“He got jacked. He got jacked hard,” says Vincent Benedett. “And I don’t even think he knows how hard he got jacked.”
Benedett, who goes by GoodWord on the mic, is a 28-year-old Bay Area transplant with a grudge against shady producers and beat makers. On the song “Blow Me,” he raps:
“Let this be a lesson if you’re shopping beats/to do it properly or it could be a robbery/bitch blow me.”
Benedett, a deep-voiced MC with a flow slightly reminiscent of Del the Funky Homosapien, recorded a 14-track CD last year called The Thanks Martin Mixtape, which basically amounts to an album-length battle track against a guy named Martin—who allegedly tried to pull a bait and switch on Benedett.
The bait and switch is a common thing in hip-hop, and it really pisses people off. In simplest terms, the bait and switch is where a producer or beat maker gives an MC a beat, an instrumental backing track, seemingly for free, and then charges him for the beat after the MC writes and records a song over it.
“It was more about people that are doing what [Martin is] doing,” Benedett says of the album. “That’s the whole industry right now … people just want to fly in and get the money and fly out.”
Martin was an unknown beat maker in San Francisco who met Benedett at his day job. At the time, Benedett was an established MC with two full-length albums on the market. Benedett was accustomed to unknown beat makers offering him beats—for free, or rather, for free exposure. That’s how beat makers make a name for themselves.
“Basically the gist of it was, ‘here’s some beats, see if you want to fuck with it,’” Benedett says of Martin. The beats turned out to be dope. After the first song was finished, Martin wanted cash. Benedett offered him $100. Martin wanted more. Benedett offered him $150. Martin wanted $200. Benedett needed to wait until payday a few days later to pay him. Martin wasn’t having it. The bait and switch was in full effect.
A few weeks later, Benedett recorded over every beat that Martin gave him—and didn’t give him a dime.
This all happened before Benedett moved from San Francisco to Reno last November. But the bait and switch happens in Reno all the time.
Speaking of Reno, Benedett has managed to gain some buzz and acceptance from the often-exclusive local hip-hop scene, which has a tendency to reject out-of-town MCs who think they’re better than their local counterparts. Benedett’s buzz here is the result of amazing talent, industry know-how, a respect for the local scene and a true humbleness and love for hip-hop.
The Thanks Martin Mixtape is only one line on Benedett’s resume. His 2005 solo album … i got a little story earned four stars in hip-hop magazine URB. He’s toured nationally off his solo albums and received the press to match. Still, it’s not all glitz and glamour.
“As much as I’ve earned off this, I’ve put back into it,” he says. Benedett’s point: If talented people work together and try to help each other, it’ll pay off in the long run. If you try to make a quick buck off an MC, make sure it’s not GoodWord.