QUICKSPINS: Benny the Butcher & Smoke DZA – Statute of Limitations


The two New York MCs join forces on gritty Pete Rock-produced EP

Benny the Butcher has spent the last few years turning heads alongside his Griselda Records labelmates. Smoke DZA has spent the better part of this decade being one of Harlem’s premier lyricists. This EP sees the pair exchanging verses over a handful of fantastic instrumentals produced by none other than the legendary Pete Rock, giving this project a classic feel.

Statute of Limitations embodies the signature boom-bap sound of 90s east coast hip hop, without sounding dated or relying on nostalgia as a crutch. Benny and DZA feel at home over these masterfully-produced instrumentals, going back and forth and bringing the best out of each other on every track.

The barrage of bars kicks off almost immediately on the album’s opener “By Any Means.”  The track features the pair weaving in and out of each other’s verses with ease, taking turns every few lines. The duo displays great synergy throughout, both together and with guest features, including Conway the Machine who delivers a show-stealing verse on “Bullets.”

Overall, this EP delivers great bars and fantastic beats, and its short runtime makes it prime for repeat listens. Benny and DZA are at the height of their abilities, and Pete Rock showcases the skill set that proves why he is considered an all-time great in the genre.


Trial Track: “Drug Rap”

Star Bar: 

“Me and Smoke like weed and Coke

Hundred keys of dope hit the port of Miami, via boat

If it’s ’bout paper, we approach

I’m stretchin’, John Legend, pressin’ keys and seein’ notes” (Benny the Butcher on “By Any Means”)

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