Image and video hosting by TinyPic



Illinois Rapper, Pennjamin Bannekar hit the nail on the head when it came to busting out with street credible hits without all the glitter. We say, just what the industry needs...

Lisa Ford: For all of us dummies who don’t already know, tell us… who is Pennjamin Bannekar?

Pennjamin Bannekar is also known as Penn the god and is 1/3 of the group Project: Fr3sh. I consider myself to be more than a rapper or an artist. I really view myself as a story teller that uses music as a background or landscape to bring my stories to life and in doing that, I hope that listeners are able to connect with them.

Lisa: "Crime Pays" details the reality of just what some young brothers may have thought about doing when they had no way out. What is the biggest lesson you want to send to them?

Penn: Crime Pays is that fork in the road that I think we have all been at in one point of our lives. And like the title says "Crime Pays" but how long does it pay is the question?? But some people choose to ignore that part of the equation and ignore the negative consequences of their actions and do it anyway. As a human being I can't fault anybody for making that choice, if anything I want people to know I understand why the choice was made.

Lisa: In your opinion, what are the odds of a young brother pulling himself out the warzone of the streets and becoming a successful recording artist? And what do you think is a way of beating those odds?

Penn: That's a great question and I really dont know how to answer it. When you look at this music industry as a whole, it's pretty damn hard to get into it having a regular 9-5 and then to become a successful recording artist on top of that is an even greater challenge! But now adding on to the challenge of getting into the music industry and before becoming successful, you first have to survive your environment and then be good enough as an artist to rise above everybody else that is trying to do what you are doing... It's a tough task to say the least! Furthermore, look at how many people are trying to be artists these days? I'm sure the odds are long whether you are from the hood or the burbs. The odds are definitely against you. Hell, fighting the odds is a battle in itself!

Lisa: "The Come UP" is sick. Definitely something people need on their IPOD’s. I know your homie, D.C. from Cali laid down the track for you Tell us how this partnership between you two came about?

Penn: Kream is responsible for introducing us to each other. She had been paying attention to the 31 Verses in 31 Days series that I was doing and thought that we would mesh well together. After the initial introduction, d.C. probably sent over 70 beats in 2 days and I was just going through picking out what I wanted to rhyme over. Actually, "The Come Up" was the first song that I recorded over a d.C. beat. After we finished "The Come Up", we began to do more and more songs (we have tons of stuff that you havent heard yet). If I can speak for d.C., we have made some dope music together and if you like "The Come Up" wait til you hear our other joints!

Lisa: Tell us some of the ways you were able to step up to the forefront in the industry and what it took to reach the level of popularity you are on now?

Penn: Being a part of the group Project: Fr3sh has contributed to a lot of my popularity in general. People associate Pennjamin Bannekar with Project: Fr3sh and I am thankful for that affiliation because without PF3 who knows where I would be? And getting to this level was not coincendental at all (not saying that I am where I want to be) but this is somethin I live and breathe with everyday. There are no vacations or off days when you have a destination you are determined to get to and although I can see a glimpse of the light, it's not bright enough where I am standing so I HAVE TO KEEP MOVING AHEAD.

Lisa: Who were your HIP HOP musical influences and in your opinion, do you Hip Hop still represent what’s going on in the streets?

Penn: My favorite rapper of all time is Andre 3000 so wanting to be as good as he is at his craft is one of my biggest motivating factors. I love Kanye West and Jay-Z. If I could pattern my career after them I would think that my career would be a successful one. In addition to those 3, I love Elzhi (he is unreal) from Slum Village, Royce Da 5'9", Eminem, I know he is relatively new on the mainstream scene but I like Drake a lot, Common, and Biggie to name a few. But I'm a huge r&b head as well. Michael Jackson is my all-time favorite artist (I'm listening to Thriller demo sessions as I am doing this interview) but I like the Isley Brothers, Prince, Bobby Brown, Usher, and even the Dream.

I think as a whole, hip hop represents whats going to make these labels some quick money. I think thats why everything sounds the same and its so watered down now... it's almost painful to listen to the radio these days b/c everything is damn near the same.

Lisa: What does the future hold for Penn Bannekar?

Penn: Where do we need to be looking for your hot music? The future is brighter than even I can see. It holds positive things that I can't even fathom yet but I know it will come to be because I am truly on the right track to realize that future. You can find my music at, and but my favorite thing to tell people that ask where they can find my music... Google Pennjamin Bannekar lol
Posted on 5:06 PM by Lisa Ford and filed under | 1 Comments »


ZODCORE said... @ November 12, 2009 at 9:21 AM

Another awesome interview. I'm totally gonna check out this Penneiamin Bannekar and see what he has to offer, cause he seems to be level headed.