Benny The Butcher “Tana Talk 4” Review
Written by B87FM on March 15, 2022
When a rapper is on the come-up, it’s straightforward for them to rhyme as if they’ve acquired nothing to lose. As for probably the most half, they don’t. Nevertheless, what can help in sustaining the thrill round a rapper’s unfolding catalog is when that do-or-die spirit by no means wanes and, if something, solely intensifies as they transition from establishing themselves as an MC to collating the proof for a spot among the many greats.
Contemplating that he didn’t garner the world’s consideration span till he was in his mid-30s, Benny The Butcher is aware of what it’s prefer to know that you just’re nice, however nonetheless languish within the throes of anonymity. Now that he’s acquired a world attain and a fanbase that’ll go to bat for him at each obtainable alternative, the don of the Black Soprano Household is making the transition from underground king to a significant label artist, striding by means of the hallowed halls of Def Jam.
However earlier than he takes his place amongst that wealthy lineage, The Butcher has gone out of his option to show to followers that signing on the dotted line hasn’t come on the expense of his soul nor the starkly actual drive of his output with Tana Speak 4.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Photos
Full with cover-art that depicts himself, Griselda Data curator Westside Gunn and his late brother Machine Gun Black of their youth, the newest installment within the sequence is each a mirrored image of the trials and tribulations of his previous and a precursor to an excellent, probably historic future.
Starting with the venture’s lead single of “Johnny P’s Caddy,” this opening monitor doubles as a strong assertion of the place he’s at within the recreation. Doused in smoldering manufacturing from The Alchemist on what’s the first of many appearances, Benny units off with the arrogance of a made man that doesn’t have something left to show within the lyrical division however will exit of his option to unleash a mesmerizing show all the identical.
As if his personal insightful verse wouldn’t have been sufficient to get the venture off on the best foot, inserting a blistering J. Cole characteristic on the front-end of his final pre-Def Jam launch shouldn’t be solely a daring declaration that he has no concern of being overshadowed, however that these are the circles that he rightfully runs in lately. Authoritatively declaring that it’s “bout time I acquired my respect,” The Butcher is not asking you, however telling.
From the outset of the venture, the grand musical expansiveness of The Plugs I Met or Burden Of Proof is notably absent in favor of an icy minimalism that may as properly be a second residence to the Griselda crew. As such, “Johnny P’s Caddy” units the tempo in additional methods than one.
Plunging us into acquainted however no much less sinister territory, “Again 2x” takes us into the murky and desolate world of Daringer’s manufacturing with aplomb.
An instruction handbook on the pitfalls of road life, Benny glides as solely he can over such a downbeat backdrop. In one other instance of Benny’s propensity for neatly marrying monitor and visitor, Range God Cooks is as suitable as anybody may very well be for this world and it’s one which they flesh out with their very own distinct approaches to verbal illustration.
A collision of worlds between Griselda’s Buffalo camp and their Detroit outpost, the Boldy James-aided “Weekend In The Perry’s” permits Benny to doc the prolonged come-up of the crew at massive over a glittering soul loop from Alc, proclaiming:
Who did not I placed on? Took Ls after which I regroup
On a shoestring funds, I confirmed them what I might do
Ask Jake and ask Cap ’bout the bosses that I produced
I am West’s greatest funding, however that is between me and also you
Though he’s normally content material in his personal, coke-inflected mythology, Tana Speak 4 permits Benny to step into the broader heritage of trappers-turned-rappers as he gives some trendy appendices to one in every of Biggie’s famed sermons.
Described to The Breakfast Membership as his try to “carry that Biggie power to 2022,” “10 Extra Commandments” even interpolates that unique Chuck D intro earlier than he recites his personal golden guidelines for the drug recreation.
Actively co-signed by the Dangerous Boy camp, Diddy seems with a view to develop upon the hustler’s mindset and descriptions the paradigm shift that’s occurred in tradition and society for the reason that first version dropped.
We ain’t gotta repeat the previous, the crack period
And do what we did earlier than, what I am sayin’?
We one of many world’s most precious commodities
That is black tradition, child
From new acquaintances to relations, Benny continues to place his greatest foot ahead on the dizzyingly self-referential “Guerrero.” Bolstered by Westside Gunn, Benny gives the proper fan service for long-time followers with well-woven bars that nod in the direction of tracks throughout its predecessor of Tana Speak 3 and the Hit-Boy-helmed Burden Of Proof from 2020.
An fascinating strategy to a verse, moments akin to this make it clear that there is no such thing as a dearth of creativity at play right here. And whereas his impeccable lyrical means can’t be contested nor disputed, maybe his willingness to abscond from his consolation zone might.
Though his proclamation that we would like him “again on that Daringer s**t” on “Again 2x” holds weight, it doesn’t essentially depict your entire image. Whereas we definitely need these beats to stay along with his universe, it’d even be nice to see him replicate the virtuosity that he shows over this tried and true manufacturing with another sonic instructions.
Plus, it should be mentioned that for all Tana Speak 4 by no means ceases to interact, the context of its placement within the broader Griselda timeline doesn’t assist issues. In any case, on condition that it looks like an extension of preexisting themes, it could possibly’t probably appear as pertinent or timeless as the private odyssey that Conway The Machine just provided us on God Don’t Make Mistakes.
That mentioned, Benny isn’t shy about alluding to the struggles and the circumstances which led him to a lifetime of hustling. Though littered all through the venture in finely crafted bars, the sense of helplessness that he’s skilled comes throughout most acutely on “Billy Joe” as he rhymes, “I wasn’t actually good at shit so sellin’ poison suited me, low-income based mostly livin’, my pops averted schoolin’ me.”
Elsewhere, on the uncompromising “Bust A Brick Nick,” Benny touches on the dichotomy between skilled success and private losses that comes with making it out.
Whereas Benny does take center-stage for a lot of the venture, he’s not shy in relation to going blow-for-blow with a few of his acquainted allies.
Over a serene, Alchemist beat, “Tyson vs Ali” permits himself and Conway to sq. off for an intense sparring session. With each events rhyming tenaciously with a view to show that they’re as near 1A and 1B within the recreation as you will get, its title speaks to the reverence that they are each held in right now, with followers endlessly debating over who guidelines the roost as each males root for each other’s continued success.
Affectionately known as “Uncle Al” by Benny, the magnetic chemistry between Alchemist and The Butcher is held up on “Thowy’s Revenge.” Flowing in a method that’s each intricate and easy over its regal horns, Alchemist proves as soon as extra why he is nigh-on peerless at this level.
In one in every of its most fascinating lyrical moments, Benny alludes to the limitless dilemma of gatekeeping that previously underground artists face from their very own listenership after they make it large, spitting,
Followers picky ’bout the artists I fuck with
Too profitable for ’em impulsively
They gon’ blame all of it on all of this cash
Clearly, Benny isn’t seeking to place a cap on his potential with a view to appease anybody. Likewise, he isn’t pulling any punches or deceiving himself both. On the closing monitor “Mr. Chow Corridor,” Benny speaks of not solely his place within the Griselda framework, however makes reference to his place within the wider pecking order of contemporary hip-hop. Alongside the way in which, throwing what seems to be just a little dig at Shady Data for good measure by means of a conspicuously censored lyric.
They are saying West is the brains, and Benny is the star
Conway the silliest with the bars, properly, I couldn’t agree extra
‘Trigger I am on prime time TV contemporary off tour in Dior
And what that **** deal was for, my shit was ten instances extra
By itself deserves, Tana Speak 4 is a fascinating hear that seeks to indicate us new dimensions of acquainted terrain. Armed with a consistency that’s nearly unparalleled, Benny is working on the peak of his powers and with this venture, he has reassured followers that his trademark griminess and poetic road bars haven’t been neutered by his ascension within the recreation. However within the wider Benny The Butcher canon, it could possibly’t assist however really feel like a prelude to what’s ready across the nook on his major-label debut.