Burden of Proof
Coming at the tail end of a steady wave of solid 2020 Griselda Records projects, the Buffalo, New York-based imprint may very well have saved the best for last. While his core labelmates Westside Gunn and Conway the Machine may have had more prolific release years, Benny the Butcher’s first project since the 2019 trio effort WWCD for Eminem’s Shady Records presents him in a singular context. Part of what makes Burden of Proof such a standout stems from the beat selection, all of which comes via Hit-Boy. Fresh off of a career highlight with Nas’ King’s Disease, the producer meshes exceptionally well with Benny’s street-informed verses on cuts like “Famous” and the animated boom-bap “Trade It All.” And as if his vibrant and boisterous bars weren’t enough, esteemed guests like Freddie Gibbs and Rick Ross sound energized by the upstate lyricist’s dynamic flows here.