Review: NorthSideBenji Leaves a Desire for Better Execution on ‘Prophecy’ EP

Tom Atkinson

By Tom Atkinson

Tom Atkinson

17 Feb 2023

NorthSideBenji is making noise on a worldwide scale due to his introspective nature and melodic, wavey Trap production. He has made a name for himself in the U.K. by collaborating with the likes of Nines and Unknown T. With a new full-length project on the way, the Toronto artist has dropped this surprise EP, giving fans a taster of what is to come.

This project is an interesting experience, in that it leaves you wanting more. At times these tracks are quite short, and other times feel like they are missing something. The opening track ‘Green Light‘ while an introspection into his dealings on the street and feelings towards losing a girl, has some lacking qualities. There feels like a bit of Drake inspiration in the melancholic, booming drum production and its use of female-chipmunk vocals. The vocal mixing also feels a bit off here and on ‘Never Forget,’ leaving some of the lyrics hard to decipher. His pitched autotuned vocals match the mood and the tone, but this opener is a mixed experience.

ELI is the main producer on this project and his work is a bit of a mixed bag. However, he shines with the dreamy and wavey synths on ‘5AM in London.’ They bring a unique flavour to the table, leaving a sense that the artist is disorientated. This matches his documentation of drug addiction and the people coming in and out of his life. He varies up his flow here when the trap drums come in, bringing a pacier delivery. The mixture of contemplative lyricism and creative production makes this one of the EP’s highlights.

Here We Go‘ feels like the song that will be the most successful here. The smoother synths interspersed with the trap drums are pleasant and complimented by the vocals sounding more polished here. You see more into his personal relationships including references to conversations he had with a friend now in jail. You see more into the loneliness he feels, as while he has achieved much, friends in jail cannot celebrate his wins. This is shown in particular by saying he only sees those gone when he is drunk, referencing again his troubles with intoxicants. Here, NorthSideBenji shows his lyrical abilities and how he can go well over a more melodic beat.

The project unfortunately takes a dip on its final two tracks. On ‘Never Forget‘ the production isn’t as interesting and as I mentioned before, the vocal mixing needed another take. His tale of making money and having people working for him also feels like he is fitting in with the rap formula. ‘Blue Jay‘ has a more varied instrumental with the use of the piano. Telling stories of selling shoes to buy heroin and wanting to finish school shows an interesting side to his character. Yet the track feels like it is missing something with a runtime of 1:52.


NorthSideBenji’s latest effort is a mixed bag. His thought-provoking lyricism is his biggest strength, and you feel like you get a wider insight into his life here. However, the vocal mixing issues and his autotuned flow needing a bit more variety hold back his performance somewhat. Ideas on tracks like ‘Blue Jay‘ need to be explored more and songs like the opener suffer from predictability. The main issue here is while at times the production takes risks and sounds unique, other times it can feel played out and familiar to other artists in his field.

In some ways, this project feels like an experiment. While some ideas have worked, others have not achieved the same conclusions. NorthSideBenji is no doubt a talented artist. His tales of addiction and the effects of the life he leads certainly stand out in the genre. But, with a bit more tweaking and careful execution, that full-length project could be something special.

Star Rating: 2.5/5

NorthSideBenji is on Instagram and Twitter.