“What's a stage with no mic and no voice of a poet?
What's more important, the flower or the soil that grow it?” – (“One Way Flight”, Benny)
Buffalo MC, Jeremie Pennick a.k.a Benny The Butcher returns with his reflective, poignant new LP, “Burden of Proof”, with the ever-prevalent Hit-Boy on production. Through captivating rhyme schemes and thoughtful lyricism, this record that encapsulates everything that’s great about gangsta rap in the modern era.
I’ve only just recently become acquainted with the Griselda crew (Benny, Conway The Machine and Westside Gunn). Pardon me for thinking the tags on their songs said, ‘Chris Zelta’ as like, an edgy beatmaker.🤣 Anyway, the snippets I’ve heard of Westside weren’t thrilling, and so-to I found Conway’s recent effort “From King To A GOD” to unfortunately miss the spot. But as a pleasant surprise, “Burden of Proof” clicked, and flourishes as an extremely consistent, grandiose hip-hop adventure. From pristine soul-sampling to impeccable flows, Benny has really orchestrated a triumph on this LP, and it makes me wonder if I should dig deeper into the Griselda catalog…
The album opens with the brilliant energy and incredibly satisfying beat of its title-track, leading into a lavish, phenomenally constructed Rick Ross collab in, “Where Would I Go”. The texture to the instrumentals on this LP is really a shining point and makes the LP a pleasure to experience front-to-back. “One Way Flight” is possibly my favourite gangsta rap track of the year; with a sample TO DIE FOR, a visceral, lush beat, phenomenal flows from both parties and a perfect mix of poetic gems and hilarious bars. What a track! And the highlights keep coming, with the captivating story-telling of “Trade It All” and the touching bars of gratitude on “Thank God I Made It”. Benny truly proved himself to me on this LP, as a self-assured, clever rapper to look out for in future.
This is surely one of my favourite hip-hop releases of 2020 and marks an important and defining moment in Benny’s career.
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Fav Tracks: Burden of Proof, Where Would I Go, Sly Green, One Way Flight, Famous, New Streets, Trade It All, Thank God I Made It, Legend
Least Fav: Over The Limit