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Album Review: Burden of Proof by Benny The Butcher

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Jeremie Pennick, or better known by his stage name, Benny The Butcher, is a rapper from Buffalo, New York. Besides some of his solo work, he also works with the hip hop groups Griselda, as well as Black Soprano Family. He has also been featured on some high profile artists' albums. He first released his mixtape, Tana Talk, all the way back in 2004. Now, several mixtapes later, Benny the Butcher releases his second studio album titled Burden of Proof.
 
The first track from the album is the title track Burden Of Proof. The track opens up with almost a classic like hip hop feeling with the guitar and the bass part. After about half a minute through the track, it cuts out and a new, more enthusiastic beat comes in. The old beat does come back in later, but the track switches between the two different beats. Benny The Butcher really comes in and kills it. He talks about how he is expanding his business, and not just his music career, he's expanding in other areas of his life.

Where Would I Go features Rick Ross. The track starts out quiet with a female chorus in the background. You eventually get some percussive instruments added in there, but it isn't too instrumentally complex to open up the track. Honestly, the beat is a bit lackluster at times so I'm not a huge fan of this track. Both artists seem to talk about their wealth and how they were able to grow. Some of them started out with a rougher and more dangerous way of getting wealthy.

Sly Green turns up the energy in the album again. You are greeted with very fast synth arpeggios that are repeated throughout the track. Other than that, you have a pretty basic, but energetic drum kit in the background. Benny's flow is pretty decent on this track, however, the themes are similar to the last few tracks. He talks about his upbringing again, but also talks about how he is much better than some of these new rappers.

One Way Flight is definitely one of my favorites off of this album, especially since it features the rapper, Freddie Gibbs. The track opens up with a female vocalist. However, about thirty seconds into the introduction, the beat finally comes in and her voice is mixed into the beat. Both of them seem to have a decent chemistry, especially since Freddie Gibbs carries the chorus on this track. I just wish both of them would experiment and collaborate more often.

The title, Famous, basically explains the concept of this track. While he said that he would rather chase money than fame, he was still able to get both in his life. The instrumental starts out with some old string sample, but it quickly cuts out after the first few seconds of the track. Once the sample cuts out, you get more of a piano based beat with the drums in the background.The track ends with what seems like a phone call about how people who doubted Benny in the beginning are probably regretting that decision now.

Timeless definitely seems like a wavy, bass heavy track. This track also features two big names in the hip hop industry, Lil Wayne and Big Sean. I'm not a huge fan of Lil Wayne, but at least he doesn't ruin the track in any way. If you read my latest review of Detroit 2, you know that I am a fan of Big Sean. Of course, the concept of the track focuses on time, but Benny usually focuses on the quick living life that has been showed off throughout the album.

New Streets is the shortest track on the album, just over two minutes in length. The beat is pretty simple and seems to focus on a synth and piano part that is just repeated for the entire track. Like I said before, it's a quick track, it's mostly just a free form track without a chorus or anything. Benny talks about the street life when he was growing up and how some of the rappers don't tell the entire story, or how some of them make it up.

Over The Limit is another favorite of mine from the album. I don't really know how to explain the beat of this track, but it definitely seems like something that could have come from the 80s. You have your heavy synths and bass parts mixed together. Dom Kennedy is also another nice addition to this track. I wish Dom Kennedy had more to do with this track, but I guess the chorus is good enough from what I'm hearing.

Trade It All is another track from the album that definitely has an older hip hop type vibe to it. You have the horn sections and the classic drumkit in the background, instead of using the normal, trap-like beats that are heavily used today. After digging a bit more, the track is supposed to interpolate Nas' Ether track. Besides that, Benny does mention some of the older generation of rappers, such as Nas, 2Pac, and Biggie. When we go to the second verse of the track, he talks about how people should be careful of what they teacher their children since they are the ones that listen to you.

Thank God I Made It is another track that has a high pitched beat, but also has some older samples with a chorus of people. Also, the addition of Queen Naija is a great selection for this track. She just nails the chorus and sets up the mood of the track. On this track, he talks about how he's thankful for making it in this career. If he was still living the same life he was living when growing up, he might know where he would be right now.

War Paint is a soft piano-filled beat, with a voice sample played in the background. This is also the longest track on the album, just four and a half minutes in length. Honestly, when Westside Gunn comes in, it kind of ruins the mood of the track. It had such a laid back vibe from Benny's rapping, and then Westside Gunn comes in with a little too much energy when delivering the chorus. On this track, they talk about some of their past struggles, but as well as accomplishments.

The last and final track from the album is Legend. It's a pretty light and layered track. It's a bit different than some of the previous tracks since it does go back to the trap-styled drum beats, and I'm assuming it's from Hit-Boy's production. Benny talks about how he is a legend now and he also goes into how he's a legend to the people in Buffalo. Even though Buffalo is in the same state as NYC, he talks about how they are different and have different struggles.

Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Burden Of Proof, Sly Green, Timeless, Trade It All, Thank God I Made It
 
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