Consistently working alongside fellow Griselda founders and cousins in Westside Gunn and Conway The Machine, the three Buffalo, New York natives have all seemingly achieved success together — attaining a level of regard comparable to legends in Jay-Z and Nas despite their commercial success.
It all comes down to one thing: respect. Respect is as important in hip-hop as the music, and Griselda has plenty of both. Since signing a management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Records in Aug. 2019, Griselda has been taking nothing but W’s over the past two years.
Since 2012, the collective has been pushing out three-to-five projects per artist each year, as the label is praised for their insane output and lengthy discography. Griselda’s sound is a dirty mix of grimy, lo-fi boom-bap consistent with the sub-genre “coke rap.” These elements are complemented by airy and melodic samples reliant on the strength of intricate, off-key, four-bar loops and heavy bars that cut through beats like knives.
Each of Griselda’s core three have about 10 projects to choose from on streaming — more if you do some digging into their mixtape discography. Westside Gunn’s prolific Hitler Wears Hermes series is initially what put Griselda on the map, as Benny and Conway followed — becoming some of the best line-for-line lyricists in hip-hop today. After all, the collective has been labeled by many as “your favorite rapper’s, favorite rapper.”
Enter Benny The Butcher — commercially undermined, but respected beyond belief — lyrically gifted and raps brutally honest bars with the voice of a poet. His past is riddled with stints in prison due to drug-dealing in his youth, however, he perfectly channels his thoughts and struggles in his songwriting. Benny’s storytelling ability is unmatched — being able to fully immerse the listener into the world he constantly resides in.
His discography spans over the course of nearly 10 years, as his magnum opus Tana Talk 3 is universally loved by both fans and critics alike. His second official studio album Burden of Proof (released in Oct. 2020), was entirely produced by producer-rapper Hit-Boy — earning Benny higher praise and more mainstream attention in the process.
Along with heavily collaborating with some of hip-hop’s premier producers in The Alchemist, Harry Fraud and Hit-Boy, Benny also frequently drops with his collective Black Soprano Family. Recently releasing the sequel to the critically-acclaimed The Plugs I Met with Fraud in March, Benny and BSF member 38 Spesh dropped the 10-track mixtape Trust the Sopranos May 21.
Now, The Butcher reunites with Fraud once more on their ominous new single “Sink.” Sounding like it could’ve been placed on Plugs 2, Benny is as braggadocios as ever, with flows as cold as the streets of his native Buffalo and bars that speak to the genuine transparency of his life.
In other words, when Benny talks his talk, it’s not a ploy for attention or to puff his chest out for the ‘Gram — he’s lived it, still dealing with the repercussions daily. His voice pierces through “Sink” with yet another robust performance, detailing his feelings on the current landscape of hip-hop.
You was in a group of rappers with the fake watches
This the flow that got my side of the state poppin
The trap small but it jump like Isaiah Thomas
I’m getting letters from the legends in the federal pen
Doing 11, down 7 and just getting settled in
Uh huh yeah I’m hood now and I was ghetto then
It’s been a while since they wanna see a felon win
I used to ride with 120 grams of food on me
Now I’m in Versace, and got 20 bands of blues on meBenny The Butcher — “Sink”
Benny isn’t afraid of speaking the truth. Heard throughout his entire discography, “Sink” is just another example of his captivating presence over the tracks he spits on. Fraud’s production style is consistently hypnotic — blending both melodic vocal chops and swelling choir hymns over a ruthless boom-bap beat that allows Benny to match its energy.
Although this may be a loose-single after releasing two projects two months apart from each other, expect “The Butcher coming” again sooner rather than later.