Bentely Press

Christopher O’Neal Bookert (better known by his stage name “Bentely Press”) is an American rapper, producer and songwriter. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, but later moved from the city to the countryside of Orangeburg and Hopkins, SC. Initially, Press thought the path of the scholar was the one and only way to make it, but everything changed when a crucial decision not to attend Claflin University Fall 2013, but instead follow a secondary path of becoming your favorite rapper, after both the recession and hospital bills left his family in a detrimental situation. 

Throughout the passing years, Bentely Press dropped several mixtapes under the name “Chris O’Neal” including “Ninety-Three”, and “Kid To King In A Year” as well as the very raw but still classic “F.R.E.S.H (Finally REalizing Shit Happens)” mixtape. Steadily honing his lyrical skills and ability to tell a story by living in the rhymes of idols such as (Common, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Kanye West) 2017 brought the gift of “Bent Out Of Shape” a second southern gem ahead of its time. It was at this point Press felt comfortable enough to make the transition to Burlington, New Jersey (by enrolling at Burlington Community College) in order to be closer to the birthplace of Hip-Hop; New York. 

Through sleeping in cars, motels, and even on park benches, Bentely produced emotion infused tracks through sampling, and live instrumentation. In March of 2018, Bentely Press was picked up by “A Million & 5, LLC” and since then, released one single entitled “Gold”, and given his full length album entitled “Basic Instructions Before Chasing Dreams” a tentative release date of August 01, 2018. INTRODUCTION My given name is Christopher O’Neal Bookert, and like many young men I grew up in a single parent household. I have one younger brother, and one older sister. I did well in school, and was even offered a full ride to Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC. I threw what it should’ve been away for what it could be. 

I had dreams of being a lawyer once, but the older I got, then less fulfilling that life seemed to be. Album Title: Basic Instructions Before Chasing Dreams Stage Name: Bentely Press Release Date: 08/16/2018 Links: http://smarturl.it/BentelyPress-BIBCD I had a concept for this album before I left South Carolina for New Jersey. This was before I even knew how to make beats, but I had an idea. At the time, I had been going back and forth between the two states to see a girl I fell in love with, and finally after much nagging on her part, and frustration on mine, I packed my stuff and left on my birthday in 2016. People would say I’m a sporadic person. I had no car, and no money. At the time I HATED my job at Amazon in West Columbia. 

Weekly, my check came to about 400.00 bucks, even still I managed to save up some money for a down payment on a 1997 Toyota Camry from a terrible, run down used car dealership that was next to my house. I put 700.00 down on the car, and the next week I was driving damn near 800 miles away with whatever money I had left. I was getting older, and my girlfriend was growing tired, so I had to make a move if I didn’t want to die a nobody. Of course, when I got there, it was whole different ball game. 

I had just turned 23, I didn’t know anyone in South Jersey other than my girlfriend, I did have a job at Burger King that I had found through indeed on my phone on the way up, I had lied to both my mom and my girl about where I would be staying once I arrived, and I kept this charade going for about a month before they realized I was just sleeping in my car where ever I could. My mother trusted my judgement, but my girl was furious. This never stopped me from working on my craft. I set the car up so that I could record in the back seat. It didn’t have any working air, and when I’d roll the windows up to record or practice making beats, I always came out sweating like hell. There was an empty mall I called home for a while, and that’s where I would spend several hours a day working on making beats. I made videos, and tried to promote myself as best I could. The day came when I dropped my EP “Bent Out Of Shape” from that very parking lot. 

I enrolled in college twice at Burlington County Community College. Once, before I left SC, and the second time was just in a different location after I learned my way around. I ended up flunking out both times because the first time, I just wanted the refund check to push me along, and the second time living in my car had gotten the better of me, and my car broke down, so essentially I was homeless, homeless. Still finding ways to record, I later found a better job at a company named JET in Florence, NJ. 

They paid good, and it was close to the motel on Route 130 I was staying in for a while. I would work on music from time to time there but the thin walls made it hard to do so. I was always moving closer to completing this project; perfecting my “special” type of beats. Time passed, and I met Donte Redding (LLC head, Singer), David Dennis (Engineer), and Robert Davis (Model and Agent) through JET. These guys were impressed to say the least. Donte later asked would I mind if he borrowed “A Million & 5” and made it an LLC. I didn’t care much at the time, and thought it rather funny. So, now I’m “signed” to this talent agency inspired by my music. Through their guidance, and connections, I managed to complete this project at the Sound Gallery in PA. There’s so much to tell and cover, but I’d rather you hear it. I hope you enjoy the project!

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