Benjamin Starr. Benny. Ben. This man is….for lack of a better word, a star. A gem, if you will. The first time we met I felt his presence before I saw him. The air changed, it was strong yet warm, the kind of spirit you’d expect from a village elder. The sight of him commands your attention, and when he opens his mouth, you listen in earnest, drinking in his words like a sonic revival. A true storyteller in an age of fly by night lullabies, Benny Starr is SC’s golden child, and he also happens to be this month's mood board feature. Enjoy a little piece of the makings of this lyrical genius below.
B E N N Y S T A R R
For a long time, I was a person, dedicated to the idea that, suppressing my emotions would make me less vulnerable; as I saw vulnerability as a weakness of mine. After years, a lot of experience and lots of things not going the way I wanted them too, I began to see the error in that way of thinking. I began to unlearn so many toxic philosophies; and began to not only learn more healing ones, but teaching myself how to Love, allow love to reach me, all the while, seeing the love in the most simple expressions. I’m a soul that is extremely powerful, very dynamic and extremely connected to the energy in my surrounding environment. I understand, and see, my own story – and its intricacies – by way of music, film and spiritual moments that I hold dear. My gift is also a bit of my struggle, in that I live in the past – reminiscing – as much, or more, than living in the now. I find a lot of inspiration there – love, pain, heartbreak, joy, lessons… possibilities. I believe the possibility of a thing, is just as important as the reality of a thing. The possibility of greatness… of love… even redemption. The 1975 photo of David Ruffin, shot by Jim Britt, is iconic to me. It’s swagger, but more importantly, strength – on steroids – to veil vulnerability. I relate a lot to that photo, but also to a lot of the origins, creative flavor and artistic expressions, of David. Jazmine Sullivan is simply my favorite singer today. Her voice is rich. Her music has depth. Her writing is a journey. Her beauty is powerful. Sheeba Maya’s “Virgo” illustration, quite simply, reminds me of my sister; a life lost too soon. Her black, beautiful, strong willed, creative Virgo soul, is always on my mind in the fall and winter months. Images of protest, by Colin Kaepernick – also evoking the spiritual oneness with those who have been oppressed – dancing through my mind as much as the lives that the actions are inspired by. Donald Glover’s Atlanta is a new favorite of mine. Watching the struggles of black millennials like Earn & Zazie, alongside my girlfriend, is as entertaining as much as it is revealing. A picture I took, from my window seat, on a flight to Atlanta, just makes me think of being free, expanding my perspective… having no limits. No limits. No limits to my emotions, my vulnerabilities, or my potential. I’m yet teaching myself how to be limitless. (insert hashtag “MOOD” LOL)