Benjamin Kerns
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Benjamin Kerns

Madison, Wisconsin, United States

Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Hip Hop Alternative

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"Whats Happening? - Benjamin Kerns"

Not too many artists out there are willing and/or able to touch on the harsh issues that face our country. For example, in the past few months alone we’ve seen a tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, and a bombing at the Boston Marathon. You don’t see artists like Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, or really anyone for that matter coming out with songs about that. However, Benjamin Kerns has set out to change that. His newest song “What’s Happening?” does exactly what other artists are afraid to do. He talks about many issues, namely the Boston Marathon bombing. Kerns strings his verses together with a tremendous flow, but even more noticeable than that is the pure meaning behind this great song. - Jake Spiwak - DML


"The Chronicles - Benjamin David Kerns"

Benjamin David Kerns just proved why he’s one of Wisconsin’s top up-and-coming artists with his newest single “The Chronicles”. A softer, slower beat fits perfectly with the raw lyricism BDK spits. He said what he felt needed to be said, and held absolutely nothing back. Political issues are the main issue discussed in this song, and whether you agree or disagree he brings up some great points in a dope track. Check it out to see if you think he has a point! - Jake Spiwak - The Fresh Selection


"Benjamin David Kerns – Mandatory Quarantine (album download)"

An underground hip-hop artist born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin and now living in Madison, BDK uses witty lyrics, clever wordplay and an intricate rhyming flow to create an elaborate musical vision. With influences spanning punk rock, rock n’ roll, R&B, jazz, and hip-hop, Benjamin David Kerns is a breath of fresh air for a diverse range of audiences looking for something different. - Jesse Booker - Rapcine


"Benjamin David Kerns - Hip-Hop/Rap"

Benjamin David Kerns is an underground hip-hop artist born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin and now living in Madison. The release of his debut album, Mandatory Quarantine, generated worldwide attention in the underground, independent hip-hop community through social media outlets and live performances. BDK can be found jamming out at open mic nights on the UW Union Terrace and opening shows at various venues throughout the city. His high energy, no nonsense commitment to the art has earned him high accolades from casual listeners, musicians, scholars and bloggers. With influences spanning punk rock, rock n' roll, R&B, jazz, and hip-hop, Benjamin David Kerns is a breath of fresh air for a diverse range of audiences looking for something different. - Supercuts


"Mandatory Quarantine - Benjamin David Kerns (mixtape)"

Recently a friend of TFS Benjamin David Kerns re-released his mixtape “Mandatory Quarantine”, and it’s definitely worth checking out. He touches on controversial issues such as politics, drug use, and many others. BDK also touches on the struggle as an aspiring artist, and all in all this tape is definitely worth listening through. His signature flow sounds great over an array of solid beats. I posted my favorite track above, so listen to that and download the whole project at the DatPiff link! - Jake Spiwak - The Fresh Selection


"Benjamin David Kerns"

Who’s Benjamin David Kerns?

Benjamin David Kerns is an underground hip-hop artist born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin and now living in Madison. The release of his debut album, Mandatory Quarantine, generated worldwide attention in the underground, independent hip-hop community through social media outlets and live performances. BDK can be found jamming out at open mic nights on the UW Union Terrace and opening shows at various venues throughout the city. His high energy, no nonsense commitment to the art has earned him high accolades from casual listeners, musicians, scholars and bloggers. With influences spanning punk rock, rock n’ roll, R&B, jazz, and hip-hop, Benjamin David Kerns is a breath of fresh air for a diverse range of audiences looking for something different.



How did you get started in the music scene?

Well, I’ve been writing for years and years. But I didn’t really get serious about recording until October 2011. I met recording and mixing engineer Steve Sambirsky over at North Central Audio in Racine. After the first day in his studio, I knew that I wanted to continue to pursue music. Since then we haven’t stopped making music. I wrote and recorded Mandatory Quarantine in about 3 months and then I started taking my music to the streets of Madison. I’d spit accapella verses outside of venues during rap shows and handout CD’s to get my name out. I’m still waiting for my first big break.



What’s your method at the time of writing a song?

I’m a very emotional and beat-driven person. So I usually like to have my instrumental picked out before writing anything, so I can vibe to it. Then I’ll write something down to it and probably spend the next few days editing it until it sounds precisely how I want.



What are your musical influences?

I’ve probably listened to just about every genre of music. Growing up, my dad was always playing the oldies. So I heard a lot of The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix when I was younger. As a teenager, I listened to a lot of Bob Marley and alternative rock. In terms of rap, I’ve studied so many of them: 2Pac, Eminem, Tech N9ne, Do or Die, The Game, Scarface, NaS, Biggie, OutKast, E-40, ICP and too many more to list.



Talk to us more about your upcoming new album. How was the recording and writing process? Any release date, title yet in mind?

With Stay Grindin’, I approached it more or less the same way as Mandatory Quarantine. Every few weeks I’d have 2 or 3 new songs ready, I’d call Steve and record. I think I was much more efficient on this project than the previous one. Starting out, it would take a lot of time and retakes to get a song sounding the way I wanted. Now, I can basically go in and hammer out a track in a few attempts, usually under an hour. Look for Stay Grindin’ on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon in late 2012 or early 2013.



What has been the funniest moment you have been apart of while touring?

I haven’t really “toured”. But during my last show in Madison, I jumped off stage during the drop in one of my rowdier tracks. The audience wasn’t prepared for me running around mid-set and greeting them with high-fives and handshakes. One guy almost dropped his pitcher of beer. It was pretty funny.



Do you feel you are moving in the right direction?

Absolutely! I’m constantly adapting and taking in new inspirations all the time. I feel like I have progressed greatly since I started recording Mandatory Quarantine and since then I’ve been elaborating on my lyrics and technique. Since my first project, I’ve boosted my stage presence by performing weekly and I make it a challenge to outdo myself in every show. I think listeners will hear a noticeable progression in style and skill with the Stay Grindin’ LP.



Check out more at: http://www.facebook.com/BenjaminDKerns
- Vents Magazine - Rafael Jovine


"Stay Grindin’ (Feat. Catch Phrase & Thrizzy) — Benjamin David Kerns"

Before they did this track with Catch Phrase I hadn’t heard of Benjamin David Kerns or Thrizzy, but after hearing this song I think it’s time I check them out. Each artist goes in on their verse, and it makes for a great track. The song pretty much talks about the work each of the artists has to put in, and all that work is evident in this track.
- Jake Spiwak, The Fresh Selection (Jun 10, 2012)


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Ben was raised in the blue-collar city of Racine, Wisconsin and earned his degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009. He works full-time as a software tester and records music in the off-hours. He has the passionate delivery of Eminem, the complexity of Aesop Rock, and the ambition of Bill Gates.

Ben's career took off when his catchy, upbeat single “Prince Charming” was selected for Supercuts “Rock the Cut” 2012 promotion and featured in their 2,100 locations nationwide. The promoters were so impressed with his single, they’re featuring a new Kerns single in “Rock the Cut" 2013.

After several live performances, a feature on the cover of Hip-Hop Stardom 101, a nomination for Hip-Hop Album of the Year at the Madison Area Music Awards (MAMA), and a new album slated for Fall 2013, people are noticing and Ben's music career is taking center stage.