Idle time is perfect for introspection. While plane-hopping and taking trips to work as a producer for some of music’s biggest stars last year, Benny Cassette had plenty of that in his hotel room. It was there and in similarly isolating situations throughout his journeys that his thoughts roamed back to impactful conversations he had with family members, times that went sour with old flings and words that generally went unsaid.
It’s those moments that led to creating his forthcoming album, Broken Hearts & Dollar Signs—an effort that essentially functions as a series of letters which are extensions of convos Benny had (or wish he had) with exes and buddies alike. It also chronicles his come-up story.
In short, Cassette was relatively unknown until a few years back, when a publicist friend blasted a batch of his music to blogs and a Universal Records A&R discovered them. Weeks later the A&R passed the tunes to Kanye West, who called Cassette, then flew him to Paris to assist on West’s 2013 album, Yeezus. He’d later sign to Kanye’s Very GOOD Beats production team.
Cassette recently invited me to his home studio in Los Angeles for this shoot. After playing drafts of songs he’s baking alt-R&B singer SZA and country-turned-pop group The Band Perry, we settled in to rap, then hung out in his front yard for photos. As you’ll learn on Deeper, Benny had to go through some dirt before he found flowers.