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“Everybody Can’t Go:” Benny the Butcher Debuts for Def Jam

Long anticipated and even longer in the making, Benny the Butcher just made his major label debut with the release of his newest full length, “Everybody Can’t Go.” Following the biggest hit of his career with the J. Cole assisted “Johnny P’s Caddy” and some speculation about whether he remains a part of Griselda, here’s everything you need to know about this 12 track effort.

“Everybody Can’t Go” Sees Benny the Butcher Head Into New Territory

As a rule, the story of “Everybody Can’t Go” is even splits- between Hit Boy and Alchemist production, between grimy, East Coast production and more mainstream, polished fare, and between new collaborators and familiar faces. “Jermaine’s Graduation” kicks things off, and gives early indications to a few of those tendencies. The Alchemist is on tap for production, and sets a glittery, inspiring backdrop for a comprehensive, no-hook walk through of Benny’s past. Of course, there’s the requisite street-level imagery fans are accustomed to, but also some choice looks into a softer side of his story: “Me, teary-eyed and gullible, I lived it with a mother / Who struggled through addiction, I know еvery side to drug abuse.”

“Bron” is another step in a new direction. Blaring Hit-Boy horns make this closer in composition to an inspiration, Meek Mill cut than the Daringer-produced fare of previous mixtapes, and Benny the Butcher changes form in response. Rife with understandable basketball references given the title, Benny’s cadence is like a series of eurosteps- much shorter on each bar and over-emphasizing their conclusion.

In this opening chapter, “Big Dog” is unquestionably the peak. It rolls back into that aforementioned old material, utilizing a reversed sample to establish an icy atmosphere where both the Griselda MC and Lil Wayne are in tip top shape. Weezy in particular delivers an early contender for verse of the year. He slows things down from the rapid pace of recent Wayne and his verse benefits greatly as a result: “That’s a dog h*, I smack the dog s*** out your dawg, though / For that doggy bag I send you where all dogs go.”

A promotional still of Benny the Butcher, taken in anticipation of his album "Everybody Can't Go," the Buffalo rapper's latest album and first with Def Jam Records. Taken from @getbenny on Instagram.
Taken from @getbenny on Instagram.

The Album’s Second Half Features Plenty of Notable Reunions

The title track is probably the most unabashed attempt at mirroring the mainstream- Kyle Banks is on tap for hook duty and replicates the classic “rap song with a R&B hook” formula relied upon for the past several decades. While it isn’t wholly unsuccessful, it is outshined by the neighboring track “TMVTL,” a storytelling track through-and-through where Benny shines in a yet unexplored lane. “Back Again” excels in embracing a “victory lap” atmosphere, where despite Benny again excelling lyrically, you can’t help but smile given the affirmations that Snoop Dogg delivers in the close.

For the rap purists, the stretch from “One Foot In” to “Griselda Express” is red meat, featuring a smattering of characters from Benny projects past. Armani Caesar, Stove God Cooks, Jadakiss, Babyface Ray, and most importantly, Griselda label mates Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine and Rick Hyde slide in over this four track stretch. Given the reputation of each of their pens, it won’t come as a surprise that it’s hard to pick out who delivers the best verse of the bunch, but Jadakiss and Armani Caesar’s in particular are appointment listening, the type that prompt you to single-handedly make replay a whole song.

Over the past half decade, Griselda fans have been arguably the best well fed, and what Benny the Butcher supplies with “Everybody Can’t Go” won’t do anything to change that. It is clear however, that the major label debut for the Buffalo MC had expanding his fanbase in mind during the making, and some of the more accessible cuts make that a likely proposition. You can find Benny’s newest LP on streaming platforms everywhere.

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