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Benny The Butcher, Everybody Can’t Go: Album Review

Jeremie “Benny the Butcher” Pennick’s Def Jam debut, Everybody Can’t Go is here.

For the Griselda veteran, Everybody Can’t Go marks a milestone in his career – signifying his transition from being independent to graduating to the majors. 

Signing with Def Jam Recordings in 2021, the move created shockwaves among his fanbase. However, from what I’ve heard so far, Everybody Can’t Go will satisfy even the harshest critic. 

It encapsulates the ethos of exclusivity, the harsh realities of street life, and the turbulence associated with ascending in the rap game, a narrative Benny has masterfully woven into his music. 

His previous appearance on the Drink Champs podcast sheds light on his trials, tribulations, and artistic growth, offering a raw, unfiltered glimpse into the life of a treasured Hip-Hop craftsman.

Quick Summary

Benny The Butcher’s “Everybody Can’t Go” carries a sonic resemblance to “The Plugs I Met 2,” yet surpasses “Tana Talk 4” in quality. 

However, it doesn’t quite reach the heights of his acclaimed 2020 release, “Burden of Proof.” 

The album, although enjoyable – for a major label debut, it presents a feel more akin to a mixtape rather than a studio album. This distinction in its sound and structure highlights Benny’s versatility but leaves some space for the grandeur expected from major label productions. Here’s what I rated the album.

Album Review

Everybody Can’t Go” is a showcase of Benny the Butcher’s lyrical and musical maturity. The album, masterfully produced by Hit-Boy and The Alchemist, presents a rich tapestry of sounds, blending hard-hitting beats with eloquent instrumentation. Each track serves as a narrative chapter, reflecting Benny’s life experiences and artistic journey. 

The album’s title itself speaks volumes, hinting at the selective nature of success and the endurance required to stay the course in the rap game. This collection of tracks not only reinforces Benny’s status in hip-hop but also pushes the boundaries of the genre, offering listeners a diverse and profound auditory experience.

1. Jermaine’s Graduation

Produced by: The Alchemist

Mixing Engineers: Eddie Sancho

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt 

Marked by a distinct instrumental palette. The melodic piano riff, reminiscent of an introductory celebration, sets a tone of triumph and reflection as Benny asserts his presence in the hip-hop world with unapologetic bravado and reflective storytelling. His lyrics, 

“There’s a story behind that name when they call me the Pyrex Man” 

and 

“I’m Wall Street-butchering, I’m getting thirty percent off top,” 

demonstrate a blend of street wisdom and financial acumen. Benny’s journey from hardships to success is vividly portrayed through his words, showcasing his skill as a wordsmith who can weave intricate narratives. The track echoes the ethos of his album, underlining themes of resilience, authenticity, and the relentless pursuit of greatness. Benny’s lyricism in this track is a testament to his prowess as a rapper who has mastered the art of storytelling in hip-hop.

2. BRON 

Benny the butcher, BRON single cover

Produced by: Hit-Boy

Mixing Engineers: David Kim

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt

“BRON,” as the name suggests, is an ode to the iconic stature of NBA star LeBron James and features an innovative flip of Pancho Bazzara’s “Ignoraste Mis Llagrimas,” creating a soundscape that blends filtered horns, punchy bass, and an eerie backing vocal, all underpinned by psychedelic-inspired guitars licks. 

“And I’m Bron // after the chip, I told my folks at home “So long”// I move my family and my bricks to a place where it’s warm // I’m back in championship condition, I can’t resist all this winning.”

The song is yet another lyrical showcase for Benny, filled with his signature witty wordplay and a flow that would make a dynasty-era Jay-Z proud.

Fans of the Hit-Boy collabo album, “Burden of Proof,” will find the instrumentation reminiscent of the album’s lead-off track, “Burden of Proof,” indicating a return to a winning formula – “The Butcher Coming N***a!

3. Big Dog featuring Lil’ Wayne 

Benny The Butcher Featuring Lil' Wayne, Big Dog single cover

Produced by: The Alchemist

Mixing/Mastering Engineer: Fabian Marasciullo 

Teaming up with the Alchemist and featuring a verse from Lil’ Wayne, “Big Dog” is a testament to Benny’s growth. The track’s reversed instrumentation creates a hypnotic effect, perfectly complementing Benny’s delivery pattern. 

This song is a nod to Benny’s earlier collaboration with the Alchemist, a relationship first revealed in Drink Champs Episode 312, Where Benny shared that The Alchemist kept him on a short leash when they first met, only letting him lay down one song in the studio. 

Lil Wayne doesn’t disappoint, either. His contribution is on par with his performance during the acclaimed Weezy mixtape era, with bars like: 

“B***hes on me like fleas // but I don’t need no bugs, bunny.” 

In this line, Lil Wayne demonstrates his trademark wordplay with a clever twist of phrases. The play on words with “fleas” and “bugs, bunny” is a witty double entendre, referencing both the persistence of admirers (likened to fleas) and cleverly alluding to his lack of interest in scoring any more leeches that won’t add value to his circle – capturing the essence of what fans adore most about Weezy.

4. Everybody Can’t Go feat Kyle Banks

Produced by: Hit-Boy

Mixing Engineers: David Kim

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt 

Up next is the album’s title track and it doesn’t disappoint. The instrumental is a treat for true hip-hop heads featuring a chopped sample flip paired with knocking drums and a soothing backing vocal. 

The line “First I made a couple dollars, then my status changed” encapsulates his transition from street hustle to mainstream success. Benny’s clever use of metaphors, like comparing himself to Barry Bonds in a batting cage, adds depth to his storytelling, illustrating his resilience and strategic mindset.

The chorus, featuring Kyle Banks, complements the verse with its introspective tone, questioning loyalty and success.

5. TMVTL

Produced by: The Alchemist

Mixing Engineers: Eddie Sancho

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt 

“First thing they teach you when you get status as a thug Is trust more valuable than love”

In “TMVTL” Benny the Butcher crafts a narrative rich in imagery and steeped in the harsh realities of street life. The lyrics “I’m from where tragedy made us strengthen and casualties don’t make a difference” and “First I made a couple dollars, then my status changed” reflect a life shaped by adversity and the pursuit of success amidst challenging circumstances.

This track stands out for its raw, unflinching look at the consequences of choices made in the pursuit of power and respect. Benny’s storytelling is vivid, painting a picture of life’s complexities and the value of trust over love in a world where survival is paramount. The chorus emphasizes this theme with lines like “trust more valuable than love,” underscoring the hard-earned lessons of street wisdom. 

6. Back Again featuring Snoop Dogg

Produced by: Hit-Boy

Mixing Engineers: David Kim

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt 

In “Back Again,” Benny the Butcher teams up with Snoop Dogg to deliver a track that seamlessly combines braggadocio with a reflection on their respective journeys in the music industry. 

The song opens with a confident assertion of their enduring presence in the rap game. Benny’s verses are a vivid showcase of his journey from humble beginnings to a place of prominence, highlighted by lines that reflect his transformation and success. 

Snoop Dogg’s contributions, especially in the chorus and outro, not only add a laid-back vibe but also allude to his role in Benny’s career, as seen in lines like “Fifteen minutes on the phone, deal done.” This collaboration symbolizes a bridge between different eras of hip-hop, celebrating their longevity and impact in the industry.

7. One Foot In featuring Stove God Cooks 

Benny The Butcher Featuring Stove God Cooks, One Foot In single cover

Produced by: Hit-Boy

Mixing Engineers: David Kim

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt

As the second single featuring longtime Griselda collaborator Stove God Cooks, Benny wasted no time getting to business on this Hit-Boy-produced track:

“Everybody can’t go, and you probably won’t make it // I whip that powder to glaciers and found the oasis.”

In these opening bars, Benny’s wordplay is both fierce and vivid. The line “Everybody can’t go, and you probably won’t make it” sets a tone of survival and exclusivity. At the same time, “I whip that powder to glaciers and found the oasis” brilliantly illustrates his transformative journey from the struggle of being a troubled youth who only knew hustling on the streets of Buffalo to the sanctum of success he found in the rap game. 

The production features hard-hitting drums and filtered hi-hats, paired with distortion-driven 808 sub-bass lines that mesh seamlessly with Benny’s gritty delivery. This song reflects the rawness and authenticity of Benny’s narrative, something he detailed to N.O.R.E and DJ EFN, where he shared that his last hand-to-hand sale was right after his Hot 97 Funk Flex freestyle in 2020.

8. Buffalo Kitchen Club feat Armani Ceasar

Produced by: The Alchemist

Mixing Engineers: Eddie Sancho

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt 

“Buffalo Kitchen Club” is a testament to Alchemist’s musical genius. The track features a haunting blend of melodic minor chords, an eerie bassline, and bouncy hi-hats, creating a rich and atmospheric soundscape. 

Benny’s verses are sharp and filled with vivid storytelling, while Armani Caesar’s contribution adds a dynamic contrast to the track. Her chorus, “They ain’t f**king with Liz and The Butch,” delivered with confidence and flair, complements Benny’s gritty narrative. Together, they create a compelling picture of their ascent in the hip-hop world. 

9. Pillow Talk & Slander featuring Jadakiss & Babyface Ray

Produced by: Hit-Boy

Mixing Engineers: Dayzel “The Machine” Fowler, David Kim, Jun Kim

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt 

In “Pillow Talk & Slander,” Benny the Butcher collaborates with Jadakiss and Babyface Ray, creating a track where their distinct regional styles from Buffalo, Yonkers, and Detroit converge.

Jadakiss stands out with his verse, delivering his trademark raspy voice and witty wordplay. He reflects on the complexities of street life and loyalty, emphasizing the nuanced experiences of his journey. His lines, like “N****s from the sandbox turn into your rivals” and “It’s about what I could teach you, not what I could buy you,” resonate deeply, adding a layer of introspection to the song.

10. How to Rap

In “How to Rap,” Benny the Butcher delivers a masterclass on his journey and the evolution of his artistry, blending his street-smart background with the nuances of the music industry. The track offers a candid look into the rapper’s mindset and career, underlining the transformative power of his music.

Benny’s narrative in the song is a blend of hard-earned wisdom and reflections on the industry, providing a blueprint for aspiring artists and solidifying his status as a seasoned and influential figure in hip-hop.

11. Griselda Express featuring Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine & Rick Hyde

Produced by: The Alchemist

Mixing Engineers: Eddie Sancho

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt 

Benny the Butcher, alongside Westside Gunn, Rick Hyde, and Conway the Machine, deliver a track that’s a quintessential Griselda experience. 

The song is an excellent showcase of Alchemist’s production genius, creating a nostalgic yet fresh sound that perfectly complements the artists’ styles. 

Benny sets the tone with reflective and assertive lyrics, while Westside Gunn’s chorus adds a distinct flair. Rick Hyde’s verse brings a grounded, gritty perspective, and Conway the Machine closes the track with powerful lines that speak to his journey and determination. 

Each artist contributes a unique element, making “Griselda Express” a standout track that encapsulates the essence of their collective talent.

12. Big Tymers feat Peezy

Produced by: Hit-Boy

Mixing Engineers: David Kim

Mastering Engineers: Mike Bozzi, Bernie Grundman, Jack Doutt 

“Big Tymers,” the closing track on the album is a potent blend of reflective lyricism and a declaration of success. Benny raps about his journey and the transformation he’s undergone, with lines like “I‘m the same one who used to sell you drop” highlighting his roots and current status.

Peezy’s contribution adds another layer, bridging their shared experiences in the rap game. The track is a fitting conclusion to the album, encapsulating the themes of growth, resilience, and triumph.

Long-Awaited Def Jam Debut is Finally Here

Rising to Gold: “Johnny P’s Caddy”

Johnny P's Caddy RIAA Certification
“Johnny P’s Caddy” RIAA Gold Certification

Since Benny’s signing with Def Jam in 2021, anticipation has been building around his debut with the label. While The Butcher has seen Billboard success, a significant highlight in this period is his Tana Talk 4 single “Johnny P’s Caddy” featuring J. Cole. Independently achieving gold status, this performance has undoubtedly set a high benchmark for Everybody Can’t Go

Snoop Dogg’s Influence in Contract Negotiations

Another pivotal aspect of Benny’s journey with Def Jam is the role of rap icon Snoop Dogg in assisting Benny in negotiating his contract. Snoop Dogg’s involvement underlines that strategic moves and mutual respect within the hip-hop community are still prevalent today. Snoop Dogg clarified that Benny’s talents are to be acknowledged and valued, paving the way for a debut that’s as much about business acumen as it is about musical integrity.

Contributing to Def Jam’s Legacy

Benny The Butcher in the Studio
Benny The Butcher sporting the iconic Def Jam jacket during an Everybody Can’t Go session Image: X

Benny’s ambition to contribute to the redevelopment of Def Jam is a critical element of his journey. The Griselda OG shared on a live feed that his involvement with the label is not just about releasing music; it’s about being a part of the label’s evolving narrative. 

Def Jam’s transparency in this partnership was crucial, demonstrating a mutual commitment to honoring equitable contract terms in a valiant effort to push the boundaries of the genre forward.

Behind-the-Scenes Insights

To complement the release of “Everybody Can’t Go,” Benny offers fans an exclusive look into the album’s creation through a documentary series available on YouTube.

Benny The Butcher – Everybody Can’t Go (Episode 1)

Everybody Can’t Go – Episode 1

Benny The Butcher – Everybody Can’t Go (Episode 2)

Everybody Can’t Go – Episode 2

Benny The Butcher – Everybody Can’t Go (Episode 3)

Everybody Can’t Go – Episode 3

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Produced Everybody Can’t Go?

Everybody Can’t Go was fully produced by Hit-Boy and The Alchemist

When was Everybody Can’t Go be Released?

Everybody Can’t Go was released on January 26th, 2024

How Many Songs are on Everybody Can’t Go?

There are 12 songs on the album:

1. Jermaine’s Graduation
2. BRON
3. Big Dog ft. Lil’ Wayne
4. Everybody Can’t Go ft. Kyle Banks
5, TMVTL
6. Back Again ft. Snoop Dogg
7. One Foot In ft. Stove God Cooks
8. Buffalo Kitchen Club ft. Armani Caesar
9. Pillow Talk and Slander ft. Jadakiss & Babyface Ray
10. How to Rap
11. Griselda Express ft. Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine & Rick Hyde
12. Big Tymers ft. Peezy

Final Consensus 

In “Everybody Can’t Go,” Benny The Butcher delivers a sound that fans of “The Plugs I Met 2” will find familiar, and the album’s quality notably surpasses that of “Tana Talk 4.” However, it doesn’t quite scale the heights of his critically lauded “Burden of Proof” from 2020. This latest work, enjoyable as it is, leans more towards the feel of a mixtape than a traditional studio album.

Album Rating

With a strong 4.5/5 rating, “Everybody Can’t Go” by Benny the Butcher stands as a notable achievement in his discography, merging profound lyricism with exceptional production to deliver an almost flawless hip-hop experience.

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