Box Bennstrom, known to his fans as Box!, is a rare breed of musician – a multi-instrumentalist and talented beatboxer who has now transitioned to become a sought-after rapper. Hailing from Austin, Texas, Box! has been immersed in the world of music since his early days in sixth grade. With a unique skill set that spans trombone, drums, beatboxing, and now rapping, it’s no wonder that Box! has become a force to be reckoned with in the world of alternative hip hop. At the heart of Box!’s artistry lies his intricate lyricism and brilliantly experimental production techniques. With each release, he exceed expectations, bringing together every element of his sound into one all-encompassing alternative journey. And with his latest album, ‘Questioning the Ambience,’ Box! has once again surpassed his own high standards.
Like his previous releases, the weight of the record leans heavily on its expansive production, but it Box!’s iconic storytelling raps and deeply introspective vocals that leave the most profound impact. From the opening track, “Pause and Reflect”, each song has an intriguing musical backbone, characterized by rolling basslines, shimmering keys, and gently thumping drums. But it’s the combination of these elements with Box!’s haunting vocals that truly sets this album apart, moving the momentum of each track forward with emotional intensity.
Despite its somber exterior, Box!’s music is truly like a beam of light through the clouds of typical mainstream music. ‘Questioning the Ambience’ takes listeners on a sonic journey that pushes the boundaries of imagination, captivating the listener with beautiful keyboards and atmospheric soundscapes that play against Box!’s haunting vocals.
The result is outstanding tracks like “Black Robes ft. Scalp Hunter & Marley Day, “Despar’te”, and “Compassion”, which are wrapped up inside layered instrumentation and dusky cinematic auras.
“freeDOM” ft. Kasino Kam and “Walk The Beat” ft. Gene Green & Kasino Kam bring a more urgent and rhythmic vibe. “Just These Words” provides an immersive experience that erases the listener’s surroundings and takes them to another plane of existence.
Characterized by ambient aesthetics with a heavy atmosphere, and combined with dynamic lyricism that extends beyond the standard bars, Box! is creating a niche style of alternative hip hop that continues to grow with each of his invigorating projects.
Box!’s seemingly effortless ability to craft stories, atmosphere, and emotion through his rhymes, over chilled sonic backdrops and blended chords, pave the way for deep pondering, introspection, and connection, on tracks like “How Do We Change”.
The pacing of his words are relaxed but confident with structure and substance on both “Swamp Shit” and “Who Want The Smoke”. A focused ear can tell that he feels every word uttered on his tracks. What is impressive is Box!’s ability to describe. The imagery is so vivid, and his word choice, projects clear pictures that can transport the listener to where he wants them to be
In an industry that is often criticized for being formulaic and predictable, Box! is a breath of fresh air – a true artist who is unafraid to explore new sounds and push the boundaries of what hip hop can be. With ‘Questioning the Ambience,’ he has created an album that is both introspective and universal. For those who are seeking something truly different in their music, Box! is the answer.
Connect with Box! on Instagram @boxieboi and all streams at https://linktr.ee/boxieboi