Benjamin Zephaniah was born and raised in Birmingham. He can’t remember a time he was not creating poetry but this had nothing to do with school where poetry meant very little to him, in fact he had finished full-time education at the age of thirteen. His poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls ‘street politics’.
Most of Benjamin’s’ own musical recordings fall into the Reggae or Dub Poetry category, but one of his albums ‘Naked‘ defies categorisation. It was produced by the legendary drummer Trevor Morais and features artists as diverse as Howard Jones, Aref Durvesh, Rupert Heaven, Mike Cahen, Jamie West-Oram, Jean Alain Rousell, and Dennis Bovell. It is a mixture of Jazz, Reggae, Hip Hop, Rock and house music.
In order to compliment the music the graffiti artist Banksy gave exclusive permission for his artwork to feature in the 36 page booklet that came with the CD.
The album was critically acclaimed and received substantial radio airplay worldwide. On hearing the album Rodney P, Britain’s’ foremost Hip Hop artist and BBC radio DJ decided that was not content with just playing the album, so he asked for permission to re-mixed four of the tracks, this put the album firmly on the dance floor.