It’s rare to find an album in which lyrics and beats weave so seamlessly they work in tandem to convey a coherent message.
But that’s just what Benjamin Miles and Eddie Logix accomplished when the two teamed up to record Play it Forward. With Miles on vocals and Logix holding down production duties, the album succeeds in evoking a spectrum of emotions with each subsequent track.
As a producer, emcee and audio engineer, Logix is a triple threat by hip-hop standards. When he’s not working on music with his collectives, MidCoast Most and Progress Report, he’s collaborating with artists nationwide.
Meanwhile, Miles, a lawyer by day, is front man for Of Mice and Musicians, a seven-man band with a live hip-hop sound laced with hints of rock and blues.
When the pair met more than a year ago, Logix was impressed by Miles’ honest, intellectual songwriting and encouraged him to work on a solo project.
The outcome is an album that showcases the emcee’s lyrical dexterity. Logix took a less conventional approach to making this happen, hand-picking beats that would complement each of the topics Miles wished to tackle. The album is then rounded out by Logix’ trademark versatility, with instrumentals ranging from hard-edged to melodic and soulful.
Whether lusting for lost youth or love, Miles covers a range of topics so relatable that not only does one emerge with an idea of what it means to be Benjamin Miles, but they catch a glimpse of themselves in the process.
Miles’ eloquent rhymes add depth to the familiar themes of each track as he takes his own advice to “say something old better.” His verses lead the listener through a journey of regret, resentment, struggle and finally, contentment.
More than a mere pun, the title Play it Forward captures the mantra behind the album: honest material passed through music to those looking to relate, those looking for relief. And with Play it Forward, those who seek shall find. It is Logix and Miles’ hope that they’ll, in turn, pass it on.
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