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Cole Bennett Interview: Lyrical Lemonade founder wants to keep ‘building worlds’

Photos by Saint / OGM Creative Director

Lyrical Lemonade founder and director Cole Bennett has become one of the most influential tastemakers in hip-hop for many reasons, but one stands out amongst the rest: determination.

Hailing from Plano, Illinois — and later moving to Chicago in 2014 — the 25-year-old videographer has an insatiable desire to push the culture forward. Through his integrity and artistic vision, “dreaming ideas” isn’t out of the ordinary for Bennett — who has played a key role in the success of stars like Lil Skies, Lil Tecca, The Kid LAROI, NLE Choppa, Ski Mask The Slump God and many more.

Giving artists a platform to shine is what truly matters most for the LL head honcho, as Cole has been a longtime influence on underground talent and our generation as a whole — putting on a plethora of rising stars and hitmakers such as Trippie Redd, Eminem and especially his close friend Juice WRLD.

Crafting nearly 400 videos up until this point, Bennett’s stake in the game stems from his intrinsic ability to bring his “out-of-the-box” ideas to life. Most recently shooting videos with Ski Mask, Yeat and Lil Yachty all from his iPhone, he has sights set on bigger and brighter things — looking to bring the LL brand to new heights in the near future.

With a keen eye for creativity and work building the platform far beyond its visuals, blog and annual festival, ‘The Simpsons’ super-fan is creating an empire of his own — detailing dreams of constructing a Lyrical Lemonade amusement park. Beyond the thrills he wants to keep giving fans, he also spoke on taking meetings with Netflix, aspirations to make movies and directing live experiences — much like his work with Kid Cudi for his performance on the interactive music app, Encore.

“I want to build a Lyrical Lemonade amusement park. I’m getting this land in Joshua Tree and I got ideas out there — I want to build a drive-in movie theater, I want to do haunted houses. My goal is, in the next five years, for it to be a top 50 travel location in the U.S… I want Lyrical Lemonade to have many different meanings for different people, for different reasons.”

Cole Bennett to OGM host Hakeem Rowe

Divulging on the conception of a LL compilation album, “expansion” is becoming a main focus for Cole lately, saying “I want Lyrical Lemonade to have many different meanings, for many different people, for different reasons.” Initially posting that the mythical tape would be “bringing worlds and collaborations you’d never expect” together, Bennett acknowledges his unwillingness to take this on earlier in his career. Now that he’s “matured,” he’s gained the confidence to give the culture what it needs when the time is right.

“Obviously the Lyrical Lemonade album has always been in discussion. It would be a compilation album with a lot of the artists that we work with, just creating different vibes and bring different worlds together. I was so DIY and anti-industry, I never wanted to do it because the timing was wrong. I hated labels for a long time. It rubbed me the wrong way. I just knew the time wasn’t right… I’m big on timing with everything. If I feel even the tiniest gut feeling in the opposite direction, I follow it.”

Cole Bennett to OGM

From working with Kanye West to recalling fond memories of Juice, Bennett is quickly leveling up as one of hip-hop’s marquee moguls by doing it his way. While personable, kind-hearted and easy going, he is just as driven to create as he is grateful to achieve what he has. “Building worlds” from the ground up, he wholeheartedly uplifts the next generation of creators, praising up-and-coming directors like DotCom Nirvan, LONEWOLF and others.

Not only is he genuine to the core, his role has bled into executive producing (of sorts) when working on his videos. Having a hand in creating the music he shoots, Bennett now finds himself vocalizing his thoughts in studio sessions, “helping construct and layer songs.” Ultimately, Cole just wants to be “in the studio bringing people together… building records,” even speaking on helping Yeat cut down “Poppin” for their latest visual.

Similarly, Cole took to Twitter in January to share his Top 5 favorite videos that he’s directed in 2021. However, with his expansive catalog, it seemed fairly easy for the Plano native to pick a few all-time favorites off the top of his head. Listing “Godzilla,” “Knock Knock” “Who Want Smoke??” and “Catch Me Outside” during his OGM interview, Cole Bennett’s impact has seemingly transcended music in itself — motivating millions with his “do-it-yourself” story and attitude.

Instilling endless wisdom alongside OGM host Hakeem Rowe, Cole Bennett has evidently turned his passion into something far greater than he could’ve imagined. Leading one of hip-hop’s most recognizable and beloved outlets, his influence on artists, videographers, editors, directors, entrepreneuers and fans is seemingly immeasurable. After all, he was a “fan first” before LL’s success, encouraging young creatives to follow their passion and live it with purpose — wanting them to understand that any idea can become a reality if you work for it.

“Never let the ideas stop flowing… no idea is unrealistic.”

Cole Bennett

Watch Cole Bennett’s OGM interview below!

Cole’s personal favorites

Ski Mask The Slump God — “Catch Me Outside”

“My favorite run-and-gun would have to be “Catch Me Outside” by Ski Mask. In New York, Times Square, we were sitting in a hotel room chilling, and didn’t on plan on shooting a video then. We had went through three songs we were about to shoot and as we were in the elevator, we landed on “Catch Me Outside.” Then, we just went out and shot it. It was very natural. A Lyrical Lemonade classic if I say so myself.”

Eminem & Juice WRLD — “Godzilla”

“My favorite bigger production would have to be ‘Godzilla’ with Eminem. It was great to honor Juice and work with someone like Em, and just work with someone who is so iconic within the music video field. It’s insane. So that was an honor. And to have it be a record with Juice, I really felt him with me through that whole process, it was beautiful.”

SoFaygo — “Knock Knock” / Nardo Wick — “Who Want Smoke??”

“My third, would have to be… And these aren’t in any particular order… Just like one where the vision was communicated almost exactly as I envisioned it. I might go back and change this one… I don’t know. I’m thinking fresh, in the past year… I’d say “Knock Knock” or “Who Want Smoke??”

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