Benny The Butcher’s growth over the last few years has been nothing short of inspiring. With his 2018 album Tana Talk 3 he got on my radar and I’ve been a fan ever since. His brand new album is titled Burden of Proof and is entirely produced by one of the most respected mainstream producers of the last decade Hit-Boy. I expected this album to be full of incredible lyricism and lush production and that’s pretty much what I got from it. It’s more melodic and soulful in its production than his previous projects, and that gives him more of a melodic and atmospheric soundscape for him to rap over, and he does not disappoint!
From the thumping opener “Burden Of Proof” to the closer “Legend”, Benny The Butcher flexes his lyrical abilities effortlessly over lavish beats, as he reflects on his life and successes potently, and it makes me feel oddly proud of him despite not knowing him or what he’s been through at all. And that over some of Hit-Boy’s best production to date. There are moments on the album, such as on the excellent “Where Would I Go” featuring Rick Ross and the slick “Famous” where he really shines through. On the latter track he proclaims “I chose money over fame, how I end up with ’em both?” with a sense of true pride over his successes. And I need to take a moment out of this to say – Lil Wayne absolutely murdered his verse on “Timeless” with Big Sean. Time and time again with features, the legendary emcee comes through with such a killer verse – “Like Pirelli tires on Chevy trucks, but still a Goodyear / They got every eye on each one of us, well, n***a, look here / I’ll come catch your ass on career day and end your career” he says with menace. The standout guest verse, however goes unsurprisingly to Conway the Machine on “War Paint” with Westside Gunn. “HOV said, “You that boy”, I get acknowledged by the GOAT (What up, HOV?) / Woo, even shook the hand of Beyoncé / That story brought tears to the eye of my fiancée”. I can’t help but feel so proud for Conway and the successes he’s had, as well as everyone from Griselda of course. “New Streets” is another excellent moment, with Benny talking about the realities of street life, and reflects further on “Over The Limit” featuring Dom Kennedy. Benny is lyrically sharp and “Legend” is a perfect closer to this cohesive album. “Gave my life to the game, had my mama concerned / It made her calm when she saw what I got in return / Broke my flow down, they still can’t describe it in words / And all the work they say they put in, I gotta confirm” he states at the start of it, again highlighting the successes of his hard work again. Benny’s growth as an artist over the past few years has been so incredibly inspiring, and he has continued to deliver with each and every project. He is such a great ambassador for the culture, and I’m super happy for him.
Burden of Proof is such an important moment of growth for Benny, who continues to show why he’s one of the most talented and talked about emcees working today. Hit-Boy on the other hand delivers a lavish, textured and lively soundscape that fits perfectly with the grit of Benny’s voice and tone. A great album and one you should check out!