First Listen: Benny the Butcher’s ‘The Plugs I Met 2’
Benny the Butcher’s highly anticipated sequel to The Plugs I Met is finally here. The nine-track spanning The Plugs I Met 2 sees Benny sewing his hustle laden bars onto Harry Fraud’s menacing production. Upon first listen, there is clearly a ton of chemistry between the pair of artists. Fraud’s beats often employ cinematic Scarface-esque string/piano samples that elevate the harsh subject matter of the Griselda Records rapper’s writing. The whole project emanates a grittiness reminiscent of the classic gangster films that made up much of cinema in the 80s and 90s–a sound that Benny the Butcher and his Griselda counterparts have become quite well known for.
On one of the standout tracks, “Survivor’s Remorse”, Benny reflects on his success in light of how many of his peers have fallen short: “Uh, this supposed to be success/Then why the fuck I feel stressed out and guilty? (I feel stressed out and guilty)/Damn, ’cause I’m paid/And all my niggas in the Feds or the grave, that shit kill me (Dog, you know that shit kill me)/Uh, that could’ve been me (Yeah)”. Also, these bars are likely a reference to the robbery attempt that he was targeted in during November of last year–an incident that left the Buffalo rapper in a wheelchair for a period of time.
“Survivor’s Remorse” also highlights the subtle complexity of Harry Fraud’s production. The beat is cut into multiple sections that employ small changes throughout. The first half features deep sub bass heavy 808s behind a moody piano and bellowing vocal sample. This takes a stark change about three quarters of the way through the song–placing all of the instrumental elements of the song in reverse. This choice by Harry Fraud accentuates the producer’s compelling compositional talents.
Something else that pops out upon first listen are the handful of features displayed on the project. One of which being from the late Rockaway native, Riot Squad rapper Chinx (who was murdered in a shooting back in 2015). On the second track “Overall”, Chinx spits a heavy verse flexing his credibility in the streets: “I’m well-connected, ghetto accepted, very respected/These ignorant motherfuckers measure you by your necklace (Damn)/Fuck what’s in your pockets (Pockets), nigga, what’s in your bank? (What?)/You ask ’em how to sketch a witness, niggas draw a blank (Nothin’)”. This verse pairs exceptionally well with Benny’s verses as both rappers are in top form on the track.
On first listen, The Plugs I Met 2 proves to be yet another great project from Benny the Butcher–one that is enjoyable for the entirety of its runtime. Harry Fraud and Benny also gel together extraordinarily well for an all around dope listening experience. Definitely give The Plugs I Met 2 a listen for yourself in the Spotify link below. This is Benny’s second consecutive album utilizing just one producer for the projects entirety. Last year’s “Burden Of Proof” album with Grammy award producer Hit-Boy, received a 6.8 rating here on G-HOLY.com. Be on the lookout for a full length review of the project in the coming weeks.