It's a good day for me online if I get to see one piece of internet content that's bizarre, hilarious, and also completely outside the rote spheres of online humor and culture. For example, yesterday I discovered this video of deformed Sonic The Hedgehog characters in a virtual reality chatroom, screaming at other avatars. That kind of thing nourishes me on an atomic level. Occasionally, I'll see something so striking, I'll dig deeper and maybe even become a fan. That's exactly the case with BennY RevivaL.
I don't remember the first BennY video I saw, but it was definitely retweeted into my timeline by @skrongmeat_, top-tier Tweetist and occasional BennY collaborator. There are a few common threads throughout BennY's videos: they're usually under a minute long and one single shot, set in an anonymous location, and only feature BennY, in an expensive looking rubber mask and either a matching costume or just a stylish fit. You might catch him in a killer clown look for Halloween, in any number of scary hoods (he's clearly a horror fan). He's also been known to dress up like Marvin the Martian, characters from South Park, and a whole ass dinosaur. As @skrongmeat_ found in his BennY RevivaL explainer on Medium, the likely Florida-based artist has a lot of masks.
He doesn't speak in the videos, but he's not silent: his short clips are usually soundtracked by his own music, and BennY's a really nice rapper. He has a few different SoundCloud accounts with house-and-funk inspired projects, and BennY taps into a supernatural flow that's more dense and dangerous than 99% of "third eye" rappers (the mixes of classic Raider Klan tunes BennY has posted further point to the influence of Spaceghostpurrp). With his undeniable lyrical dexterity and rich beats, BennY's music retains the dangerous allure of the most instantly compelling outsider art. Listen to one of his projects CHILD below.
Finally, BennY is publishing a book called Green Eyed Demon on Instagram with individual accounts dedicated to each chapter (here are chapters 1, 2, and 3). I haven't read it yet, but BennY's writing on Twitter is why I'm excited: all caps manifesto snippets broken up with ellipses. He has that voice of a prophet thing that can't be taught.
BennY RevivaL is unbridled expression laced with actual chops, bright enough to cut through the noise of the forgettable, depressing, and vile stuff on social media. His act isn't just spectacle or meme fodder, but something genuinely heartwarming and impressive. So much so that I don't want to risk spoiling it by digging too deeply into the mystery of the person behind the mask.