Get in tune with 0T9 Beno. Out of Flatbush, Brooklyn the first Foreignside artist has been steadily dropping street anthems. Beno didn’t intend on becoming a rapper, but after recording for the first time found that he had a knack for it. With high profile features from G Herbo, China Mac, Phresher, Sosa Geek, and more, Beno has shown the world that he’s here to stay. He dropped a project at the end of 2020, Fully Active, and has a boat load of music in store for 2021. Back in January we sat down with Beno to discuss Fully Active, Pop Smoke’s legacy, Foreignside and more. Read what he had to say below!
Who is 0T9 Beno?
What does OT9 mean?
OT9, that’s my neighborhood. 90s. RIP the fellas free the gwallas feel me. The 9 is in east Flatbush Brooklyn, NY
When did you start rapping?
We went to the studio. It was where Busta Rhymes used to record. It was a house studio. They brung me there and was like, “Write!”. I didn’t know what the fuck to say but I knew they was nice, so I had to be nice. So I was just saying shit that rhyme. At the time I didn’t know that in rap you gotta have some meaning, a story. I was just saying things like “Cat, hat, door, whore”. I guess it sounded good because I was a beginner. That was a while ago, back in the day.
What’s a fact about you that most people don’t know?
I’m very loyal, I’m over protective, and I love cats. I got two cats. Shout out my cats.
How long have you been apart of Foreignside?
I was the first. Foreignside Records the label. We started as GBM back in the day. Gino and OBZ helped with GFG and OBZ formed into Foreignside. We were all day ones just from different clicks.
What does Foreignside mean to you?
We the last alive man feel me. When we lock 4s that shit for life. It means a lot for me, it means me.
Tell me about your relationship with Gino?
Gino, that’s my motherfucking heart. Gino, he was one them kids that you want to be around. Shout out to Gino Montana.
He’s actually Fivio’s brother?
Yeah, that’s his little brother.
You and Gino are always in the studio together, do you guys have any songs or projects coming out soon?
Yeah we’ve got a tape comin. It’s called Blood Cousins. It’s a double entendre. Because we’re cousins, and we’re cripping on blood. We’re working on the artwork right now. The tracklist is basically done. Whatever videos the supporters want us to do, that’s what we gonna get done.
What was your mindset when you were working on Fully Active?
It was around the same time Fivio made Big Drip, so I was like alright I gotta come out strong my boy just put on. When I did it, I didn’t want him to know I was working on it. I wanted to surprise gang with a tape, only a few niggas knew I was working on it. When I was doing certain songs, I was living the lifestyle we go through. Partying, the bitches, gun play, all that bullshit. Fully active is said on one of records, I think it was an adlib. I took it and made it the title of the EP. That’s just us making it through the storm. That shit is all positive ya feel me. I got Fully Active 2 coming real soon from me and I’m giving it to you. Stay tuned.
What was it like recording Side To Side?
I wrote Side To Side looking at a girl doin the dance Pop was doing. Her hips were moving Side To Side I was like mmmm! I hit Szamz up like I need some fire. I already had the Side To Side thing in my head, but I didn’t have the rest, it was just that. When he sent the beat I wrote that shit in like 10 minutes. It was one of those records. After I recorded it, motherfuckers were lookin at me like yo!
Do you think being from New York and being from East Flatbush has helped shape your sound?
Definitely, not only do we got a different sound. We always was different ya feel me. Ain’t no salt on the other neighborhoods, even so if I was from somewhere like Bushwick, I would never be rapping like this.
What are your thoughts on the current state of New York City’s drill music. the legacy of Pop Smoke and the way it’s blown up so quickly? What do you think it’s moving towards?
The smoke will never clear. It’s going forward to us taking over the world. Rest in Peace to Pop Smoke, we lost Pop. I know there will be another one by learning from Pop. Long Live Pop Smoke, the smoke will never clear.
What are some new artists from New York City you’re fucking with?
Mr. Driving shooter, split his medulla, my boy Bankroll Buna. He from the Brownsville area. He coming strong. Macc Global, Tayy Floss, Mr. Shake it baby Danny Hundreds. There’s a list I could go on and on. My favorite right now is Bankroll Buna.
Do you have any collabs coming up that you think fans would be surprised by or that you’re excited for?
I’m just gonna let time tell it all for right now. I got some surprises.
Who are some producers that you like to work with?
Shout out 808Melo, shout out Szamz, shout out the london fam. Chris Rich, AXL, shout out Yamaica.
What’s something that you look for in a beat?
I gotta be fighting the beat. Me and the beat gotta have beef. It sound weird. If I can fight the beat and the beats giving me a whole fight, thats a hit record.
Any songs for the ladies?
Of course. Shout out to the queen of Brooklyn Lola Brooke. She from the Brownsville area. She’s better than alot of these n****s. Me and her got something that’s very special and I know it’s going to be a success for both of us. Shout out Lola Brooke.
What are some things that are beginning getting in you through this pandemic?
Music, my brothers, family, and god. But a cup of that yak will get you through that motherfucker man. Cup of that yak, no ice, tilt it back and drink it like you’re white!
What can we expect from Beno in 2021?
Some more GLLLT BOW! More RIP the fellas free the gwallas man! More grabba in the spliff problems, more aye aye aye diverse, more diamonds more life, more shmoney, more everything.
Interview by Calvin Schneider