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BENNY THE BUTCHER

Flexing his chops The New York rapper and member of hip-hop collective Griselda shares four classic tracks from the Big Apple that shaped his career New York hip hop is enjoying a renaissance right now, and among those leading the charge is 35-yearold rapper Jeremie Pennick, better known as Benny the Butcher. Benny and his hip-hop collective Griselda – formed in Buffalo, NY, in 2012 – have taken up the mantle laid down by the likes of Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep in the ’90s, delivering their own take on the hardcore East Coast sound. In 2017, Eminem signed Griselda to his Shady Records imprint, and last year Benny inked a deal with Jay-Z’s management agency, Roc Nation. With more than 15 years in the game, payback has been a long time coming for Benny. Here, he pays homage to some of the tracks that helped get him there… Benny The Butcher’s new album Burden of Proof is out now on Griselda Records; griseldafxr.com

The Symphony (1988)

“My pops was one of the biggest hip-hop fans alive. He listened to everything, and I got to take it all in from the back seat of the car. That’s how I first heard The Symphony. Those keys Marley Marl took from Otis Redding were stupid, and the way Kool G Rap rhymed his syllables was crazy. A monumental record.” 14

The Notorious BIG Juicy (1994)

“Juicy was a huge moment for New York. It came out at a time when the West Coast had the game in a headlock, so we were happy to have a record like this. I remember being a kid and whenever it came on the radio everyone would just smile. It’s not just one of the biggest New York anthems ever, it’s one of the biggest hip-hop anthems, period.”

Nas feat Lauryn Hill

If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) (1996)

“Hearing Nas and Lauryn on a record together was special; there’s no way this would have been the same without them. It was so New York – the video was shot in Times Square – yet it had an undeniable universal appeal. It ended up being a blueprint for so many artists who wanted to recreate that same feeling for years to come.”

Puff Daddy & The Family It’s All About The Benjamins (1997)

“The first time I heard this, all I could think about was how crazy the beat was. Then this verse from Sheek [from guests The LOX] got me: ‘I’m strictly tryin’ to cop those colossalsized Picassos.’ I mean, c’mon. Puff is so good at putting people together; it’s like he’s coaching an All-Star team. It definitely influenced Griselda.” THE RED BULLETIN

WILL LAVIN

Marley Marl feat Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap & Big Daddy Kane

Profile for Red Bull Media House

The Red Bulletin UK 12/20  

The Red Bulletin UK 12/20