TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Benny the Butcher

We’re concluding Rap Month with Buffalo MC Benny the Butcher. Alongside Conway the Machine and Westside Gunn, he’s a member of the hip-hop collective Griselda. He’s an incredibly prolific rapper. Benny’s not even forty yet and he’s got dozens of LPs, mixtapes and other releases to his name. He joins Bullseye to talk about his upbringings in Buffalo, New York and how he got into rapping. Plus he breaks down his track “10 More Commandments” – a response to a classic Biggie Smalls song.

Guests: Benny the Butcher


[00:00:00] Music: Gentle, trilling music with a steady drumbeat plays under the dialogue.

[00:00:01] Promo: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of and is distributed by NPR.

[00:00:14] Music: “Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team—a fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

[00:00:21] Jesse Thorn: It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. This next interview is our last one in our rap month, and our guest is Benny the Butcher. Benny is from Buffalo, New York. Alongside Conway the Machine and Westside Gunn, he’s a member of the hip-hop collective Griselda. Benny is a hard worker. Incredibly prolific. He tours a ton. He’s not even 40 yet, and he’s got dozens of LPs and mixtapes and other releases to his name. In fact, since 2009, he hasn’t gone a single year without releasing something. All that is even more extraordinary when you consider his health. Benny suffers from severe asthma. He’s been to the emergency room more times than he can count. He’s had to cancel shows and interviews. It’s hard to imagine being an MC with asthma. It’s especially hard to be an asthmatic MC with a flow as complex and fierce as Benny the Butcher’s. Benny’s latest album is Tana Talk 4. It came out last year. Here was the first single from it, “Johnny P’s Caddy”.

[00:01:24] Music: “Johnny P’s Caddy” from the album Tana Talk 4 by Benny the Butcher.

Butcher coming

This ain’t my story ’bout rags to riches, more ’bout how I mastered physics (Uh-huh)

In the game, I used to train like Rocky, catching chickens (Yeah)

I was nice, but they was right when they told me that rap a business

I had ten bands in my stash when I passed over half a million

Come easy? No good, don’t be surprised I outlast these—

It’s like they put out a smash, then they’re gone in a flash, admit it

And then they make tracks…

(Music fades out.)

[00:01:46] Jesse Thorn: Benny the Butcher, welcome to Bullseye.

[00:01:48] Benny the Butcher: Yes sir, man. Thanks for having me.

[00:01:50] Jesse Thorn: It’s nice to have you here. I’m glad that you have some cold water there. (Chuckles.) You just walked in the door. It’s rare that we have a guest so “just walked in the door”. Like, you sat down, asthma inhaler, handed some water. (Chuckles.)

[00:02:05] Benny the Butcher: And a blunt, don’t forget that. (Laughs.)

[00:02:07] Jesse Thorn: Yeah, exactly. I’m glad you’re not—my studio is too small. You’d be stinking it up. So, well, I appreciate you being here. Thank you so much.

[00:02:16] Benny the Butcher: Yes, man. It took me a while to get here, man. I had some difficulties going on, but I’m here, baby!

[00:02:21] Jesse Thorn: Are all recording studios in Buffalo, New York—do they all look like Victorian mansions? Because that’s what it looks like you’re recording from. (Chuckles.)

[00:02:31] Benny the Butcher: Yo, and this kind of feels like when like you—just like a—what is this? Like, a suede curtain right next to me? But man, this is the home recording studio of the famous Goo Goo Dolls.

[00:02:43] Jesse Thorn: Now we’re talking! Tell me about your asthma. Is that something that you’ve dealt with since you were young?

[00:02:51] Benny the Butcher: Yeah, it runs in my family. And honestly, I haven’t always been like the—I haven’t always taken care of it the way I was supposed to. So, it’s at a point where, you know what I mean, it’s bad. I’m not going to lie. It’s bad. I was just in the hospital like two/three days ago. I’m in the hospital maybe, mm, three/four times a year. The time before that—a couple of nights ago, I went to the hospital, to the emergency room when I was on the Thank God I Made It Tour. I was in the emergency room in Greece. And then, I came back across the water, and I was watching something on the internet, and it was like, “Never go to the emergency room in Greece!”

I’m like, damn, been there, done that. But yeah, man, asthma’s crazy.

[00:03:34] Jesse Thorn: There’s a lot of rappers with asthma. Pharoahe Monch was on this show. And he—you know, he always has an inhaler on stage. You know, I think Tyler the Creator has asthma. I read that Big Daddy Kane has asthma.

[00:03:47] Benny the Butcher: Yep. Jay-Z. Uh, Biggie Smalls. Yeah, I know like the asthma lineage in hip-hop.

[00:03:55] Jesse Thorn: I think it is particularly an interesting challenge for a rapper, because rap is so much about controlling and managing your breath. I mean, all singing is. But I think rap in particular is like built on being able to manage your breath in extraordinary ways, you know? And when your breath is also like threatening to kill you at any moment, it’s a difficult path to walk.

[00:04:26] Benny the Butcher: (Chuckles.) That make it difficult. I’m not gonna lie. It’s like sometimes before I get on the stage I’m thinking like, “How? How am I gonna make this work?” But I do it, so it’s been maybe once at the most. I don’t—I can’t remember it. Twice? But I know one time I had to cancel a show in Detroit for asthma. But a lot of times, I do shows. Like, when I’m a little short of breath, I can handle it. So, if I ever cancel a show, it’s because it’s like, damn, I was damn near about to die. I can’t—you know what I mean? I can’t even function.

[00:04:58] Jesse Thorn: What do you have to do to manage it?

[00:05:01] Benny the Butcher: This is what I—this is what I need to do. I need to be—I need to take my medicine. I need to take the prednisone. I need to take the Advair. They give me the—when you take the Advair every day, man, you could be good. Some people like leave the asthma pump at home. Like, I can’t do nothing without my asthma pump. So, I need to stay on top of the Advair, the daily medicine. I need to stay on top of that. And you know, man, lay off these marijuana cigarettes maybe. But you know, I’m trying, baby.

[00:05:35] Jesse Thorn: We’ll be back in just a second. It’s Bullseye from and NPR.

[00:05:40] Music: “Crowns for Kings” from the album The Plugs I Met by Benny the Butcher.

This marathon—, so let’s see who first to the finish

If it’s less than a hundred racks, it don’t deserve your attention

‘Cause burdens come with it, my second test was serving a sentence

My first was make a brick jump like it was hurdling fences…

(Music continues under the dialogue.)

[00:05:54] Jesse Thorn: It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. I’m talking with Benny the Butcher of Griselda.

[00:06:00] Music: “Crowns for Kings” by Benny the Butcher.

… before you heard of me

Shoeboxes stacked with racks sitting vertically in them

I’m fresh out of luck, I’m here ’cause I deserve to be

I sat back, a vet, and watched beginners winning my belts

Burned my bridges, came back a good swimmer like Phelps

You know the feeling, young Black male, what y’all dealing?

Take your whole life to get it, it only last you a minute

In the kitchen counting cash with cats with backward agendas

Put a Benz in the brick, then toss it back in the blender

That was us, next to a Big like I was Puff

(Music fades out.)

[00:06:26] Jesse Thorn: You’re in Buffalo, New York, where you’re from, right now. How much of your time do you spend there?

[00:06:31] Benny the Butcher: I maybe spend maybe like 20-30% of my time here. My family is still here, my children, my mom. My studio is here. The studio was more so set up for the artists and for the staff to run day to day. But I spend about 20-30% of my time. I spend a lot of time back home in Atlanta or on the road. But sometimes I come here just to get inspired. Sometimes I come here and just sit in a crib for a day, and nobody even know I’m here. I don’t let them know I’m here until maybe the next day or something. Just come here to collect my thoughts. It’s so crazy that I just wanted like—how hard I just wanted to get away from this place a few years ago. And now, just to settle everything down, I might just come back. You know what I mean? It’s crazy.

[00:07:19] Jesse Thorn: It can feel so much more different when you leave and come back as well.

[00:07:23] Benny the Butcher: Mm-hm. Mm-hm. Come back and—see, when I come back now, it’s like a totally different city, because I’m a totally different person. I’m not hanging around in the same place as I used to. You know what I mean? I’m not doing it—it’s like a different Buffalo for me. I’m not going to lie. That’s how I’ll describe it. I’m not even going to lie to you. It’s like there’s like rich people, Buffalo. You know what I’m saying? Like, before I was like—you know, we was in the hood. We was doing east side Buffalo things, but now I come here, and I’m hanging with the Buffalo aristocrats. (Chuckles.) It’s crazy to me.

[00:07:59] Jesse Thorn: Who are the Buffalo aristocrats that we’re talking about? I mean, I gotta assume the Buffalo Bills, comedian Joe Pera. That’s all I got, though. (Laughs.)

[00:08:07] Benny the Butcher: You got the Bills. You got the Buffalo celebrities, but you also have like doctors here. You know what I’m saying? You also have like—it’s another guy here who has a clothing company, my boy E. Ross. He comes back and forth to Buffalo, but you know, he makes a lot of money, and he comes back. And I can see the same thing that I’m talking about in me and him. Just you know, like public officials, just anybody you could name who’s doing things. It’s like social media influencers who I didn’t even know existed. You know what I’m saying? But you know, they write from here, and you know, we—it’s like one small circle, just how like the hood and the ghetto is the same thing; it’s like it’s one small circle of like people doing extraordinary things, but they all like hang out at the same places. And you know what I’m saying? And do the same thing.

[00:09:06] Jesse Thorn: How many people did you live with when you were a kid?

[00:09:09] Benny the Butcher: Well, my mom had eight children. So, think about that. Maybe was—so, it was always like six or seven kids in the house at a time, at a point in time. My mom, maybe one of my aunts living there, my stepdad, yeah. So, maybe like seven people. I remember one time I lived in a house with 11 people.

[00:09:37] Jesse Thorn: Where were you among your siblings in age?

[00:09:41] Benny the Butcher: I’m the second oldest. Rest in peace to my older brother, Machinegun Black. He passed away, October 2006, and ever since then I’ve been like my oldest—my mom’s oldest living child. But he died when he was 24 and I was 21, and I’m 38 now. So, that’s how long I’ve been like my mom’s oldest living child.

[00:10:05] Jesse Thorn: Your mom was using when you were a kid, right?

(Benny confirms.)

How old were you when you realized this about your mom?

[00:10:13] Benny the Butcher: Yeah, I had to be like five or six years old. Five or six years old, guaranteed, because we still lived in the neighborhood. I remember the house that we lived in. It was in Plainfield Projects, and I know how old I was living at that apartment, and it was that apartment specifically.

[00:10:32] Jesse Thorn: What did that even mean to you when you were that age?

[00:10:39] Benny the Butcher: I didn’t know how detrimental it was. I just knew my mom was doing something wrong. I didn’t know—I didn’t know addiction was a disease. I didn’t know nothing, really. I just knew it was wrong, because it was talked about on TV, and there was “say no to drugs”, and I knew it was drug paraphernalia. I just knew it was wrong, you know what I’m saying? So, you know, when you’re a kid like that, you think your mom could do no wrong. Everything she’s doing was right. So, it was kind of like, damn, my mom’s doing something wrong. I kind of like—it kind of like make me look at her with the side eye. You know. I mean, you know how kids are honest. You know what I’m saying? I kind of like looked at it with a side eye like, “You’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing Mommy. What you doing?”

[00:11:27] Jesse Thorn: You and your older brother must have had times when you had to take care of your siblings.

[00:11:35] Benny the Butcher: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Like look after. Definitely look after. I was in a foster home for a minute. At that point in time, my mom had four children, and then we all got to stay together. So, you know, definitely. And I was nine years old, but I definitely—that’s the first time I felt the sense of, “I got to look after my little brother and my little sister.” And I know my brother felt like he had to look after all of us. Yeah, definitely man.

And I do that now. I do that now. I try to look out for my sisters and brothers as much as I can right now. But definitely, man, we had to look out for each other. So, it was eight of us.

[00:12:14] Jesse Thorn: I’m Jesse Thorn. It’s Bullseye. My guest is rapper Benny the Butcher.

[00:12:18] Music: “Legend” from the album Burden of Proof by Benny the Butcher.

Who can I depend on? Marry the game and death to my in-laws

Feds don’t got no mercy for a big dog

Kite from my man, he said I’m at where I deserve to be

Jammed up, he ’bout to take a plea for a thirty piece

My heart dropped when they pulled them TNT vans up

Now we getting caught by them TMZ cameras

Barely made it, we succeeded with the least chances

My team got a will strong enough to beat cancer

Master’s in dope, before that, I had a Bachelor’s in—

I’m like Ali, I fight better with my back on the ropes

Labels, I passed them up, it’s like they after the flow

And my legacy…

(Music fades out.)

[00:12:48] Jesse Thorn: You’ve rapped a lot about street selling—selling drugs—and a lot about the depth of your conflicted feelings about it. When did you start selling, and when did you stop?

[00:13:19] Benny the Butcher: I started when I was 14. When I moved—I moved to Georgia. I stayed in a foster home. Ever since—when I went to—nine. I left my mom’s house when I was nine years old. And when I finally moved back, I was 14. So, when I moved back into my mom’s custody, and things weren’t ideal. My boy—I was moving back from Atlanta, and my best friend, City Boy, told me—he was 15 at the time. He told me like, “Yo, you know, your mom not doing good. So, you’re gonna have to like step it up and help her.” You know what I’m saying? It’s like, you know—it was like you got to like grow up fast that you’re back. Because he’s saying that I—my first few days back, I was playing football, eating ice cream. And he told me where to get some drugs I could sell, and I went to get a double up. And I started that—not that day, but I started like that summer. When I was 14.

[00:14:12] Jesse Thorn: I mean, Benny, you’re talking about—(chuckles) frankly, you’re talking about the stuff that 14-year-olds should just get to do. I mean like I’m 42, and I like eating ice cream.

(Benny agrees.)

You know what I mean? I don’t think I’m qualified to play football anymore, but maybe ride a bike.

[00:14:34] Benny the Butcher: That’s what I was ready to do. I was ready to come back and be a kid. It was summer—the summer of 1999. I was turning 15. Later on, that year, I was back with all my old friends that I grew up with. Who I haven’t lived—it was on Montana. I moved back on Montana Avenue. And I haven’t lived on the street in like a couple years. I was happy to be with my old friends. I didn’t wanna like face the reality of what was going on. I knew—like, my boy, City Boy, I knew he was like ahead of his time, and he was doing that (censor beep). And I didn’t run behind him and chase and do it because he was doing it. I recognized he was doing it, and I didn’t want no parts of it. ‘Cause I’m still a kid. You’re still a kid when you’re 14. So, I was ready to be a kid.

[00:15:16] Jesse Thorn: How engaged were you with the risks and consequences of what you were up to?

[00:15:28] Benny the Butcher: Uh, the consequences—honestly, man, you know, I don’t know if people tell the truth like this, but they weren’t that real to me. Because everybody was doing it, you know. It wasn’t that real. And when I finally did get caught with some drugs by the time I was 16, it was a slap on the wrist. And for a 16-year-old, I ran a pretty elaborate operation, you know. So, just to get probation for that—you know, like we knew those things. You know, we had friends who was hanging with us, toting guns. And so, it was like the consequences wasn’t that real. And we was—we accepted them as far as what we believed them to be. Because, you know, tell me back then that my brother’s gonna be dead, I’m gonna spend 10 years in and out of prison—a 10-year period in my life, my 20s in and out of prison—and this is gonna happen, or that’s gonna happen. I’m not sure I would’ve jumped in that (censor beep) how I did.

So, you know, the consequences, you know, and the dangers of it wasn’t that real to us until we grew to have things to lose. You feel what I’m saying? Until I had children. That’s when the consequences get real is when you got kids. That’s when I started—and I was still going to—my daughter’s first birthday was when I was in prison. So, that’s when it started to hurt, or I started to feel like a failure in life. Like, everybody want to be there for their kid’s first birthday. You know, I’m never gonna get that back. Ever. No matter how good our relationship is right now, no matter what I got, you know, I’m never gonna get that back. You know, so until you got (censor beep) to lose, man, the consequences really don’t—it’s nothing.

[00:17:21] Jesse Thorn: How old were you when your older brother died?

[00:17:26] Benny the Butcher: I was… I wanna say, yeah, I was 22. I was 22. They called me to the counselor’s office. Now, I’m in federal prison at the time. I got a cell phone in the prison. So, when they called me up to the counselor’s office and tell me that my family wanna speak to me, first thing I’m thinking of is like, “Why y’all didn’t just text me? Why didn’t you call me if you want to speak to me?” And I remember my baby mother, she asked me how I’m feeling. You know, now I’m talking to—on the phone with her in front of the counselor, and she asked me how I’m feeling. I’m thinking like—now, I’m getting annoyed. I’m like how I’m feeling? I’m like why—why are you? I can’t say it in front of the counselor, but I’m thinking like why you didn’t just call me? Like, what are you doing?

I’m like, “I’m feeling good. Like, how are you feeling?”

And she was like, “They must have didn’t tell you.”

And I’m like, “Tell me what?” Then, I look at the counselor, and he like look away at me. Now I really want to know. And I’m like, “Tell me what?” And then she told me. You know what I’m saying? And that’s a feeling that never goes away, you know? ‘Cause my relationship with my brother is—he was a protector, man. Whoever he loved and liked and hung with and spent his time with, he felt responsible for those people. He felt responsible for those people. That’s why Westside Gunn talks about him the way he do. You know what I mean? ‘Cause—you know what I mean? Like, they had that kind of—they had that type of relationship too. Man.

And coming home after a bit and you don’t got your like your older brother—I was still a baby boy. I was only 22 when I came home. And my older brother, you know what I mean, not around. And I kind of feel like naked. I kind of feel like bare. I didn’t know who to trust. We didn’t know what happened at the time, so I didn’t really get answers. So, it was a scary time. You know what I’m saying? Paranoia, not being able to sleep. And when I am able to sleep, like I had—maybe I had a dream about him for a year straight. It’s crazy.

[00:19:50] Jesse Thorn: You only had a few months left in your sentence when he was killed, and you weren’t able to go to his funeral.

[00:20:03] Benny the Butcher: I was due to be released in 90 days. I was getting out of prison in 90 days, right? With no parole, no nothing. And they told me I was a flight risk. And to be honest with you—I’m gonna keep it real with you. I don’t—I don’t know if I—I don’t—it would have been good to say goodbye to my brother, but I’m not sure if I wanted to be there, you know? And see my mom crying like that. I’m not sure I wanted to see that. You know? My grandmother there. You know, his children there. No, I’m not sure if I could have handled that. I’m not going to hold you. You know, that tore me apart.

[00:20:48] Jesse Thorn: He was a rapper as well and a good one.

(Benny agrees.)

I’ve only heard a little bit of him rapping, but he’s a talented guy. Did it change your relationship to making music when he was killed?

[00:21:03] Benny the Butcher: Hell yeah. It made me—you know, he was also one of my biggest supporters. He was also—definitely, you know what I’m saying? He—like, when he started rapping, when he started getting good, people would tell him like, “Yo, you getting good.”

He’d always just be like, “No, you should hear my little brother.”

You know? So, definitely. You know, I know him; that’s my brother. I can still like just imagine how he’d react. And I can still hear him in my head. So, you know what I mean? Like, that keeps me pushing, you know what I’m saying? That’s a driving unit for me. You know what I mean?

[00:21:35] Jesse Thorn: We’ve got to go to a quick break. Benny the Butcher recorded a response to a classic Biggie Smalls song. And when we come back, we’ll hear it and break it down. It’s Bullseye, from and NPR.

[00:21:49] Promo:

(Sci-fi beeping.)

Music: Cheerful synth.

Benjamin Harrison: Greatest Trek is the podcast for all your modern Star Trek needs. It’s funny, informative, and now it’s also timely.

Adam Pranica: That’s because every Friday, right after the release of a new episode of Strange New Worlds, Picard, Lower Decks, Discovery, or Prodigy, we bring you a review of that episode.

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Adam: You’ll like our show because we’re both former video producers, so we bring a lot of insight into the production and filmmaking aspects to these episodes.

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(Sci-fi beeping. Music ends.)

[00:22:33] Transition: Relaxed, jazzy synth.

[00:22:37] Jesse Thorn: Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. If you’re just joining us, my guest is Benny the Butcher. He’s an acclaimed MC and a founding member of the hip-hop collective Griselda. His 2022 mixtape, Tana Talk 4, features contributions from J Cole, Diddy, and fellow Griselda member Boldy James. He also just announced a new album, Everybody Can’t Go, set to be released later this year. Let’s get back into my conversation with Benny the Butcher.

I was listening to one of the singles from Tana Talk 4, your record from last year. And it is like a—it is a reimagining of the famous Biggie song, “10 Crack Commandments”, called “10 More Commandments”. You have Diddy on the record. And like, other people have reimagined this song in different ways, you know. It’s a great format. But like, you start by getting into these kind of nitty gritty things about selling crack, right? And they are—you know, that’s in the spirit of the original song. Like, it’s like these sort of like “be careful to do this” things, you know. Be careful on social media is one of them, right?

(Benny confirms.)

[00:24:01] Music: “10 More Commandments” from the album Tana Talk 4 by Benny the Butcher.

And your bills starting to get old (Damn)

14, just lead by example

‘Cause you could be richer, but my hand don’t equal triple the financial difference

13 tricky, B.I.G. couldn’t even approach it

When he was slinging and toting, this wasn’t even a focus

No social media posting, greedy emotions

Chase fame and not the money, that’s broke, y’all be on ho—

Rule number 12, I know this one a little too well

Stand for something or fall for anything (Anything)

Respect is like a shield (Uh-huh)

(Music continues under the dialogue.)

[00:24:30] Jesse Thorn: I’m wondering as I’m listening to this like what is it—where is he going with this song? You know what I mean? And it’s very hard—it’s very easy to—it’s very easy to misstep, because it’s very easy to like either make this record about why you should make easy money selling people crack, and it’s also very easy to make this record about why drugs are bad. Which, you know, crack cocaine is at least significantly bad, but like, you know, it’s not much of a song.

(Benny chuckles and agrees.)

And where you go with the song is essentially you have to get out.

[00:25:27] Music: “10 More Commandments” by Benny the Butcher.

… hope y’all don’t get no ideas

You gotta live the way I lived to talk the— I just did

Ten more crack commandments, ah

Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah

Check this out, it’s all in the mindset, you know

It’s all in the mindset

You can’t judge people for how they got it

My daddy used to be a hustler, you feel me?

But like we a different generation, a different time

We ain’t gotta repeat the past, the crack era

(Music continues under the dialogue.)

[00:25:55] Jesse Thorn: It’s not a judgmental song, and it’s not a celebratory song.

(Benny agrees.)

It ultimately is a song about you got to get yourself out of that situation, because it doesn’t go anywhere good.

[00:26:05] Benny the Butcher: Right. That’s the number one rule. Like, remember all the movies back in the day, (censor beep), when a guy—he just wanted his $50,000. You know, that’s how all the old movies started. That’s how the nature of the business started. It wasn’t a—being a drug dealer wasn’t a destination job. Like, no, you do this for a point of time, and then you move on. You know, that was lost. You feel me? In real life and in the music. I just wanted to point that out. That’s why I made the last rule that I stated. It’s like, don’t ever (censor beep) forget that you—we only do this because we don’t have the opportunities to do that. A lot of people get in the game just to be in the game.

Social media created that window to other lives, to other norms, just to other everything! You know what I’m saying? And not only social media, technology. Just a whole bunch of other things that we can do that we don’t gotta sell drugs and kill each other no more, you know what I’m saying? To be successful, to be rich, or to be bettering our community, or to—you know what I’m saying? So, I really want people to know that. You know, these dudes, they be out here. They be—they get their little money, and they do what they do. I get it, but, you know, some of those guys are stand-up guys. Or just because you got money and you a tough guy, you know, that don’t mean like use your power in a wrong way. You know, you see it every day. These guys in neighborhoods that they don’t belong in, you know? Carrying pistols and end up getting caught with these pistols.

And I’m an advocate for the hustlers. You know, like you said, it’s not a—I wasn’t bigging the game up. I wasn’t (censor beep)ing on the game. I was just letting people know my space and where I stand. And I really want people to know like you’ve gotta get out the game.

[00:28:11] Jesse Thorn: I mean, I think part of why you are able to share that is because your own story has all of the pain associated with that game. I mean, like it’s not just even you having been to prison or your brother having been killed, but your mother having been an addict.

[00:28:40] Benny the Butcher: Mm-hm. Yeah. I know every side to drug abuse. I know every side. I done been in—I done been in AA meetings with my mom as a kid. I done graduated the program myself, happen to be—like, in prison, that’s a certificate you need. I done went back to prison with that certificate and even taught the class before. You know what I mean? Like, I know every side to that (censor beep). You right. Every side.

[00:29:17] Jesse Thorn: Benny the Butcher, I sure appreciate your time and your candor. It was really nice to get to talk to you.

[00:29:24] Benny the Butcher: Yeah, definitely, man. I enjoy your interview style, Jesse, man. I like that. You a smooth guy, man. Easy to talk to.

[00:29:32] Jesse Thorn: Benny the Butcher, his next album, Everybody Can’t Go, is set to be released later this year.

[00:29:40] Music: Funky synth with light vocalizations.

[00:29:41] Jesse Thorn: That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is created from the homes of me and the staff of Maximum Fun, in and around greater Los Angeles, California. I just made an appointment to get an updated covid shot and a flu shot for this autumn. I hope you will go and do the same and help protect yourself and everyone around you.

Our show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our senior producer is Kevin Ferguson. Our producers are Jesus Ambrosio and Richard Robey. Our production fellow at Maximum Fun is Bryanna Paz. We get booking help from Mara Davis. And hey, if you’re in Los Angeles or environs, here’s some cool news. We are joining LAist 89.3. We are so thrilled to be back on the air in our hometown of Los Angeles. Thanks, LAist! Our interstitial music is by DJW, also known as Dan Wally. Dan remixed the latest EP from the Baltimore hardcore band, Turnstile, and has been posting clips on his Instagram of the samples he used for the remix. Check out the instrumentals on his Bandcamp. Just go to Bandcamp and search for DJW Sounds. Our theme song is called “Huddle Formation”, written and recorded by The Go! Team. Thanks to them and to their label, Memphis Industries.

And Bullseye is on Instagram. I hope you will take a look for us there. You can see pictures from behind the scenes and clips from upcoming stuff and all kinds of fun stuff. We’re on IG, @BullseyeWithJesseThorn. You can also find us on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. I think that’s about it. Just remember, all great radio hosts have a signature signoff.

[00:31:23] Promo: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of and is distributed by NPR.

(Music fades out.)

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

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