A 2015 graduate of Glenbrook South High School in the Chicago-area suburb of Glenview, Illinois, Ben L. Schwartz now attends Ohio University, where he studies journalism. When he’s not busy working toward his degree, former Glenview resident Ben L. Schwartz enjoys relaxing by listening to his favorite musician, Kid Cudi.
The Cleveland rapper recently released his sixth studio album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. The musician first rose to prominence with the 2009 hit “Day ‘n’ Nite,” which reached No. 3 on the Billboard Top 100. Though his next several albums were experimental in nature and sounded vastly different than the sound he curated on his first album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ signals a return to his earlier style.
Cudi sings freely about his battle with depression and other issues on tracks such as “ILLusions,” but acknowledges it’s time to be free of those demons. The album also features guest appearances from Willow Smith, Travis Scott, Pharrell Williams, and Outkast’s Andre Benjamin. The album sold almost 50,000 equivalent units in its first week and is well on its way to surpassing his last project, Speedin’ Bullet to Heaven, which to date has only sold 117,000 units.
Ben L. Schwartz is a former Glenview, Illinois, resident who completed high school studies in the suburbs of Chicago. After graduating from high school, he moved to Athens, Ohio, where he studies journalism at Ohio University. Ben Schwartz contributes stories and interviews to the public radio station WOUB, which offers weekly segments covering a broad spectrum of topics.
In the music sphere, Benjamin L. Schwartz has a passion for alternative hip-hop and lists the Cleveland rapper Kid Cudi among his favorite musicians. In late 2016, the critically lauded artist released his seventh album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’, on Wicked Awesome Records. Featuring 18 tracks, the album emphasizes the experimental side of the hip-hop genre through collaborations with Pharrell, André 3000, Willow Smith, and Travis Scott.
The album is all the more compelling for the story behind its release. Kid Cudi pushed the release date from September to December, reflecting both difficulty with securing legal permission for some of the samples used as well as the artist’s struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide, which eventually led him into rehab. As Kid Cudi describes it, the overwhelming support he received from the industry and fans ultimately convinced him to share this harrowing portrayal of his personal struggles.