Black Thought, Benny & DZA Link For A Song That’s 3x Dope

In 2019, Benny The Butcher and Black Thought teamed for “Crowns For Kings,” one of the hardest-hitting collaborations of the last five years. The Plugs I Met look was produced by Benny’s mentor, DJ Shay, who has since passed away—and remains one of The Butcher’s biggest songs.

During the summer of this year, Black Thought worked with another Empire State artist, Smoke DZA. The Harlem Rap veteran and Tariq Trotter teamed for “Drug Trade,” a preview single from DZA’s Flying Lotus-produced Flying Objects album. The song features an extensive metaphor of moving dope, while kicking serious bars.

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Since an adolescence, lessons; they’ve been embedded / in My aggression never frettin’ / Other n___as I’m better than / Wish I failed, fish with scales, higher numbers I’m reckonin’ / Pharmaceutical usuals, they be married to medicine / In they flow they embellishin’, don’t insult my intelligence / Tell a friend they can tell a friend, just addressin’ the elephants,” the Kushgod raps. In the third verse, Thought spits, “Lotus position with DZA, another banger, Black / ‘Fore I take this s__t to the temple, another chamber / For the network, award-winning composer, arranger / Rapper’s net worth, is prolly in my closet on a hanger / These fools is out of pocket, they p___y as Joe Exotic / It’s cool, Philly be f__kin’ wit’ ProTools over logic / At night, we might surface for just the right purchase / My main purpose is keepin’ s__t connected like cursive / In any room, assume I’m as real as any n___a there / And Black as Huey Newton coolin’ in the wicker chair.

Months later, Benny joins the fold. The artist who has made projects with DZA (and Pete Rock) in the past, makes a noteworthy reunion with Black Thought, too. “Drug Trade Pt 2” is currently the top song on the Ambrosia For Heads playlist (follow here). In this iteration, Benny joins DZA at the chorus, and replaces the second verse. He raps about the lifestyle, its pinnacles and perils, and slides seamlessly into the moment first set by DZA and Tariq.

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The extended version of Flying Objects also features Conway The Machine, Big K.R.I.T., Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa, and Estelle. Black Thought is fresh off of a Grammy nomination for “Love Letter,” as well as his own 2023 album produced by El Michels Affair.

Apart from features and loosies, Benny sat back in 2023 and did not deliver an album. His latest single, “One Foot In” (also on the playlist) is produced by Hit-Boy and features Stove God Cooks. It marks the second single from The Butcher’s major label debut, Everybody Can’t Go, which arrives January 26, 2024 via 5 To 50, Inc./Def Jam Records.

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Follow the AFH playlist for other songs by Conway, Westside Gunn, AZ & Buckwild, and more.

#BonusBeat: AFH’s interview with Benny The Butcher covering The Plugs I Met: