Ben Desland’s “Vibes EP”


Famed Psychologist Howard Gardner proposed his theory of multiple intelligences in his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. For his theory, he argued how there is a multitude of different skill sets and intelligence that each person holds individually from one another, rather than one capacity that envelopes their ability to function.

Gardner would argue that someone would become a math professor because of the fact they could process algebraic formula better than his or her contemporaries, but maybe not show much proficiency in the field of reading comprehension writing. On the other hand, someone who shows great aptitude in editing or proofreading the math wizard’s school papers may show great efficiency in the field of copywriting or even creative writing.

Then there are people who demonstrate savant-level capability in the field that they innately know they could approach and attack. I was fifteen when this project was released, and sixteen when I took the effort to first start listening to it. In the midst of a thunderstorm, I was locked inside my apartment, staring blankly at the screen of my laptop when trying to decipher what Desland was trying to say in the track The Spins.

I was floored by his ability to poetically brighten the nebulous background noise. At that point, I had never concentrated so hard on trying to decipher any form of poetry or lyrical prose. It was something about the beat and Desland’s monotone voice that really captured my attention. It’s not clear what his message is, but it pulls you in to try and understand. Vibes EP is only four tracks long, which all contain that similar, cloudy aesthetic.

The first song, Vibes, has a twenty-second long intro that really envelopes you into its world. It allows the listener some time to really sit and begin to meditate on Desland’s lyrics. There are snippets in the song that the listener could decipher, but the whole song is obviously introspective. That goes the same for the other three songs in this EP.

This project is meant for the introvert. When I first discovered this, I wasn’t able to go out due to the harsh weather and had nothing else important to do. Desland shows in this EP that he understands this feeling, but on a much more matured level. The feeling this project gave me at the time will never be forgotten.

The only other time I felt in tune with any other form of poetry was reading Kahlil Gibran’s infamous book, The Prophet. To fully fathom the emotions, you have to be in a clear state of mind, away from the mind-boggling thoughts of school, work, peers, enemies, and family, but recognize them. It seems that Desland really culls his moments and morals from his mind, and digress it in the form of spoken word. Ben Desland is someone not many listeners recognize, which is a shame.

With the ongoing debate about artists with the best lyrical ability, it seems that perks such as money funneling, media exposure and insight connections really do matter. Otherwise, Desland would easily be recognized as one of the greatest wordsmiths of modern Rap. When it comes to the innate ability of authorship and writing ability, someone like Desland proves Gardner’s theory by a longshot in this project.

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