Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2019 (Battle 2): Benny The Butcher vs. Boogie

Over the last couple of years, Ambrosia For Heads has asked our readers to help us determine the Best Rap Album for 2017 and 2018, respectively. In looking at the top music of 2019, we believe that instead of letting the Grammy Awards—a committee who does not know anything about the culture—tell us what the “Best Rap Album” is, Hip-Hop Heads should raise their voices at the exact same time.

We have chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2019. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, we held a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they feel most deserved a spot on the list.

The bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums has begun. Every day between January 9 and January 24, albums will face off against one another. The tournament winner will be announced Sunday, January 26, the same night as the 2020 Grammy Awards. In the case of each battle, voting will close after 24 hours. The competition will go from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. The second battle of the tourney’ is between Benny The Butcher’s The Plugs I Met and Boogie’s Everythings For Sale. Make sure your opinion is heard and gets counted (click on your album’s artwork in the box below, then click “vote”).

Benny The Butcher – The Plugs I Met

Seasoning his craft for over two decades, Benny The Butcher’s The Plugs I Met is the grand culmination of a life spent balancing Hip-Hop and hustling. A veteran in both fields, the 30-something MC from Buffalo, New York has perfected the art of chronicling street-inspired tales throughout his career. No effort of his more vivid and expertly rendered than The Plugs I Met, the Griselda warhorse (and Black Soprano Family founder) is at his storytelling peak alongside some of Rap’s finest street couriers. Highlighting those choice pairings is the second track, “Crowns For Kings,” in which Black Thought accompanies Benny over ’70s Memphis Soul. In his first verse of the project, Benny delivers I’m fresh out of luck, I’m here ‘cause I deserve to be, ni**a / I sat back, a vet, and watched beginners winnin’ my belts / Burned my bridges, came back a good swimmer like Phelps.That robust self-assurance is a common theme throughout, as B.E.N.N.Y. has grasped his paid dues and demands his seat at the throne. The coveted kingship is aided even more so by enlisting street and Rap royalty in Jadakiss and Pusha-T for two separate brawny tracks. The LP benefits from a no-nonsense approach, carrying very limited choruses and focusing on tenacious wordplay. While many albums laced with unlawful subject matter can toe the line of hype, there are certainly no fabricated characters within Benny’s memoirs. That contrast of credibility is emphasized on “Took The Money To The Plug’s House,” where Benny states I damn near don’t pray no more / Only to an eighth of raw / A fork and the mayo jar / Numbers, you inflated yours, you got a created buzz / My flow got the fans rethinking who the greatest was.True to Benny and the album’s theme of keeping all operations tight and fruitful, The Plugs I Met packs in as much lyrical weight that seven tracks can possibly hold, and yields 25 minutes of the most potent musical dope that 2019 offered up. – Michael Blair

Released: June 21, 2019
Label: Black Soprano Family, LLC
Guests: Black Thought, Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Conway The Machine, 38 Spesh, RJ Payne
Producers: Alchemist, Daringer, Beat Butcha, DJ Shay

Boogie –
Everythings For Sale

With three years of mixtape momentum, 30-year old Interscope Records MC/singer Boogie was added to Eminem’s Shady Records roster in late 2017. For what might seem like an exciting and joyous chapter of Boogie’s career, Everythings For Saleseems coated in quite the opposite emotion. Reflective and candid since 2014’s Thirst 48, Boogie’s scuffles with his own demons are amplified on the LP, as his popularity and access to temptation inflate. Largely centered around a turbulent relationship, the Compton-by-way-of-Long Beach native created a diary, assessing his infidelity (“Silent Ride”/“Time”/“Rainy Days”) and absence of self-worth (“Lolsmh”/“No Warning”) from beginning to end. Clearly bothered by the same limelight that has brought him affluence (“Soho”), Boogie’s most endearing quality is his self-awareness, as he remains deeply in-tune with his own toxic tendencies (“Self Destruction”) throughout. Sincerity and blunt honesty prevail in the listen that also deals with fatherhood and failure. From a musical standpoint, there is no doubt that the versatile vocalist will flourish, as his beat selection, peer-backing, and lyrical cleverness are exceptional and carry no expiration. With Everything’s For Sale as confirmation, the sobering yet refreshingly truthful story of Boogie will unfold right alongside his inevitably prosperous career ahead. – Michael Blair

Released: January 25, 2019
Label: Shady/Interscope Records
Guests: Eminem, J.I.D., 6LACK, Snoah Aalegra, Shae Universe, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Producers: Keyel, Ryan Feinberg, Dart, Ashton McCreight, C. Ballin, Chris McCleaney, Fresh Ayr, James Teej, Mario Luciano, Nabeyin, Symbolyc One, Streetrunner

So which is better?

Ambrosia For Heads’ Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2019 List:

Add-2 – Jim Crow The Musical
Benny The Butcher – The Plugs I Met
Big K.R.I.T. – K.R.I.T. IZ HERE
Boogie – Everythings For Sale
Dreamville – Revenge Of The Dreamers III
EarthGang – Mirrorland
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana
Gang Starr – One Of The Best Yet
Griselda – WWCD
Little Brother – May The Lord Watch
Murs, 9th Wonder & The Soul Council – The Iliad Is Dead And The Odyssey Is Over
Rapsody – Eve
Skyzoo & Pete Rock – Retropolitan
Smif-n-Wessun – The All
YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy