King’s is filled with talents. I.M.Purity, also known as Ben Allingham, is one of them. The rapper is releasing his first album on January 12. Here’s what you need to know:
- Originally when I began pondering becoming a rapper, I chose the name Purest Reality and at the time I had thought it was a perfect name. However, halfway through my first song, I decided to undergo a name change to something easier to say and shorter for convenience when featuring on other tracks. I wanted to keep the “pure” portion of my name because I thought it was very unique. I was discussing with a friend about possible name options and he brought up using impurity as a possible name and I liked the idea, but I wanted to still have that sense of purity. Hence, the double entendre which is how you know me now, I.M.Purity!
When did you start making music?
- I have been writing music, both rap and songwriting, for about 8 years now on and off. But it wasn’t until last year that I became interested in performing my lyrics. One day my friend got me freestyling on his beat. He encouraged me to release my first song and with the feedback I received, I decided to keep going.
Do you have any musician, rapper or songwriter that you are inspired by?
- I like to think of myself as a lyrical rapper more than anything else because I put emphasis on my lyricism. There are many amazing artists out there that I look up to both for their lyrical ability as well as their flow. I think the two artists who I look up to the most are Logic and Joyner Lucas.
What is the message behind your music?
- There isn’t really a clear message between all my songs. It depends on the song’s content, my mood while writing and recording the song, and multiple other factors. However, I try to put meaning into all of my songs whether the song is happy or sad. For example, the song 365 – which I released in April – talks about my life in high school where I was going through some rough times both in my household and at school, dealing with yelling, lack of friends, bullies, and so forth. It’s also where I am now as a “It gets better” kind of thing.
What inspired you to write and perform music?
- My inspiration originally came from listening to the radio, and back in 2010 there was a lot of rap on the radio and many rap singles were hitting top 50 lists. After about four years of writing about girls and random stuff, which I thought was cool, I shifted from writing meaningless lyrics to writing more heartfelt and meaningful ones. This shift happened when I started getting bullied heavily in middle school and into high school. Now, whether I’m writing lyrics about weed, girls, bullies, school, etc., I try my best to put my own experiences and the way I feel about those specific topics into my music.
How did you take the decision to release an album?
- Well, I began rapping by releasing four tracks. As a way to make my presence known, mostly through the UKings community to see the interest and how people reacted to my music. After the fourth track release I had many people saying I was improving just in that short amount of time and realised this point is a good stage to start developing myself as a rapper and picking or steering myself toward a specific genre of rap.
I enjoy most rap genres and I wanted to release a whole bunch of different songs, relating to different rap genres and go with the one that people reacted to the best. I realized this could be a very long process! I eventually decided with the help of my good friend Nick Packer, who is making every beat for my album, that it would be in my best interest to record an album with songs to explore each genre of rap that I was interested in. That way I can see the overall feedback on each song with every style so close together for the listeners to hear.
What was your favorite song to write?
- This is such a loaded question; of the four songs I had recorded prior to this album I think that 365. is my favorite just because of how close I am to the lyricism and my relation to it. I also feel that 365. was the song where people saw an improvement in my lyricism and rap ability.
What does this new album mean to you?
- This new album means everything to me. I have put so much effort into the creation of each song and trying to implement a new part of myself and new genre of rap into each one that I am very proud of each song and the album as a whole. My good friend Nick Packer and I have worked nonstop to make this album the best it can be. I would also like to mention that although there are many different genres of rap displayed and be it the songs either lighthearted, sad, meaningful, etc., I tried to put personal experiences and personal feeling into each song.
Where do you see yourself going as I.M.Purity?
- At the point in my life I am doing rap more so as a continuous hobby because I do want to finish my schooling before moving on to anything else, rap or not. But based on how my audience grows and reacts to this album and future projects I hope it might be a possibility to form a career out of this.
- On my album that will be released January 12, 2019, I truly enjoyed writing all of the songs. Because many of them are different genres I think that certain songs will appeal to different audiences and certain people might despise some of my songs and love others, so it really depends. As for myself, I also am in the same boat, each song is so different that I can’t really say which is my absolute favorite.