Home Graphic designer Cole Bennett on Yeat’s “Rich Minion”, “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, Diddy

Cole Bennett on Yeat’s “Rich Minion”, “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, Diddy


Cole Bennett spent the first half of this year living out some of his biggest dreams: meeting and spending time with one of his heroes, Love fka Didipulling on a new video with Kid Cudi, Denzel Curry and JID, and drawing more than 90,000 people to Chicago’s West Side for the 2022 Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash, a festival he co-founded. Now on the heels of the movie Illumination Minions: The Rise of Gru, the 26-year-old can add another achievement to his list: helping create viral success.

Two years ago, Illumination reached out to Bennett to handle the film’s trailer and exclusive merchandise, originally slated for July 4, 2021. But the pandemic caused The Rise of Gru be pushed back a full year, although it is already over. Ahead of its release earlier this month, Bennett decided to take a risk.

Initially, he had several other artists in mind to create a theme for the trailer – ones that more closely match the “PG” rating of Minions, the prequel and the fifth part of the Despicable Me franchise. But during a Zoom meeting with Illumination, Bennett came up with the idea of ​​including Portland, Oregon-born rapper Yeat, who was already on fanger with sound hypercharged viral hit “Sorry Bout That”. The gamble paid off, resulting in the viral video generating TikTok”rich minionproduced by Bennett’s longtime friend and Chicago producer, Lotto fka Mulatto Beats.

“We have had [a] person ready to go and [Illumination] were about to lock it down,” Bennett says of the process. “And [Illumination and I] are on a Zoom call, and I was like, ‘Guys, wait! I have an idea and it’s weird. There’s this artist, his name is Yeat, and his whole catalog, so far, is about things that don’t really fit your narrative, like drugs, money, things like that. I think he’s the perfect person for that. They looked at me like, ‘After what you just prefaced, I don’t think we can do anything like that.’ But I [said], ‘I’ll send you some of his stuff. I really believe in him, and I think there’s a crossover here. How unexpected it is and how it can break down barriers is very important.

“Rich Minion” embodies the greed and lust for power that Gru himself displays throughout Despicable Me while accommodating the carefree, fun, but borderline maniacal nature of the adorable Minions. For Bennett, being part of such a revolutionary franchise is a major step towards his ultimate goal of making full-fledged films. I caught up with Bennett as he took a break from filming a new music video and traveled across Europe, to address all of this and some of the challenges he was facing – including the pushback from concerned Chicagoans by Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash interfering with June 19 festivities in the area, and then facing a storm that nearly destroyed the festival.

How did you all manage to get Yeat on board for the trailer?
You know, [Yeat] grew up watching Minions, he’s a good candidate. So we got that approved, which is crazy. And we just started moving forward with that.

Can you explain how this happened?
We’re actually on set for the “Popping” video. [from Yeat’s 2022 album, 2 Alive]. While all of this is going on, I’ve talked to Yeat about it and I just hope he’s up for it. So of course he was in it. I caught my friend, who I’ve been friends with for 10 years now, Lotto [f.k.a.] Mulatto Beats, which has so much history in Chicago and is so an icon in many ways. I said to him, “I want you to produce this song. I want you to start working on a minions, Yeat-like beat. And he whipped him. And there was all the local voices in there and everything. I sent it to Yeat and he loved it.

A few weeks pass and, like, I still don’t have the song. Enlightenment people hit me like, “Hey, like, where’s that song?” And I’m like, “I don’t know, I didn’t really follow up with him. But I know he’s excited about it. We’re coming up to the deadline, so I hit Yeat. Keep in mind he’s on tour at the time. I said, “Hey, if we don’t get the song by tomorrow morning, we have to go a different direction.” He sends me the song an hour later. He recorded it in his hotel room. I just listened to it, and I was like “Oh, my God, like, that’s it, that’s perfect!” I sent it to [Illumination]they loved it, and the rest was history.

How was merchandising born?
Once the trailer was locked, I thought, “What else can we do to get creative with this moment?” So obviously, the merchandise was a no-brainer. And they were super excited about it and worked with our in-house graphic designer, Daniel, who is from Australia and was in America for the first time, the whole month of June. He designed many of his graphics; it’s really cool for him to see it in person. I love seeing my friends win.

What does it mean to you to be part of Despicable Me franchise when you consider his history of working with artists like Pharrell and Tyler, the Creator?
To even think that we’re just a tiny piece of it – it’s the craziest honor and it’s so surreal. The fact that this translated into ticket sales is truly amazing to me. The fact that the trending, the meme or whatever you want to call it is included, buying a ticket for the movie and going to watch it made me so happy because there’s a whole other conversation attached to that.

Cole Bennett in his Minions jacket at Lyrical Lemonade.

Garret Bruce

Speaking of which, what was your reaction when you saw the social media trend of young men and teens coming to the movies to see Minions in full costume and go crazy?
It was crazy for me! I saw it happen. I think the craziest time for me was when I was at lunch. And I’m sitting outside, and there’s a movie theater next door. I see 10 kids walking through the movie theater with costumes. When you see something in real life, like an online trend or a meme or anything that seems to be going viral, it looks completely different like, “Oh, this surreal thing is really happening.”

At this year’s Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash, the wind destroyed much of the stage and setup. How did you fix that?
I think it was our smoothest yet despite the craziest things going on. When I was able to put all of that aside – the fact that some things aren’t as we expected – and just be thankful that it was happening… once I used this mode, I was so happy. I didn’t even think about the lows we had been through.

Among the many unprecedented challenges the festival experienced, there were members of the neighborhood who feared that it was held on June 19, that it would possibly interfere with other celebrations in the area. how did you handle it backlash?
It’s a very valid argument. With everything I do, whenever I feel there might be any kind of tension with what I’m doing, it doesn’t affect me too much because I know my truth. And I know what I’m here to do. I am in full understanding [about the backlash].

I just want to bring people together to have a good time. And I think that thanks to the festival, we are able to do that. We bring [North Lawndale] lots of money and different things that I think really help get the community moving, and we want to do whatever we can to keep helping. And I think we’re doing a good job of showing our efforts there, and we’re always open to hearing different ways we could do more and be just as much of a force to move everything in a better direction.

How did you end up hanging out with Puffy lately? What was the experience for you?
Puff, he hit me up on Instagram and said, “What’s your number? ” I give it to him. I had just got back from Hawaii and was supposed to be going back to Chicago the next morning, and I was in Los Angeles. of everything that’s going on. It’s an honor to be on the phone with you. And he’s starting to recall things from the past few years, and he felt like he was really being put to work, he wasn’t just saying that.

He says, “I just wanted to remind you of a ton of things, and if any of them gauge your interest, I’d love to do something together.” He started going through ideas and I’m ringing ideas too, and I’m excited. Then he’s like, “When are you in LA?” I tell him I’m here now, but I’m leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning. He said, “I don’t want to put Puffy’s pressure on you, but I have to postpone this flight.” Come to my house, we’re going to have dinner. I’ll take you to the Chappelle show [and] you will meet Dave and all the guys. I’m like, “Oh, yeah, push back my flight!”

I go to his house the next day and he was just the coolest guy. I could tell when someone was genuine and there was no motive; he just wanted to do stuff together. But he was very genuine when he said, “If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. And I completely understand.

I didn’t end up going to Chappelle’s show because I had my flight that night, but we had dinner and he was playing all kinds of old music, from old Puff to old Biggie. I posted a video on Instagram. You can’t hear what he’s saying, but it’s this video of us walking home and he grabbed me by the shoulder. And he’s like, “Man, it’s crazy when I look at you, we’re the same person.” And that’s what he said. He said “You’re the White Puff!” I was like, “Wow, that’s crazy!”

What was your favorite part of working on the trailer for Minions?
The coolest part for me was my friend, Devin, who produced the beat. Giving her this moment – you don’t even understand how good that makes me feel. For him to be part of it, and for people to recognize his work, his talents and his skills, someone who has amazed me so much for so long, as a friend, someone I could look up to in different ways, seeing him have that moment was the coolest thing. This moment could be, like, the greatest version of what I’ve ever experienced in my career, you know? So I would say out of all of that, that’s the coolest thing for me. It’s such a beautiful feeling.