Benny The Butcher continues his prolific output with a new project The Plugs I Met 2. Recorded at the same time as one of 2020’s best albums, Burden Of Proof, he teams up with Harry Fraud to create an album built by and for the streets.
“I came in as an underdog, to filling out my position as one of the elite rhymers in the industry. Plugs 2 expands upon that mindset; the same confidence, same attitude, cocky, but I still have something to prove” Benny The Butcher says in a statement.
As the cover art would suggest (similar artwork was on The Plugs I Met), this album is about moving weight with several references to The Godfather and The Sopranos. The first song title is a perfect example, “When Tony Met Sosa,” which ties even further with Butcher who grew up on Montana Ave in East Buffalo.
The project was produced by Harry Fraud and that creates a very cohesive sound all the way through. With a singular idea between the two artists, plus guests including Chinx (RIP), it feels very much like a record that fits both Fraud and Butchers.
“Plugs 2 is the story of a hustler who has realized success but understands how fragile it is. Lyrically, the album shows Benny reflecting on what he’s sacrificed to get here and what he’ll need to do to continue his rise to the top,” Harry Fraud explains. “With this project, we set out to transport the listener into a world that was lush, but still gritty, triumphant, but still emotional and sonically diverse across the board.”
There is an acceptance of what Benny The Butcher has done in the past. On “Live By It” he details a method of robbing people, donning a UPS driver’s khaki uniform to open doors for a home invasion. On “The Journey,” he reflects on his journey from starting on the streets to eventually making it in rap. The skills he learned about being adaptable and needing to learn on your feet apply in both fields. “I learned quick because a brick don’t come with instructions,” Benny raps. On “Survivor’s Remorse” he ponders why he is the one who made it out, while there are countless others who are locked up or dead.
There is one serious blemish on this record though. Fat Joe’s line “Watch it spread like the Wuhan virus” from “Talkin’ Back” needed to be cut and considering the violence towards Asian Americans, calling COVID-19 the “Wuhan Virus” is unacceptable and racist. He also compares his court troubles to that of Harvey Weinstein's, so this verse should have been trashed.
So you can skip that song (or just the verse), but listen to the rest of the project below. Get a copy here.