Have you ever felt abandoned by God? All alone with no one to turn to?
Music collaboration collective Bones Culture releases their 3rd compilation album- the hiphop centric ‘SAMSARA’ produced by BenOaks.
Featuring game-changing vocal performances from Des Moines’ rapper/singer/producer 66notes, Southeast Pennsylvania rapper/singer/barber Android Eddie & Detroit’s (East Lansing) based rapper/producer iM$YD aka Veezup.
BenOaks and 66notes have now made a handful of albums together for the past 10 years though they have yet to meet in person! Android Eddie fka BoomTheorie of Diatribe fame was the first artist BenOaks ever produced in 1993 when he bought his first drum machine! Ed has since married Ben’s sister & is now officially family! Veezup & 66notes both “met” Ben via a Craiglist ad.
In 2006 & 2007 BenOaks had a teeshirt brand & a hiphop backing band (just him on bass & a drummer named Shorty) named Bones Culture. They backed up Philly based underground hiphop artists like The Knomadz, Android Eddie, Godhead the General, T.H.E. (& many others) @ cyphers like Lyrically Fit @ The Trocedero & Medusa Lounge.
By 2008 BenOaks has posted on Craigslist in every major US city looking to collaborate with indie rappers & singers. After searching through thousands of submissions, Ben began to travel from city to city producing dozens of independent artists.
In 2010 BenOaks was back in his high school hometown of West Chester, PA. He collaborated with other musicians, instead of just vocalists, for the first time. Bringing in guitarists mudbelly & Nick the Black, songwriters John Ciccone, 4T & Kenzie, bass players YBF & willy & more. This became the semi-popular ‘The Full Effect’ & launch Bones Culture to an international level- receiving a lot of press & bringing attention to Ben’s production work. This led to BenOaks working with some major label signed artists.
After stints in NYC & LA producing new pop stars, BenOaks had grown tired of the music business. He even quit playing guitar, writing songs & making beats. He no longer even had a home studio. He moved to Lancaster, PA for remodel work. There he happened upon an open mic at a local coffee house. The Rabbit & Dragonfly. There he saw two young musicians – sing/songwriter Jefferson Ambrose & drummer Clayton Stief. They inspired him to start writing & going to open mics again. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a very creative little city. The town has an active recovery community & an active art & music scene. Ben quit drinking on Christmas in 2017. He bought a new guitar “Jolene” shortly after & even restarted making beats.
When COVID hit in 2020 the first thing BenOaks did was buy an M-Audio recording interface & an Alesis USB controller & began collaborating with lyricists & musicians again. Bones Culture was reborn! It was a very successful year! After being a hermit & having poor mental health in 2021, BenOaks is back at it in 2022 & is looking at a very productive 2023. Hopefully planning a small tour & opening a new community studio focused on the underserved communities- especially the unhoused.
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RESCHEDULED due to dangerous weather (bomb cyclone) in Pennsylvania!!! Opening reception for Switchboard’s RECOVERY Art Show has been postponed until FRI JAN 6th
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and often times the most dramatic and emotionally difficult time to get through, am I right? Especially for our friends in recovery.
This Friday 12/23 6pm-9 @ the new Switchboard Studios & Gallery in Columbia, PA (above Columbia Kettle Works – 40 N. 3rd St), BenOaks is celebrating 5 years alcohol-free & in Recovery!
This show is an open call just for our artist friends who have experienced hardships like addiction, physical rehabilitation, any kind of healing from traumatic life experiences… and are ready to display the creations that often times come from it. We want your pieces that show what the word RECOVERY means to you.
Will be accepting last minute submissions up until midnight on Tuesday, December 20th.
Send up to (3) specs and images to: email@example.com
Local artist Kym Stine and local musician Benjamin Oaks are special guest speakers to talk about art, music, and healing.
Here is the Facebook event:
This time of year can be incredibly triggering for folks who had a difficult childhood. For those of you who were blessed with a loving family, cheers! please say a prayer for those of us who were traumatized by the holidays as kids.
Peace & many blessings to you & your family,
BenOaks is almost done mixing his upcoming BEAT TAPE called ‘Hieronymus’. Named after his first favorite artist.
“My mom would sometimes have to drop us off at the library as kids. She was a single mother living in a new state. She didnt have many friends yet. So she would drop me and my little sister off at the library when i was like 10, 11. I devoured those books. I developed a life long live of learning.”
“The first book I can remember being obsessed with was this book about art. I am a huge fan of Escher, Rembrandt, Pollock, Duchamp, Basquiat, Warhol, Goya, Mondrain, all the moderns. But the first art work that I was really drawn to was The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. We have a piece of that in our restroom.”
‘Hieronymus’ is now available ONLY on Bandcamp until it hits all the streaming sites on 1/1/23
BenOaks also has two other albums due out Winter ’23: his feature-heavy “solo” reggae album called “LongSufferer” and the 3rd Bones Culture compilation featuring BenOaks’ collaboration work from 2020-now. And will feature some truly incredible performances from vocalists / lyricists (singers & rappers) / poets like longtime collaborators 66notes & Android Eddie; breaking new artists like Lancaster’s PINK i & Circumstantial Saint; Wilmington Delaware’s Kalamitye & legendary veteran pro skateboarder Gentle Jones; Lancaster Pennsylvania’s own “Artivist” Sir Dominique Jordan & poet / educator sean hogan; indie stage queen Rachael Green, Minneapolis’ mic slayers Daytym & L.Soul + more TBA!
Since meeting a few weeks ago, Brother Ray & BenOaks have performed their favorite R&B classic, Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” a few times.
This is actually how they met too! BenOaks walked into Lancaster’s Penn Square (in the center of town) to busk like he usually does most Saturdays around noon. But someone was already in his favorite spot!
What a pleasant surprise when this person, Brother Ray, starts to sing Ben’s favorite song “Ain’t No Sunshine”! He then performs another of his faves- Sam Cooke’s “Change Gonna Come” 🙂
Ben ran home & grabbed his guitar. They’ve been rockin together ever since! They have already started recording Brother Ray’s debut album! Stay tuned!
Beloved street performer Brother Ray is currently in rehab 🙂 BenOaks has been inspired to open a community studio serving unhoused artists & musicians.