are the type of vibes that one should be expecting from the newly dropped single “High” that will soon be up on Waptrendz. Cray played Perdeby the exclusive track and it embodies exactly what he has described his music to be, urban.

The young artist is dropping an EP Change on 16 February that will be available on Waptrendz. You can find more of Benny Cray’s music on Waptrendz.co.za, and very soon on Slikour on life.

 

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