Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2019 (Battle 12): Griselda vs. Benny The Butcher

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 Elite 8 has begun. It’s a face off between two amazing producer/MC batteries in 2019. Griselda’s WWCD takes on Benny The Butcher’s The Plugs I Met. This battle ballot is on AFH‘s Facebook page in the video. Make sure your opinion is heard. UPDATE: Benny The Butcher’s The Plugs I Met has defeated Griselda’s WWCD, 54% to 46%.

Griselda – WWCD (What Would ‘Chine Do)
(Defeated Dreamville’s Revenge Of The Dreamers, Vol. III 70% to 30% in Round 1)

When Eminem signed Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, and Benny The Butcher to Shady Records two and half years ago, the label collective was already at the forefront of a grimy, hustle-Rap renaissance. However, in recent years, highly-impressive solo work from Wes’, Conway, and Benny propelled them to the forefront of who’s next in Hip-Hop. WWCD, named after their deceased relative and rapper, Machine Gun Black, honors tradition while taking things to the highest level yet. This 13-track offering is a distillation of everything fans love about Griselda: savvy deliveries, hard Daringer beats (alongside Beat Butcha), and raw street content. Despite some of the most coveted backing in Rap, the album sounds like it could’ve been any number of the Griselda releases in the 2010s. However, it finds three Buffalo, New York MCs at the top of their game. Debut single “DR. BIRD’S” is trademark GxFR, as is “Moselle.” For those paying attention, this brick-by-brick movement dates back more than a decade. However, just like Eminem 20 years ago, Griselda represents a new underground dream come true. Without compromise, this brand of Rap carries the torch for so many Hip-Hop luminaries. – Jordan Commandeur

Released: November 29, 2019
Label: Griselda/Shady Records
Guests: Novel, Tiona Denice, Keisha Plum, 50 Cent, AA Rashid, Eminem, Raekwon
Producer: Daringer, Beat Butcha

Benny The Butcher – The Plugs I Met
(Defeated Boogie’s Everythings For Sale 79% to 21% in Round 1)

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

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