Chicago rap prodigy Taylor Bennett comes into his own on Restoration of an American Idol | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicago rap prodigy Taylor Bennett comes into his own on Restoration of an American Idol

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Few local hip-hop artists have been as interesting to watch grow in the spotlight as Taylor Bennett. Part of the buzz that’s come to surround him is due to his family name: Chancellor Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, is his older brother. Whatever amount of initial attention Taylor has garnered because of that connection, the pressure to live up to Chance’s level of success—and whatever expectations people have of Taylor because of big bro’s Grammys, headlines, late-night appearances, and everything else—could be enough to crush a small village. But where some might crumple under that kind of duress, Taylor has become more in touch with himself, and has focused on figuring out his strengths as an artist while exploring his musical boundaries. Through the years he’s molded his raw talent, slowing down the speed of his rapping on his earliest releases to allow his words to gently coast across his instrumentals like an Olympic-level curling team handling a stone on ice. His February EP Restoration of an American Idol (Tay Bennett Entertainment) is jammed with big rap guests including Lil Yachty and Kyle, but Taylor clears the way so he can allow his performance to breathe; while Chance and Jeremih have undoubtedly brought in new listeners with their turns on “Grown Up Fairy Tales,” Taylor’s raspy, contemplative performance really makes the song.   v

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