Album Review | Benny the Butcher – Tana Talk 4

This album was released on March 11th this year. It’s the sequel to Tana Talk 3, which is still Benny the Butcher‘s most popular project. I enjoyed Tana Talk 3, but it didn’t blow me away like it did most people. I think it’s a good album, but I’m not head over heels in love with it. I prefer The Plugs I Met, Statute of Limitations, Pyrex Picasso & Burden of Proof personally. Don’t get me wrong; I definitely like Tana Talk 3, but I think I’m gonna like this entry in the series a lot more. I’ve only heard one track from it as of March 28th at 2 PM, but the song impressed the hell out of me, so I’m really looking forward to this project. I’m honestly expecting it to be one of the best albums of the year. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s on the same level as Conway‘s recent album, God Don’t Make Mistakes. All of the beats are handled by The Alchemist, Daringer, and Beat Butcha, so that’s pretty exciting. The features are all pretty intriguing as well. I’m expecting greatness. Hopefully I’m not let down.

The album begins with a major highlight entitled Johnny P’s Caddy, which features J. Cole & was released as the first single.

This shit is boiling hot fire. The production from The Alchemist is fire, and Benny’s verse is fantastic.

This Eastside shit still in me
My ability to turn words to imagery prolly the reason they gon' remember me
Figure we'd walk this tightrope with a feline's agility
The streets did so much shit to me, I can never live civilly
I can never leave the scene without checkin' my mirrors visually
Come with that energy 'cause some shit gon' always stick with me
They wanna know what I brought to Griselda, I say "validity"
They askin' "what work y'all niggas put in?" I'm like, "what didn't we?"
Problems that I correct through the obstacles I progress
Illogical for them to feel they responsible for our success
Besides Con' and West, tell me, who else I gotta respect?
'Cause I'm kinda perplexed, it's 'bout time that I got my respect

J. Cole fucking killed that second verse too. Y’all know I’m not the biggest J. Cole fan, but it was weird for me to see people fronting like he didn’t kill this verse. I genuinely believe that if the verse was performed by someone other than J. Cole that people would be giving it props.

Stretchin' the truth, know I never stress in the booth
They feel the pressure, me I feel like I just left the masseuse
Effortless, how I'm skatin' on these records is proof
I put your favorite rapper neck in a noose, never lettin' them loose
Cole World, the heat'll blast through your speaker
He the last of Mohicans, no weaklings last in my sneakers
Nigga want me on a song, he gon' see the wrath of the reaper
I'm prolly gon' go to Hell and Jesus ask for a feature
I'm higher than niggas and don't need a bag full of reefer
Some see the glass as empty, I see a glass full of ether
Collectin' his bread en masse like he a Catholic preacher
Just to count a nigga cash, you might need a calculus teacher

That Albert Einstein line was fire too. The song’s got a really straightforward structure, but everything’s just so well done that I can’t help but love it. I think the song is dope as hell. The following track is entitled Back 2x, and it features Stove God Cook$. I think the production from Daringer & Beat Butcha is pretty nice, and the opening verse from Benny is great. The hook from Stove God is nice, and his verse was solid. I honestly think I would’ve preferred if this was a solo track from Benny though. I definitely like Stove God Cook$ as a rapper, but he just didn’t really blow me away on this track. I think Benny easily had the better performance. It’s not like Stove God Cook$ didn’t have any good lines at all though. They both did a good job. The song is dope. The following track is a highlight entitled Super Plug.

The Alchemist’s production on this track is pretty amazing honestly. That’s the main reason I like the song so much. Benny’s rapping is of course top notch though. I even like the simplistic hook on this track too. I think the second verse is even better than the first one.

Oh shit, I been on since like the old Clipse
Sixteen hour road trip for the whole brick
Pass the toast and tell my lil' bitch, "have that stove lit"
I'ma trap out this whole shit 'long as dough print
You get advice from war from a nigga that you know bitch
I'm sittin' down with lords who got it in, they been known hits
Ain't no awards for these broads and these coke flips
Niggas want my crown, they put it on, but it don't fit

I love that closing line. There’s really nothing that I don’t like about this song. The production is phenomenal, and the rapping is superb. This shit is dope as hell. The following track is another highlight entitled Weekend in the Perry’s. The smooth, soulful production from The Alchemist is great, even though this isn’t my favorite style from him. It’s a really well done beat. The opening verse from Benny is fantastic, but I honestly think Boldy James had the best verse on the track. He fuckin’ killed this shit.

Acquainted with big execs who filthied up my name just to split a check
Feel like I been betrayed by my silhouette, mistakes was made to correct
How I deal with the fame made me get upset
Treated the same way that I lived with death, shit weighin' a nigga down
Refrainin' from different stages of self-neglect
Give me chills in my vein, takin' whatever's left
From everything that was tooken in blatant disrespect
For good, better, best, wouldn't trade it for less

If the verse from Boldy wasn’t as phenomenal as it is then I probably wouldn’t love the song as much as I do. Benny did his thing, but Boldy stood out the most here. I think the song’s dope as hell. It’s followed by yet another highlight entitled 10 More Commandments. It’s a successor to The Notorious B.I.G.‘s classic 10 Crack Commandments. I think the production from Daringer & Beat Butcha is fucking awesome. That might actually be my favorite beat on the album. I don’t know. I haven’t decided which instrumental is my favorite yet. The beat is boiling hot fire though. If you’ve heard the original song by Biggie then you pretty much should know what to expect from this track. It’s just 10 rules of advice for people that need help selling crack.

Nineteen is don't ever burn the plug, dog, that's silly shit
I had to mention it since this one wasn't on Biggie list
He knew y'all would have a hard time comprehendin' it
I mean, riskin' six figure business for pennies is kinda ridiculous
Eighteen, you better test that work before you buy it
Yeah, of course they gon' say it's fire, but you know these niggas be lyin'
Me and Fonz was OT with eighty racks, but that's on the driver
Drove back with the money 'cause when the fiend tried it, he up and denied it 

This song just makes me think of that episode of the Boondocks where Thugnificent becomes a dealer and the fiend scolds him for cooking the crack improperly. Anyway, the song is just one verse, and I honestly don’t find the content that interesting. It’s very well-executed though, and the production is godly. I didn’t care for the Puff Daddy feature, but I’d be lying if I said he really bothered me here. I think the song’s dope as hell. The following track was pretty exciting for me because it’s called Tyson Vs. Ali, and it features Conway the Machine, who’s one of my favorite rappers. This track didn’t quite end up being as amazing as I was hoping for, but it’s still very good. It’s just that the production from Daringer is too smooth. I didn’t wanna hear these two guys over such a chill, Curren$y-esque beat. This might be my least favorite beat on the album. It’s not a bad instrumental. It’s just not what I wanted. The song’s still good though. Both of the verses from Benny & Conway are great. I definitely think Conway had the better verse. The song’s far from a favorite of mine, but I definitely fuck with it to some extent. I think it’s pretty good. It’s followed by Uncle Bun, which is easily my favorite track on the album, and it’s mainly for the 38 Spesh feature. I think he sounds awesome on this song. I love the tense production from Daringer. This is what I wanted from Tyson Vs. Ali. The way Benny & Spesh are trading verses on this track is fucking awesome. I fucking love 38 Spesh’s vocal delivery during these lines…

Another run, nigga, we got rich off the right vision
To get the squares from here to there was a light mission
I planned it and all I had was a flight ticket
When I landed, I took advantage of the price difference
Listen, nigga, I got a hand that could write scriptures
But y'all take the stand and land me in tight fences
Fuck a life sentence, pray God hand me the right riches
And turn this one brick to a family of white bitches

That line from Benny about selling crack to pregnant women was fire too though. I fucking love everything about this track. It was nice to hear 38 Spesh on the mic again because he’s been focusing more on production than rapping lately. This is one of my favorite songs of the year honestly. I think it’s dope af. Unfortunately none of the remaining tracks on the album really blew me away like some of the preceding material did. I still like them though. Track 8 is called Thowy’s Revenge, and it’s got Benny’s catchiest flow on the whole album. The beat from The Alchemist is really good, but the horn loop is pretty repetitive. It gets kinda old by the time the song ends in my opinion. Benny killed this song though. I love the way he was flowing on this track. That’s the main aspect of the song that stands out to me honestly. Nothing about the song is bad at all though. I think it’s a dope track. It’s followed by Billy Joe. On my first listen of the album, this was my least favorite track on the project. I think the production from The Alchemist is really good, but it gets kinda old by the time the song ends. It’s definitely one of the least interesting instrumentals on the album in my opinion. I do like it quite a bit though. The opening verse from Benny is great.

I wasn't really good at shit so sellin' poison suited me
Low-income based livin', my pops avoided schoolin' me
So how I'm 'posed to feel? These hoеs ain't usin' me, makin' choices foolishly
It took a fed case and some more to get through to me

I just feel like the song isn’t that exciting sonically. You pretty much know what the full song sounds like after hearing the first 30 seconds. The beat doesn’t really go anywhere. The song’s still really good though. I definitely like it. The rapping is too good for me to not fuck with it. Track 10 is called Guerrero, and it has a feature from Westside Gunn. The production from Daringer & Beat Butcha is great, and the way Benny referenced so many of his previous works in the first verse was really cool.

Yeah, thank God I made it and got my money right
I'm famous, so they wonder where would I go on that one-way flight
This is what suit me, I'm in Nobu ordering sushi
War paint drippin' on Gucci, but y'all must be from the new streets
Burden of proof me, timeless, Benny, Big Sean & Tunechi
Over the limit with the new piece, blue emerald-cut jewelry
A legend in my city like Sly, it's all in the facts
This for my niggas that I lost, I'd trade it all to get back

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably already know how I felt about the Westside Gunn verse. I don’t think it was complete ass or anything, but it added absolutely nothing to the song for me. I definitely could’ve done without him. The song is still dope overall though. I fuck with it. The penultimate track is called Bust a Brick Nick. I think this track has one of Benny’s best rap performances on the whole album. The whole track is just one long verse from him, and he fucking killed it.

Make no excuses, came to the conclusion that y'all should hate me
They wanna do this, but my shooters been cutting off water lately
Too rich to incarcerate me on charges, them odds are shaky
The feds watch me get an M on TV like I'm Carson Daly
Streets tore me apart, my heart cold like a orphan baby
The pain a reminder, I feel like these is the scars that made me
Had my best run when I lost Shay, of course it's crazy
I ask God to bring him back, pray he jump out his coffin maybe

The production from The Alchemist isn’t super interesting to me, but I think it’s pretty good overall. It’s not one of my favorite beats on the album, but I definitely enjoyed it to some extent. The song is dope overall. The closing track is entitled Mr. Chow Hall. I really like how tense and serious the production from The Alchemist sounds. The song has pretty much the same structure as the preceding track. This verse is much shorter though. I think it’s a really good way to close the album honestly. It’s not one of the most memorable tracks on the project, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it’s dope.

This album is pretty great. I honestly like it more than Tana Talk 3. There’s not a single track here that I don’t like. I think the production is really good for the most part, and most of the features came through with dope performances. Benny’s rapping is about as good as it’s always been. I don’t have any consistent gripes with this album to be honest. I think Conway’s album from earlier this year is slightly better, but it’s not like it completely blows this one away. I wouldn’t argue with someone who said this was better than GDMM. Anyway, I think the reason I enjoyed this project more than Tana Talk 3 is that it’s more concise. I think it’s the perfect length. It’s all killer and no filler. If you’re a fan of Benny, I don’t see why you’d be disappointed in this record. It’s really dope to me.

Favorite Song: Uncle Bun
Least Favorite Song: Tyson Vs. Ali


Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.

Grade: B+

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