Taylor Bennett Bares All In New Album Featuring His Brother Chance & More
Taylor Bennett, the Chicago rapper whose big brother Chance just took home three Grammys, is not riding any coattails. He’s been releasing solo material since 2013, and has been in the trenches as an activist and engaged presence for even longer. Raised in the same politically involved family as his Coloring Book kin, Taylor has been especially devoted to the LGBTQ community, of which he is a member. As did his 2015 album Broad Shoulders (and the short film of the same name), Taylor’s latest project deals with life’s issues from the perspective of a young man seeking his way in this world through love, risk, and self-determination. But there is something more resolute in Restoration Of An American Idol, which he released today (February 24).
The nine-track affair is joyous and soulful, but in the kind of way that suggests plenty of pain and self-reflection came first. Song titles include “The Kid’s Alright” and “Grown up Fairy Tales,” and a refreshing mix of newly acquired wisdom and curiosity develops throughout. A confluence of life experience including a harrowing ordeal with a blood clot and the deaths of friends serve as inspirational springboards for the younger Bennett, but Restoration doesn’t feel weighted down by any of it. In fact, it’s uplifting.
In speaking with the FADER, Taylor says “the best work comes from experience” and stresses the importance of defining one’s self, for one’s self. “I think what matters more than that is what kind of person you are, what kind of character you have — who are you?,” he explains. In coming out as bisexual earlier this year, Taylor opted to answer that question by leading by example, so it’s only right that some of Restoration‘s content is thereby inspired. “I think the whole idea of my music — and especially with this project — has always been to bring people together,” he says. “I think that music has that power to bring people together and show people that no matter what, no matter who you like, no matter what race you are, no matter if you have money or don’t have money, or you’re Black, White whatever, it’s all about love.”
Featuring Chance the Rapper, Raury, Jeremih, Kyle, Stro, Lil Yachty, and others, this project is not only packed with guests but also an exceptional offering from some of the youngest, steadfastly unique voices in music.