Benjamin Manney A.K.A. Scan is an independent music artist out of the Central Valley of California. Scan built his own home studio and started recorded for local independent artist throughout the area, after having completed audio engineering school in Los Angeles. He released his debut album “The Outwaited Arrival” in 2010. Teaming up with fellow friend and producer known as Abe Lincoln of Lincoln Music Group Studios, the two put together Scan’s ambitious project “Piece By Peace”. The album is inspired by Scan’s journey through life, with an eye to influencing future generations.This is not a perfect album, there are only a handful of albums in the history of hip-hop that can claim that title, but any album needs multiple perspectives shone upon it before one can judge whether it comes close to challenging that title. Here’s one that comes close.
Musically, Scan is once again teamed with Abe Lincoln and the two supply a truckload of banging beats with plenty of musical influences in each track, and enough diversity to keep even the most eclectic ear enticed. The beats are nicely suited to the tone of each song, perfectly capturing the many different atmospheres conveyed by Scan’s lyrics.
Opening with a soulful banger, “Off The Leash”, Scan brings so much energy, passion and conviction it’s as if though he’s jumping out of the speakers and is talking right at you. Passion is one thing Scan has in abundance, he obviously loves what he does, and does it just for the love.
His songs speak from his heart, and you can tell that he has spent a lot of time ensuring that this is a thoughtful, carefully crafted album. However, Scan doesn’t lose his confident swagger and he’s still cocky where it is deserved, but not in a cringe-worthy manner that so many sub-par rappers seem to get caught up in.
Scan’s lyrics alternate between indignation, satisfaction and introspection, sometimes with a confrontational edge added in. His verses show intelligence rather than just bigheadedness, and deep soul-searching confessionals.
When viewed alongside many of the underground emcees content whining about Hip Hop’s supposed morbid state, you realize that Scan has made a distinct mark with a much greater mission over the twelve tracks here. Using music almost as a form of therapy, he has carved a niche making fearless songs that are candid snapshots of his life.
The conscious minded Scan is determined to change the way we think and rationalize through his compositions, but without angrily shouting from a soapbox. His approach is much more subtle, but just as hard hitting, this much comes to the fore in tracks like “WWYD”, “All The Way Live” and “On Behalf Of Us”.
But there are many standouts here, for various reasons. My absolute favorites have to be “Their View”, “Save Me A Seat” and “It’s A Rap”. These are the kind of tracks that consist of all the right elements – banging beats, captivating flows and sharp lyricism.
What Scan brings to hip-hop is a one-two punch of pure rap skills combined with wisdom and intelligence that is rare to find anywhere. Displaying increasing versatility, the record displays an assured artist, one who can switch styles from fire and brimstone sermons to soulful anthems effortlessly.
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