Benny The Butcher Interview – Tana Talk 4 as Album of the Year Contender, State of Griselda Crew, Advice From Jay-Z
Benny The Butcher’s Tana Talk 4 is an undisputed album of the year contender. The Buffalo, N.Y. rapper proclaims that coveted status for the LP in 2022 in a new interview with XXL.
“I think Tana Talk 4 is definitely gon' be an album of the year contention because of who I am and what I bring to the table and the moment," he affirms to XXL on March 9, two days ahead of the project’s release. "Just off of the content, the bars, the consistency, the moves that I’m making. I’m one of the people where the game’s in good hands with me.”
The fourth installment of his coveted series, released on March 11, is packed with more heat than a Carolina Reaper pepper. The head-cracking production throughout the 12 tracks is handled by in-house beat architect Daringer, Beat Butcha and mostly The Alchemist. Benny attributes the quality of his music on this project to the art of collaboration. "I’m going to take your input because I understand what we’re doing in here together," he explains of the producers he works with. "Al[chemist], he understands that or Daringer understands that. All the guys I work with understand that. Like, yo, they could give Benny direction and he’s going to shoot, he’s going to eat."
According to him, Benny delivers consistently. Leaving no crumbs on the plate is something that he's been doing for a while now on a solo tip and alongside his Griselda comrades Westside Gunn and Conway The Machine. The latter two appear on “Guerrero” and “Tyson vs. Ali,” respectively. The three MCs have been constantly rising to the occasion, which has gained them plenty of praise and respect from hip-hop trailblazers. Back in a December of 2021 interview with XXL, Styles P of The Lox and Havoc of Mobb Deep were asked which rap group they'd pass the torch to. Without hesitation, they answered with Griselda.
Benny is humbled by the love and in this interview, sends it right back to the people that inspired his artistry. “Those are niggas' heroes," Benny says. "Those are big reasons why niggas rap the way they rap. We come from that. This is their cloth evolved to what it is today."
Jay-Z is another OG that has cosigned the movement. Benny’s presence caught the attention of Hov, which led to Benny's management deal with Roc Nation. As someone who launched his own sports agency called Big Sports Firm, runs his indie label, Black Soprano Family, and balances his own established music career, Benny notes that he’s always getting game from hip-hop’s most notable entrepreneurs: “[Jay-Z told me], 'Be fearless, do what you do. You’re the guy. Don’t let these people try to convince you that you’re not the guy. Because that’s what they’re going to do.'”
Under the guidance of Jay and now Snoop Dogg, thanks to his new record deal with the famous Def Jam Recordings, Benny is more than ready to put his new jersey on and continue to play his part. Despite the fact that he just dropped his new album, which was released through Griselda Records/EMPIRE, he’s already plotting out his next handful of wins, including the possible follow-up to 2019’s Griselda project, WWCD. “I can’t wait until I get that phone call and say we’re working on WWCD 2,” Benny says. “I think that’s only right. I think that’s some shit that should come at the end of the year.”
Though Conway The Machine fulfilled his contractual obligations with Griselda, Conway has said being part of the crew is an affiliation for life, signed or not. Same for Benny. "I'ma always be part of Griselda," Benny confirms. "They think me or Conway not contractually Griselda, they think it's smoke with each other. We're doing business, man. We're growing further as artists, as men, as execs in the game, you nah I'm sayin?"
With Def Jam as his new label home, Benny The Butcher is sitting cozy on a throne of bricks. He’s been rapping for a while, and only getting bigger and better. “It’s my turn again,” he stamps. The proof is on wax.
Watch Benny The Butcher talk with XXL about his new album, Tana Talk 4, the best coke rappers of all time, his upcoming acting endeavors, the boss moves he’s making as an exec and much more below.