Benny Is Far From An Overnight Success. Look Back At The Grind Of A Top MC (Video)
Just a few weeks ago, Griselda’s trifecta of Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, and Westside Gunn debuted their collaborative album, WWCD, via Shady Records. Over the past few weeks, the GxFR team has accompanied the album’s release with a series of documentaries. These showcase the history, style, and effort set forth by the project’s curators. One cut of the web series, “348 Sanders Road,” featured the album’s production duo, Daringer and Beat Butcher, in which the artists reveal that WWCD was made without the use of samples. Other pieces include, “Connie’s Son,” featuring Westside Gunn, and “May Street,” with Conway The Machine. Their latest segment, “Chinegun’s Co-Defendant,” follows the story of Benny The Butcher and his rise alongside his Buffalo, New York brethren.
At the top of the video, the camera captures a scene of Benny in the streets in May of 2017 as he opens up about his recent signing to Griselda. The Butcher explains, “I mean it’s dope, but like I said, my life changed 30 days ago. I was front-lining in the projects.” He continues, “My whole everything changed, and I’m just ready to work. It’s inspiring to be in the position I’m in, especially what I came from.” Benny, who told AFH TV that he’s been rapping half of his life, was on a march to recognition for his extreme talents.
Flash forward to the present day, and as both a fan and curator, Benny is in awe of Griselda’s rise in Hip-Hop prominence. As a witness to all of the work he’s set forth to reach, Conway The Machine believes it’s Benny’s hunger that pushes him forward. The Machine details, “It’s just a testament to his hunger and his drive. I was just talking about this last night I think with Westside, like that ni**a Benny, man, that ni**a is super-hungry. That ni**a hungry like [he] is still broke, like we [are] still in the hood, and in the struggle.”
Benny follows, paying homage to Conway, Westside, and the blueprint they laid forth for him. “I really just took the blueprint from Wes’ and Con and applied it in my own way, without them having to hold my hand. That’s a headache. I’m not a ni**a where I need Wes’ for everything I do. He [is] busy working on other sh*t. Conway [is also] busy doing him. When I need ’em, I’m definitely tapping in, but I’m doing my own thing, holding my weight and pulling through ’cause that’s important too. That’s important. When I first came around, these dudes was up here, I was like, damn, I wanna give back to Griselda and contribute something to it. I feel like I’ve done that in this past year.” Before WWCD, Benny released The Plugs I Met on his own Black Soprano Family imprint. Both albums are included in Ambrosia For Heads‘ best of 2019.
In the documentary, longtime Benny producer Daringer provides insight into the MC’s carefree work ethic. “[Benny The Butcher is] great at rapping and being able to work on the spot. I’ve never been able to work with an artist that has been so fast, and just gets busy, and makes songs, and not overthink sh*t. It just comes off naturally and effortlessly, but still putting forth effort, but making it seem so effortless that it’s just like, ‘Wow. We just literally put this beat up, and we’re already got verses down. We’re already bout to keep it moving, and do the next song.'”
In between conversations with the Griselda crew, Benny is captured in shots rapping “Scotties” from WWCD in Premier Studios, and on stage performing with the team for their sold-out show at SOB’s in New York City.
In closing, Conway The Machine relives these same memories, marking the performance at SOB’s as one of Benny’s hallmark moments. “I didn’t know what I was about to witness. That sh*t just had me like, damn. I almost dropped a tear because, do you know how hard it is? One thing about New York City is it’s tough on rappers and entertainers, musicians. That’s how you know you on to something. [If] New York embraces you, they f*ck with you for your craft, then you [are confirmed]. Bruh, that sh*t took me there. That sh*t was amazing, man. That was another milestone, watching what Benny’s doing and has been doing.”
AFH TV recently interviewed Westside Gunn, Conway, and Benny. There is also a separate Plugs I Met conversation with Benny. We are currently offering free 7-day trials. New music by Benny The Butcher and Griselda is presently on the official AFH Playlist.