A New Mix Blends Benny The Butcher & J Dilla To Perfection
Every February, Hip-Hop Heads remember J Dilla. Producer/MC James Yancey was born on February 7, 1974, and passed away just days after his 32nd birthday, on February 10, 2006. Around the country are official and unofficial Dilla events, with many of the artists who best knew Jay Dee paying tribute. Meanwhile, those influenced by him and inspired by him play his music publicly and privately. In all ways, the Slum Village and JayLib co-founder leaves an incredible legacy in Hip-Hop.
In 2020, one of the most exciting MCs of late is Benny The Butcher. One-third of the Griselda group, Benny blessed 2019 with multiple albums appointed to Ambrosia For Heads’ best-of list. The Buffalo, New Yorker also goes full speed ahead at being one of most prolific high-quality feature MCs in quite some time. Out of relative obscurity over years in the game, Benny is among the best in the business, now in his mid-thirties.
Benny’s career was molding in the streets of Buffalo at the same time Dilla was lacing Common, Q-Tip, and working with his Stones Throw Records family. The Butcher never got a batch of donuts (beats) from the Detroit, Michigan producer.
However, the Altered Crates crew continue their penchant for surgical mash-ups with Butcherin’ Donuts. The nine-track effort fuses Dilla beats with Benny raps, including guest shots from Black Thought, Westside Gunn, Smoke DZA, Styles P, Conway The Machine, and 38 Spesh.
Highlights include “All Business Here,” mashing a rarity from a 2005 Dilla beat CD with a reflective streets-to-straight-path Benny verse. “She Said It’s A Massacre” pulls from Jay Dee’s mid-’90s Pharcyde remix and applies to Benny and S.P. The Ghost’s collaboration for Alchemist. As always, Altered Crates looks far and wide for sources that fit together nicely. The nine songs show the range in both artists.
Dilla’s sweet Soul and hard bounce fits with Benny’s punchy delivery, and airtight rhyme schemes. Heads didn’t know we needed it, but it sure sounds good.