Written Before Listen
So Benny The Butcher is a Buffalo New York rapper who I’ve heard a lot of due to his heavy feature game and Griselda affiliation. Not being the most avid Griselda fan, I have heard enough to say that Benny is by far my favorite member. He’s easily the most aggressive, straightforward and hard hitting. Im also just a huge fan of their aesthetic being basically what I consider to be the Boom Bap Revival. Due to part 2 being released, I figured that I should listen to part 1 before getting into the second part.
So Benny The Butcher being the New York bred rapper he is, his lyricism is top level. His lyrics consist of multi-syllable rhyme schemes, emphasis on street talk and top tier wordplay. Its prevalent with the first track “Crown For Kings” with stacks and stacks of great lines. He is less about the one liners and more about the 2 or 4 liners. Of course he does have some laughable lines such as the Nicki Minaj training bra line and the OJ line on “18 Wheeler” but overall, his lyrics are straight to the point with line after line connecting each other. He is easily one of the most talented rappers out when it comes to lyrics and technicality.
If you thought his lyrics were New York, listen to the production. The production dates back to the 90s but the thing about his production is that its slower than the beats of those times. Its less about grooving on the beat but more focused on the aggression and grit of the bars. Starting with “Crown For Kings” was a bold move because its easily the outlier being heavily on a soul sample. Every beat after that goes with the same formula. Loops emphasized on pianos and organs, programmed but swinged drum patterns and a lot of low end. If you know the work of Westside Gunn and Conway, you know what to expect on the beats here. They all follow a similar formula. I personally love the hell out of the production due to its head-nodding quality and how clean the 90s sound is on here.
Every track except for one (excluding the skit) has a feature and only one of those features isn’t a rap feature (the last track). The Features aren’t underground either. They are well known in the rap game such as The Roots’ Black Thought, Griselda affiliate Conway, Ruff Ryders and LOX affiliate Jadakiss, GOOD Music President Pusha T and more. They all deliver some quality verses themselves but the best verses easily go to Black Thought and Pusha T. On the production side, we also get credits from Griselda affiliate Daringer on “Sunday school” and “Dirty Harry”. We also get one of my all time favorite producers The Alchemist with “Took The Money To The plugs House” and “5 To 50”. Its easy to say that the Plugs Benny met do a good job complimenting Bennys style.
Bennys influences and Griseldas influences in general are quite obvious. You can obviously pin their style back to Mobb Deep, Biggie, Wu Tang, Big Pun, Kool G Rap,Nas and the rest of that scene. I would say they make it their own too. I wouldn’t see these artists maybe with the exception of Mobb Deep on these beats. Its mainly due to the delivery and lyrics of Benny where the influences are noticeable. I do think he does a good job putting those influences into play creating his own style with them.
Despite my love for this type of music, I will point out some cons. First off, it’s an EP. It easily could’ve been so much more. Kind of like my gripes on the Denzel and Kenny Beats project I reviewed a couple weeks ago, It just doesnt feel as cohesive. One other gripe I have with this EP is that Benny despite the great MC he is does get overshadowed by the features on here. Other than that, I think this record is straight to the point and one EP I would recommend to the people who love the artists I mentioned on the influences section.
Whats left to be said. The dude has bars, the features do their job, the production is the Newest of New York. It might not be the most widespread due to its exclusive devotion to that sound but you can’t deny the guys talent behind the mic.