The hustler out of San Jose, Ben Barbic, is back with this world premiere for “Break Free”: a hometown heavy video for the track off Rebel Sound Records and featuring rasta artist Ras Fraser Jr. Bursting onto the reggae charts in 2013 with his lead single “Rat Race”, Barbic has manufactured three albums since and isn’t anywhere near done, considering his active ethos. But, all work and no play makes Ben a dull boy, for “Break Free” emphasizes balance of work exerted and release due. If you hustle day in and day out, you end up with “too much stress” and “not enough fun”… at least there’s music that takes Ben to “calm and safety”.
“Break Free” emphasizes balance of work exerted and release due.
The video starts with Barbic biking across the San Jose welcome sign, with a live recording playing sounds of an audience clapping. The signifier here, just in case you didn’t know, is that you can make it in San Jose. With reggae drums pounding down in the choruses, Barbic instills a feeling of urgency to his lyrics: “I need to break free” from this self-induced, society-constructed work coma that American citizens find ourselves in time and time again. We’re told to work hard, gain influence, make money, climb the ladder… but that pipe dream only works a small percentage of the time. As you ascend in your personal agenda, you need to stop and smell the roses or, as Barbic suggests with beers toasting in the video, enjoy the fruits of your labors by living in the present. “[The] only thing we have is this moment,” Barbic concludes, so might as well make it a good one.