Benny the Butcher’s sophomore album, “Burden of Proof” cover. Griselda Gang/Revolt TV
New York-based rapper, Benny the Butcher, makes a triumphant return with his latest album, “Burden of Proof,” an album that might very well solidify his spot as one of the more impressive and unique artists in hip hop currently. Benny began rapping in the early 2000s, only just recently making a name for himself by becoming part of Griselda Records, founded by his cousin and fellow rapper, Westside Gunn. Gunn provided a platform for the two to release their own records.
Fast forward to today, Benny is now signed to the Entertainment One Music label and released his sophomore album, “Burden of Proof.” Produced entirely by Grammy Award-winning producer, Hit-Boy, it includes features from artists such as Rick Ross, Freddie Gibbs, Westside Gunn and Lil Wayne.
Kicking off the album with the title track, “Burden of Proof,” Benny boasts and celebrates the success of the “Griselda Gang” and how they’ve established their brand and now it’s their chance to expand and do greater. This track sets up what can be expected for the rest of the album, grittiness and raw style of New York hip-hop. It’s a welcome revival of what once was and does a very good job separating itself from the generic and dry nature of trap rap that currently floods the radio.
The track is then followed by “Where Would I Go,” where Benny reflects on where he got his start and about how he’s thankful for escaping his unfortunate past of selling drugs. It’s a much more grounded track, speaking about where he came from and how even with money and success there are still the same worries and struggles. Rick Ross then closes the track by talking about the jealousy that comes with success from friends and family and how he’s judged for it even though he made himself successful.
However, Even though the next track isn’t as introspective as the previous one, it showcases Benny’s rapping skills and clever wordplay capabilities. “Sly Green” is purely a track to just make your head nod with impressive production from Hit-Boy and verses by Benny that showcase not only his rap ability, but his storytelling ability.
The very same applies to “One Way Flight” which also features artist Freddie Gibbs, both artists speak about their experiences with women and relationships due to their fame now. Each rapper discusses the struggle of maintaining their romantic relationships with women and how fame has negatively impacted them. It’s one of the weaker tracks on the album just because both artists repeat themselves forcing what would be an interesting perspective into a dry message.
For the most part, the album focuses more on the struggles Benny has gone through because of his success and fame. Ironically, the next track “Famous,” is all about how all of the money he’s made but still doesn’t feel famous. It’s another weak track simply due to how short it is and the message he’s trying to convey doesn’t quite land as it should.
The track is then followed by “Timeless,” which was the big lead single for the album featuring Lil Wayne and Big Sean, which is a very solid line up and makes for an okay track. The strongest verse out of the three has to be Big Sean because of his witty wordplay and flow through his verse. Overall, however, it’s a very basic track with good production.
On “New Streets,” Benny goes back to being more open and honest and talks about his opinions on how other artists speak of the past while still talking about their riches. Overall it’s a great, short but sweet track, with great production backed up with a great vocal sample throughout.
Benny picks things up in the following track, “Over the Limit,” backed up by Dom Kennedy. This makes for another great showcase of Benny’s rap ability, which is made even better with the most impressive beat on the album thus far. The track brings all of the best parts of Benny’s album here, making for one of the more impressive and enjoyable tracks on the project, with great verses, production and chorus.
“Trade It All” makes for one of the strongest tracks lyrically, with great vocal samples on the beat and simply the quickest and most impressive flow Benny has shown on the project so far. It’s a musically impressive track with great production from Hit-Boy and great flows from Benny.
We then get to “Thank God I Made It,” where Benny takes a few moments to be thankful for his single mother that raised him, for God and for all of his friends that supported him throughout the years. It’s a great heartfelt and touching track with a beautiful chorus by Queen Naija, it’s a nice break from some of the more gritty tracks on the project.
This touching track is then followed by the weakest songs on the album, “War Paint,” simply because it reiterates past songs talking about what Benny had gone through selling drugs in the past. It’s very forgettable and just feels dry and generic at this point after hearing these types of subject matter so much already. Production is stale as well since it sounds exactly like past tracks, definitely the most forgettable and disappointing tracks on the album.
Closing off the album with “Legend,” Benny solidifies who he is at this point in his life and manifests where he wants to be in the future. It’s a strong closing track, with good production and great verses by Benny, makes for a strong closing track for this project. He makes sure that listeners know that this is the beginning for him and that he isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Overall, Benny The Butcher’s latest album was quite a surprise, while there were a few weak tracks and for the most part, had a very simple and samey sound, he does a great job standing out from the rest lyrically. He’s been working and grinding for years at this point and it’s apparent that he isn’t slowing down his rapid success.
He’s a welcome change from most of the generic trap rappers, he wants to bring back the classic New York style of hip hop because that’s where it originated from. Benny The Butcher’s “Burden of Proof” on a scale from one to ten, it would be a strong seven, it’s a solid offering with great lyricism however most of the tracks sound too similar to each other. Benny isn’t going anywhere and his collective, Griselda Gang are making sure of that.