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.
After a few years BenOaks took the best of these & this became the 2nd Bones Culture compilation (that was never titled or ever released).
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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