Jarren Benton with Dirtball

Jarren Benton with Dirtball

Dirtball, Caleb Brown, Bingx

Mon · July 17, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00 - $70.00

This event is all ages

Jarren Benton
Jarren Benton
For an artist with serious mainstream aspirations, Decatur, Georgia's Jarren Benton has spent his career going against the grain. One of Funk Volume's premiere acts, Jarren admits, "I love the music I do now. I do it in the safe-mode." That's rather shocking for an artist whose last album, Freebasing With Kevin Bacon lived up to its name, at least in attitude and style, evident on single "Skitzo." He continues, "I want to take it a lil' further. I just haven't had the balls to go all the way there yet, 'cause I presently want to keep a foot in the mainstream too."

However, courage is not something Benton's music or live show is lacking. Studied in the anything-goes showmanship of Prince, Marilyn Manson and Method Man, Jarren shares, "The essence of giving of a good show is not givin' a fuck," he says, while pointing to stage-diving, beer-chugging and more depending on the night's particular vibe. This type of authenticity, balanced with intricate, golden ear-informed lyricism has attracted attention from Erick Sermon (EPMD, Redman) to No I.D. (Common, Kanye West) in courting Jarren to potential major label deals. However for the father and family provider, only indie juggernaut Funk Volume really voiced his biggest concerns. "All I was asking for was progress. I just wanted to know that what I was doing was the right move – especially chasing a dream with a family." Funk Volume offered what Def Jam and the others weren't – and in recent years, Jarren has been able to support his family and his dreams simultaneously.

In addition to Funk Volume, which Jarren refers to as "family," the rapper maintains strong ties in the Atlanta community, such as Rittz, Playboy Tre, Spitzwell and his SMKA affiliates. "It's the best of both worlds," says Jarren, of playing a significant role in a respected collective of talent, as well as being an artist in one of the most powerful new labels in Hip Hop. "We all still came from that era about lyricism, even if you were making Southern music."

After two successful digital releases and a video fast-approaching one million YouTube plays, Jarren is hard at work on what will inevitably be his biggest album to date. Following the star-filled supporting cast of Freebasing With Kevin Bacon and Huffin' Glue With Hasselhoff, the comedic emcee promises to break from the series with a purpose in mind. "This one has a different vibe. It's a lot more personal stuff so people can learn who Jarren is," he says, also suggesting more refined production that translates more to his ambitions of being a household name. In the same vein, that courage Jarren felt was missing is brewing on his upcoming work. The vet points to "Heart Attack" and "Smells Like Murder" with R.A. The Rugged Man as some of the most conceptual, dazzling work he's recorded to date.
"From my ranges of influence, I think a lot fans appreciate my personalities, but they don't really get into the music… yet," admits Benton of his available catalog. The stakes are high and the time is right for the man who has pursued a dream for a decade. "I love this. I'm not driven by money, but I'm conscious of making music that can be universally appreciated." It is coming to life for an artist closely connected with the tenants of Hip Hop: style, skill and absolutely not givin' a fuck.
After wreaking havoc on the road rocking sold out crowds across the country, Oregon based rapper The Dirtball is bringing it home with the release of his third solo album, Crook County. While in the past his accelerated rhyming skills have kicked his career into overdrive, now with his latest release it’s his songwriting skills that have him cruising in the fast lane.

Inspired by the beauty of his home state and his love of creating music, Crook County’s diverse mixture of rock and hip-hop is eclectic enough to leave fans of all genres salivating for more. Powered by the machinegun attack of his motor-mouth and irresistible hooks, the album can dazzle fans of Southern Rap (Ying Yang Twins, Lil Jon), battle mainstream heavyweights (Twista, Lupe Fiasco), or stands toe-to-toe with underground legends (Tech 9ne, Kottonmouth Kings, or Insane Clown Posse).

“Crook County is actually the area where I live in Oregon. I was born and raised here, which ties into the record and how I’m bringing it back to my roots. I have a lot of old friends that I used to play with back in the day on this record and my parents have a blue grass band so they made it onto a track,” says the Pacific Northwest based rapper. “It’s definitely a different kind of album for me, but it’s a pretty well rounded diverse eclectic mixture of musical styles with a good group of guests. Each track is totally different from one another and I’m stoked about it.”

Crook County also features guest appearances by some of the heaviest hitters in the underground and detonates an explosive line-up of powerhouse collaborations. “Just a Friend” utilizes the breathtaking melodies of Lady Love to craft an infectious track about the hardships of maintaining relationships while out on the road, while Daddy X of Kottonmouth Kings drops by on “Mushroom Cloud” to expose the Dirtball’s psychedelic eating habits. Meanwhile, Suburban Noize heavyweight Big B appears on the track “All In”, LaCoka Nostra ‘s CeeKay rips through the track “Nightshade”, Johnny Richter of Kingspade duets about the rigors of the road on “Grind” and Psychopathic Records’ Boondox, drops some rock flavor on the track “Tried, Trued and Tested”.

Since the age of 15, The Dirtball (aka David Alexander) has dedicated himself to his music. Growing up in Oregon, Alexander quickly became preoccupied with drums and would be the rhythmic backbone for a number of different bands in the North West. In 1995, Dirtball decided to take his musical aspirations to the next level and formed funk-rock hybrid Chola and would tour the region cultivating a grassroots following. After six years of constant touring and recording with Chola, the band was on the brink of a national breakthrough, but personal and creative differences lead to the band’s demise.

“Chola opened the door and kind of schooled me in the art of rhyme, which helped me develop my style. Then, when the band finally disbanded, I knew right away I didn’t want to hide behind the drum kit anymore, so I just started focusing on developing my skills as a rapper,” Dirtball says of the switch from banging drum kits to spitting on the mic. “I grew up listening to rap and that’s what I loved. I never set out to be a fast rapper, it’s just this kind of unharnessed thing that I developed.”

After half a decade behind the kit, Dirtball decided it was time for a change and focused his efforts on perfecting the art of rhyme. His efforts proved fruitful when he developed a knack for creating a machinegun rapid fire flow that quickly became his trademark style. With a conscious effort to create super tight flawless lyrics, Alexander began his solo path as an MC and The Dirtball was born.

After recording a demo, The Dirtball’s rapid-fire rhymes caught the attention of California based Suburban Noize Records who signed him for the release of his debut, Pop-A-D-Ball. The album quickly jumpstarted his career and propelled him into two years of non-stop touring. His sophomore effort, Raptillion, was released in 2006 and became an instant underground classic that prompted PopMatters to say Dirtball’s “Rapid-fire rhymes and an ear for catchy choruses distinguish the rapper’s style, which at times sounds something like a sharper-edged Big Boi.”

The Dirtball is at the forefront of a bubbling underground scene that is taking over the hip-hop and rock scenes. In a time of record label closures and spiraling record sales, The Dirtball has rocketed into national fame with the persistence and will to survive in the jungle that is the music business. His strong work ethic and explosive live show has earned him tours with Tech N9ne, Hed PE, Kottonmouth Kings, Insane Clown Posse, and monstrous Strange Noize Tour, which went on to become one of 2007’s highest grossing independent tours. Silently lurking the underground live networks, Dirtball snaps off raps and will make listeners think twice about the capabilities of white rappers.
Venue Information:
Mesa Theater
538 Main St
Grand Junction, CO, 81501