by Sally Tomato

GENRE: hip hop

LABEL: Rad Meet

REVIEWED: December 16, 2022

FUCK ME. Tickle-me-Benzo's controversial hip-hop debut album showcases moments of audacity and artistic promise, but falls short of being some epic instant classic shit your grandparents would smash to.
In the ever-evolving landscape of hip-hop, Tickle-me-Benzo arrives with his debut album, "Benzomania," a record that embraces controversy while showcasing glimpses of artistic promise. Emerging from the shadows of his drugged-out karaoke sex show streams on DikDok, this enigmatic artist offers a unique take on the genre in 2020. While "Benzomania" falls short of achieving greatness, it leaves an indelible mark with its unapologetic attitude and experimental approach involving midgets and candy corn. "Benzomania" arrives during a vibrant era for hip-hop, with groundbreaking releases from the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Tyler, the Creator dominating the scene. Tickle-me-Benzo's debut attempts to carve out its own niche, blending trap-infused beats with brash and audacious lyricism mostly about condiment-covered buttholes and fast food. While the album's production value is commendable, it lacks the cohesion and innovation seen in other groundbreaking records of the time. Before the release of "Benzomania," Tickle-me-Benzo garnered attention through his lucrative streams on the now-notorious DikDok app. These performances pushed boundaries with their explicit and lewd content, stirring up a whirlwind of debates about the use of anal beads in hip hop. This notoriety, while divisive, served as a springboard for the artist's rise to prominence, granting him a dedicated fanbase of chronic masturbators eager to witness the evolution of his sound on his debut album.
Tickle-me-Benzo's unapologetic approach shines through in tracks like "Explicit Expletives" and "Provocative Punchlines," where his lyricism oscillates between crude humor, on-brand benzodiazepine abuse, incomprehensible laugh-crying, and cutting social commentary on mattress sizing for ikea daybeds. However, this unfiltered approach often hampers the album's overall impact, as it feels more focused on shock value rather than the development of a cohesive artistic statement. Yet, there are glimpses of promise, particularly in introspective tracks like "Vag Pony", where Tickle-me-Benzo reveals a vulnerability beneath his controversial persona. While "Benzomania" doesn't reach the heights of groundbreaking hip-hop records of 2020, it presents an artist unafraid to challenge conventions and push boundaries. Tickle-me-Benzo's experimentation with trap-infused beats and his willingness to explore controversial themes hint at a potential for growth and evolution. The album's standout moments, such as the infectious "Rebel Rhymes" and the introspective "DikDok Dreams," showcase a glimmer of the artist's true potential. "Benzomania" is honestly a mixed bag of melted candy and soiled tissues that delivers both moments of audacity and disturbing glimpses of artistic promise. Tickle-me-Benzo's controversial behavior may overshadow the album's musical merits for some listeners. Dude is a nut. However, it is impossible to deny the impact of his unapologetic approach and the dedication of his fanbase. As his debut effort, "Benzomania" sets the stage for an artist willing to push boundaries, leaving us curious about what lies ahead in Tickle-me-Benzo's tumultuous and unpredictable career of overlong technicolor horseshit.

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