Taylor Bennett Is Headed For Big Things, Just As Soon As He Graduates High School
By Katie Karpowicz in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 3, 2014 10:30PM
It wouldn't be inaccurate to call the Bennett brothers a couple of sell-outs. Chance Bennett (better known by his stage name, Chance the Rapper) has sold out venues across the country and was one of the most popular performers at last year's sold out Lollapalooza. His younger brother Taylor just celebrated his second consecutive sold out show at Reggie's last Friday. So, it's clear the fraternal rappers are making noise in the local and national hip hop scene but it's safe to say they're not abandoning their roots.
"My fans have definitely jumped in numbers but it's been the same individuals that have helped me from the very beginning," Taylor Bennett told Chicagoist in advance of his show last week, labeled a "fan appreciation concert." "They've been there and they've just held me down. Without my fans I'm nothing so I love them."
Similar to his older brother, who might be this summer's hottest festival booking next to Outkast, Taylor found success with the free mixtape method and has reached listeners as far and wide as Germany and Africa. The eighteen-year-old has to wrap up his education at Urban Prep High School before he makes any big moves in the music industry though.
"I'm just holding it down [right now] because I'm going to graduate. I feel like that's something that I need to do so I focus on music and school."
Taylor hasn't just been studying his school subjects though. While his vocal pitch is stunningly similar to Chance's, Taylor's subject matter veers in a different direction than his brother's. After he rattles off a list of influences like Twista, Nas and Kendrick Lamar to Chicagoist, it wasn't so hard to assume where he pulls his inspiration for abrasive, straight-from-the-streets tracks like "Life So Tough" and "Chi-raq Dreaming." However, his obvious nod to Kanye West's College Dropout—an album that dropped when Taylor was ten—on "Just To Get By" also shows the fun-loving side to his music and the artists that helped develop it.
With one son already making a living off of his music and another well on the way to turning his music into a career, you have to wonder how the Bennett's parents feel about their success. Even though Taylor admits they aren't fans of some of the more explicit tracks, he says their support never ends.
"Any situation, they push me," he told us. "My pops used to work in the White House, now he works with the mayor of Chicago. My mom worked with the attorney general. So they want me to get through school. They want me to do what I'm supposed to do in life. They support me in everything I do though. I can always count on them."
As for his relationship with his older brother, does he ever grow tired of the comparisons? Not really.
"It's pretty awesome that we're in this together. [Comparisons to Chance] don't really bother me. That's how a lot of my fans find out about me so I love it. We just each focus on trying to get ours, you know?"
Taylor Bennett's debut mixtape Taylor Bennett Show is out now as a free download. His new tape, Mainstream Music, comes out in the spring. We all know what happened with Chance's sophomore release Acid Rap so we won't have to wait long to find out if luck will strike this talented family twice.