Music and fashion have always been intimate bedfellows, but neither world has ever heard or seen an artist and presence quite like Don Benjamin.

A notable mod...el whose credits include serving as the face for Guess, Moods of Norway, Tilly's, and Pink Dolphin campaigns and finalist on the 2013 season of America's Next Top Model, he grabs the mic and holds tight on his forthcoming debut album. The rapper ignites slick, smart verses via an impressive flow, relaying personal stories with palpable panache. It’s been resonating too. His track "Across the Sky" [featuring Nikki Flores] saw placements on Big Brother, America's Next Top Model, and various MTV programs. It also landed in the iTunes Overall Top Songs chart, officially announcing his arrival as an artist.

"It's smooth rap," he declares. "I spit bars with an R&B feel. I didn’t want to do something typical. This isn’t your average hip-hop. It’s not about killing people or selling drugs. It’s about girls and relationships. I was always focused on finding love and everything that goes along with that. I’m telling my story honestly.”

His story thus far remains quite remarkable. Born in a rough neighborhood of Chicago's notorious South Side, he and his mother bounced around from Minneapolis to Mississippi and Florida. He finished up high school in Minnesota, and that's also where he truly discovered his passion. Fascinated by everyone from Jay-Z and Nas to LL Cool, Boyz II Men, and Jagged Edge, he started rapping in between his duties as varsity basketball team captain.

"The first time I recorded a song with some friends, I knew I had to be in music," he explains. "It felt like what I was always meant to do."
In 2005, he moved out to Los Angeles and immersed himself in the scene. Eventually, he'd gain notoriety modeling, but he parlayed his music to the forefront. Musically, he captures a bedroom-ready R&B vibe within the framework of hip-hop. You can hear it within the likes of “Doin’ It Well”
Produced by Midi Mafia [50 Cent, Frank Ocean], it highlights a cool and controlled flow from Don before taking flight on an Elijah Blake hook. Re-imagining LL Cool J's "Doin' It", the song encapsulates a deeper message for the artist as well.

"Everybody's disrespecting women, downgrading them, calling them bitches, and just talking about fucking," he goes on. "There's no real story, and nobody is building girls up. I wanted to do that. This says, 'I want to see where your mind is at rather than getting in bed with you right away'. You can be in a relationship and evolve into that sexual point. I got into the storytelling of meeting a girl, getting to know her, and watching her leave the dude that's not treating her right."

Meanwhile, "Jealous" [featuring Eric Bellinger] tells a different tale altogether, showcasing his diversity as do many other tracks. He says, "It's about a dude who gives his girl all the time he can, but she's still jealous. Eric wanted me to do a photo shoot for his street wear line. I told him I'd do it, and I also told him about the track because I thought he'd be perfect on the hook. It perfectly fell into place."

In the end, Don gives something much more to listeners everywhere with his candid lyrics and different perspective. "The most important thing is for people to connect with the music and feel it," he concludes. "I want them to see what's happening in my lyrics and relate."
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