Royce 5’9 & Benny The Butcher Reunite For A Collaboration That Packs A Punch (Video)
Today (February 7), Royce 5’9 showcases the fourth single from this month’s album, The Allegory. While January’s “Overcomer” video single featured Westside Gunn, “Upside Down” involves Benny The Butcher. Notably, all three Griselda members appear on separate tracks from the February 21 LP that also boasts appearances by Vince Staples, Kxng Crooked, T.I., and others.
Releasing as a video, “Upside Down” sees Nickel Nine at the pulpit, kicking a sermon about why he takes his rhymes to real places. He also confronts racism in Hip-Hop and society. Following Royce’s standout appearance on 2018’s Tana Talk 3, Benny returns the favor with a hard-hitting guest spot that matches 5’9’s energy and thesis.
Royce begins with a barrage of bars about why he is a supreme MC. “Whoever think I’m here to make some corny-ass radio Viacom jingle got my whole diatribe tangled / Sittin’ high up on them tires, on my high horse, I’m Django / Likened by white powder, John Stamos / Probably the only artist, who can father time, John Amos / Rapper God erupted out of a Comic-Con-cano / Committin’ lyrical homicide while beside Preemo / To the downers, I’m Drano / To the genre, I’m Thanos / Any spitter think he sicker than that, I have the antidote / Take it back to when it was eighths in the pack / Kidnap you over that lil’ rap you wrote, leave your family take in the back / By the handsome quote / That I left on that ransom note,” spits Royce.
Next, Nickel confronts prominent white comedians who have publicly used the N-word. He goes on to illustrate why the difference of circumstances between Black folks and white folks are no laughing matter. “Bill Maher use the term ‘ni**a’ so loosely / ‘Cause truthfully, he know that he be usin’ it on the DL, Louis / C.K. know he can use it in front of ‘Pookie’ / But know damn-well that he wouldn’t use it in front of DL / White kids graduate to relationships with a ton of perks / Black kids, just aggravated and had to take a ton of Percs / You come to church the 1st and 21st, and when it come to dirt / Gucci ain’t the only one’s puttin’ Black faces on front of shirts / Black women wanna be built like cartoon characters, ‘Eric Cartman’ / That bears a strikin’ resemblance to Saartjie Baartman.” Notably, the MC produced the track—and the rest of The Allegory.
Benny proves to be a feature specialist, even for an artist who works with a cross-section of Rap. In the congregation, he spits, “All them times, you gave ’em your best, got you complicatin’ your stress / Cash rules, your last move got ’em contemplatin’ your next / I’m the one behind the wheel when them conversations go left / I need violence, Rasheed Wallace, I’m okay with a TEC / What’s the difference from a ni**a who lived it and storytellers? / Of course we felons, sold a brick whiter than Tori Spelling / Roll with killers, nobody on my block was poorer than us / I put a fork in the pot and got a euphoric feeling / Young heathens clap tools over VVS jewels / White kids pull heaters at school, wanna CBS News / Became a legend for the skeptics who ain’t believe me that do / And for mornings, I never ate unless they feed me at school / Servin’ out pots, had me turnin’ out blocks / It’s Griselda, ni**a, you know we The Firm without Fox’ / Everything about timing and I was stern on my clock / ‘Cause ni**as out now grindin’, tryna earn what I got,” the Buffalo, New York spitter touts.
Others in the congregation offer up money, guns, jewelry, and other things. This is inter-cut with a street transaction in an alleyway. The video is to be continued, signaling more to come. Ashley Sorrell sings part of the song, referencing a popular ’80s crossover Folk-Pop tune.
Royce has become one of Griselda’s earliest and most prominent supporters. Recently, in a chat with Joe Budden, the veteran MC explained why Eminem’s new group has avoided some of the pitfalls that Slaughterhouse faced.
Griselda’s WWCD and Benny’s The Plugs I Met were named to Ambrosia For Heads‘ Best Albums Of 2019.