Benny The Butcher Explains Why Rap Is A Grown Man’s Game (Video)
Last Friday (June 21), Benny The Butcher released The Plugs I Met. The Black Soprano Family LP marks Benny’s follow-up to his acclaimed 2018 album, Tana Talk 3. On this go-round, the Buffalo, New Yorker involved A-list Rap peers including Pusha-T, Black Thought, and Jadakiss, all over-top of Daringer and Alchemist production. Yesterday (June 24), B.E.N.N.Y sat down with AFH TV to discuss the new album, and why there is a major misconception about age in Rap.
On last year’s “Broken Bottles,” Benny rapped, “I heard they sick about me rapping ‘bout the drugs I stretch / I’ma write a whole album ‘bout the plugs I met.” That proclamation delivered in a big way this month through his BSF LP. Of the album theme, Benny tells AFH TV, “I just take you on an up-close ride through my life, East side of Buffalo, through things I been through.”
In the conversation, the artist highlights years of paying dues and preparation to reach this point. Benny (who previously told AFH TV that does not write anything down) began rapping more than 20 years ago, during his early adolescence. While 2018 proved to be a breakthrough year, even the calling-card album was a test of patience and care. “The first release date for Tana Talk 3 was March 2017. I had 90% of the project by then. But we kept chippin’ away, doing more freestyles, more features on Conway and Wes’ sh*t, more tours—just gettin’ more known,” Benny says in the opening minutes of the video interview. “We knew what we had, so we were like, ‘Nah, we can’t put this out like this. We gotta grind a little bit more, get the people’s attention a little more.’ So we waited.”
Recently added to the management roster at JAY-Z’s Roc Nation, Benny notes, “This is a long time comin’. Without those days, we don’t get these days.” However, he admits to staying a course that many Rap hopefuls won’t. “A lot of dudes that pursue this music sh*t, real life gets in their way of doin’ this. Ni**as got baby mamas, kids, wives, jobs, and sh*t goin’ on in life that’s derailed them from doing this. That never affected me. Through the jail bids and through my brother passing away and through Conway gettin’ shot or whatever I had to deal with, we was always back in the lab, workin’ on this. ‘Cause we believed that we had it.” Throughout that journey, Benny, Conway The Machine, and Westside Gunn avoided labels, keeping everything in-house and authentic to their vision.
At 12:30, Benny opines on whether Rap truly is a so-called “young man’s game.” He says, “This is a grown man’s world. So it’s all a grown man’s game. You can’t be elected President until you’re a certain age; they don’t give a f*ck what you got or what you did.” The MC points to the best athletes in professional sports being veterans. He then looks to Griselda’s supporters as further proof. “Our fans buy $200 shirts, $80 meet-and-greet tickets, fly to [attend shows]. That’s grown-man sh*t. Shout out to all the young kids doin’ they thing, but our fans is not kids who gotta like borrow money to do sh*t like that. These is grown people with jobs and salaries who can afford to buy as much sh*t as we put out. The older you are, the smarter you are, and the sharper you are. I tell that to people all the time. When I was 24, I was the sh*t; I was that ni**a. But 24-year-old me can’t f*ck with 34-year-old-me, whoever I thought I was back then.”
Notably, standout guests on The Plugs I Met include Thought, Push’, and ‘Kiss—all MCs in their forties. Although Benny is just ramping out, he has quickly proven that he only plans to get better. “Your brain is a muscle. Over time, you just get better and better.” As the rapper says of his Monster Kody-inspired “Intro Skit,” he wants everybody around him to use their brain muscles right with him.
Elsewhere in the conversation (where Conway The Machine makes a cameo), Benny breaks down several lyrics from his new album. He also describes what drew him to signing former Battle Rap star RJ Payne. Later this year, Benny, Conway, and Wes’ will release their collaborative Shady Records debut, WWCD (What Would Chinegun Do). Last month, the three Griselda MCs described that project and the DJ Premier-produced video single, “Headlines,” to AFH TV.
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Press image provided by Benny The Butcher.