'Lyricist Of The Year' Nominee Closer Look: Benny the Butcher’s Best Bars of 2021

Benny can go bar to bar with the best.

Bars are back in hip hop thanks to Buffalo, New York rapper Benny The Butcher and his Griselda crew. 

Made up of Conway The Machine and Westside Gunn, the trio has brought back a sound reminiscent of the boom-bap days of hip hop where snares, high-hats and fact-of-the-matter lyrics stuck to the ribs. 

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In an age where melodies reign supreme and pop and hip hop are more indistinguishable than ever, their emphasis on penmanship has been refreshing, which is why it’s fitting that their frontman, Benny The Butcher, is nominated for 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards “Lyricist of the Year”. 

Although this is his first nomination, the 36-year-old has been releasing music as early as 2004, dropping a plethora of mixtapes and extended plays showing his mastery of storytelling. Whether it be his earliest underground work or his studio albums (Tana Talk 3, 2018 and Burden of Proof, 2020) the praise has been the same: immaculate rhyming. 

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His most recent effort, The Plugs I Met 2, released this year, was much of the same, providing vivid imagery as he illustrates his transition from the drug game to the rap game over cinematic saxophones and strings.  

With the awards show coming up on October 5, here’s a look at some of his best bars this year.

  1. Benny The Butcher On DJ Scream on Hoodrich Radio

    First up is Benny’s freestyle on Hoodrich Radio’s DJ Scream Got Bars earlier this year in Feburary. Going off his phone he flexes his lyrical dexterity for several minutes of ether. 

    “Half of these rappers finished, moving back in they mommas basement with the mattress in it/So don’t be surprised when they try and come back with gimmicks/ cause they dying for a tag and a caption from Akademiks.”

  2. Benny The Butcher Bars On I-95 Freestyle PT 2

    Just this past June, the Butcher returned to Connecticut’s Bars On I-95 for his second showing, freestyling over a Jansport J produced beat on the site’s 139th freestyle.

    Here he talks about the influence of his imprint even with cards stacked against them. 

    “It’s David vs Goliath, I’m Brandon Roy getting buckets, the seeds Grisdela planted grew to sequoias above us.”

  3. Benny The Butcher Bodies "Fire In The Booth"

    Benny reunited with Charlie Sloth for his "Fire In The Booth" series for the first time since he and Conway absolutely bodied the studio a little over one year ago.

    Due to COVID, Benny is rapping from home and handles things on the solo tip, spitting three minutes’ worth of straight bars. 

    "Since they want to shine, I'm copping them gold caskets," he raps, stringing together an impressive multisyllabic rhyme scheme. "Ya'll lil bastards be so backwards, I'm old fashioned / had dope addicts plus my phone had coke traffic / I was good in more than one sport like Bo Jackson / Plugs 2 n***a!" 


  4. Benny The Butcher on “Thanksgiving”

    Serving as the first single off of The Plugs I Met 2, Benny made sure “Thanksgiving” was jam packed with gems.

    Premiering on Ebro’s show on Apple Music, he paints a vivid picture of his former life.

    “Let me take you back to that blue building, back in the day//
    Where I trapped them 2 for 15’s plus that was my age.
    From that little stage, two or three years, I mastered my ways//
    We’d be the Jackson’s of Ye if they gave out plaques for the game.

  5. Benny The Butcher on “Flood The Block”

    Coming off his Pyrex Picasso EP, Benny absolutely blacks on “Flood The Block”.

    Featuring Conway The Machine, Rich Hyde and Elcamino and released after The Plugs I Met 2, the seven-song project was a pleasant addition to the sixteens he’s already offered this year thus far and gave more evidence that he sets the bar for rapping today.

    “Pound in y'all lap, ridin', dressed down in all black
    And that gangster shit you warn don't come out 'til y'all rap
    And that old work you put in don't count 'cause y'all rats, uh
    Bimmer weavin' between cars, got me breathin' hard”

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