Benny The Butcher - Burden of Proof
Oct 20, 2020
65
The other, less prominent Griselda members have finally had a chance to shine this year, and now it's Benny's turn to prove his worth, hopefully above Conway and Westside Gunn. Burden of Proof excels in many of the same areas that From King to a GOD did, but sadly, it suffers similar pitfalls as well. When things click, the beats are unique, catchy and attention-grabbing, and Benny is on point with typical, but entertaining crime and drug lyricism. The opening title track, Sly Green and Trade It All all sport jazzy, triumphant instrumentals that don't exactly reinvent the wheel, but are serviceable enough to make it onto any old-head-centric playlist. Over the Limit stands out for its distinctly different beat style, with eerie, nocturnal lead melodies providing a chilling backdrop that compliments Benny better than any other track here. Where Burden of Proof starts to lose steam is with its guests. A star-studded tracklist with Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Freddie Gibbs and Big Sean sounds more than promising for a rising new face in the (semi)-mainstream, but each underperforms, and drags each track down as a result. Timeless is the album's worst offender, with Lil Wayne already a strange choice hardly gelling with Benny, who sounds extremely awkward over this garish and scattered instrumental. Big Sean on the back-end only serves to weaken the track further, as his boring performances continue to perplex how he's still relevant in this decade. Burden of Proof's biggest issue outside of this is just its lack of personality. He sounds almost identical to Conway, and while many of the tracks here don't have any inherent flaws, there's nothing gripping about his sound that makes him stand out, especially in a growing sea of more talented, unique and envelope-pushing artists from any variety of sub-genres. Griselda's attempts to revive the dying hardcore and gansta rap scenes are definitely admirable, and at times the group strikes gold, but Benny the Butcher needs to do more in today's landscape for things to maintain relevancy in the coming years.

Favourite Tracks:

Burden of Proof
Sly Green
Over the Limit
Trade It All
Legend

Least Favourite Tracks:

One Way Flight
Famous
Timeless
New Streets

6.5/10
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