Alright, let’s get it out of the way. Yes, Taylor Bennett’s brother is Chance. Yes, that Chance; the rapper. With that out of the way we can get on to more important aspects of Taylor Bennett’s life, such as his sold out debut headlining show last Friday at Reggie’s Rock House on Chicago’s south loop that had fans lined outside in the freezing rain.The 17-year-old high school senior took the stage to his frenetic “Speed Racer” after a solid lineup showcasing the next wave of Chicago hip-hop to flow from the city. As a packed crowd at Reggie’s rapped and sang along to songs like “Heartbreaker” and “Dear Daddy” before turning up to “Rolling With The Gods”, it became readily evident that Taylor Bennett is not happy being known only as Chance’s brother. Friday night, he looked like he was ready to make his own moves going into the new year.
This year, artists in Chicago had reason to be pressed and hopeful at the same time as they collectively watched Chance rise from the guy down the block to one of the biggest stars in the country. Perhaps no one had a closer front row seat to the experience than the younger Bennett. While there’s always competition with an older sibling, Taylor has set out to carve out his own lane in hip-hop with a unique blend of pure rhyming talent, personable nature and thoughtful prose. To be sure, things are very different for Taylor than his brother. Through his success, more eyes are on the younger Bennett, who received a write up in XXL recently and has become a regular on blogs across the country. While Chano was able to come up under the radar, Taylor has been squarely on the map of a lot of rap fans for a minute now. With all the attention, nerves and pressure would be easily understandable, especially for a 17-year-old, but Taylor’s not sweating. I had a chance to catch him on the phone after his show, as he was working on his next project, Mainstream Music, to chop it up real quick about living in and out of other people’s shadows, growing up in Chicago, his mixtape-The Taylor Bennett Show and more. Check out our Q+A below.