Our new music feature Rap Song of the Week breaks down the hip-hop tracks you need to hear every Friday. Check out the full playlist here. This week, Benny the Butcher recruits J. Cole for his new single, “Johnny P’s Caddy.”
Hip-hop fans who haven’t been paying attention might be surprised to hear Benny the Butcher landed a J. Cole feature on his latest single, “Johnny P’s Caddy,” but they’ve actually known each other for nearly three years. The Buffalo rhymer was one of the artists hand-picked by Cole for the mythical Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions, and he clearly made a strong impression despite not making the final cut.
It was part of the formerly insular North Carolina MC stepping outside his inner circle by handing out rare features to trap rappers like 21 Savage, Offset, and Moneybagg Yo. So in 2022, a J. Cole and Benny the Butcher collaboration makes sense. “Johnny P’s Caddy” is the lead single for Benny’s upcoming album, Tana Talk 4, and it features a haunting beat from 2021 Producer of the Year The Alchemist.
Benny opens the track with a verse about his transition from the streets to one of the best rappers alive, which has come from the same type of hard work he once put into dealing drugs. “That was really me, n****, I ain’t have to act in Conflicted,” he spits, while referencing his starring role in a Griselda movie. “Only difference is I’m livin’, and I would’ve whacked one of ’em n****s/ Who knew that after drug dealin’ I’d still be casual spending mil’ plus?”
Obviously, Cole doesn’t have the same pedigree, but he takes the opportunity to make the case for being tougher than the rappers who fake a drug-dealing past with lyrics like, “But the guns and the drug bars that y’all relyin’/ Got these nerds thinkin’ that you n****s hard as I am.” While the Dreamville boss never ran the streets, there’s no disputing that he has long had the bars to be in the upper echelon of hip-hop.
Tana Talk 4 doesn’t have an official release date as of yet, but based on “Johnny P’s Caddy” alone, it will be an early album of the year contender.