At one point in time, Benny The Butcher and Freddie Gibbs enjoyed a fruitful working relationship. In 2020, each appeared on the other’s album, with Benny turning in a verse on “Frank Lucas” from Freddie’s Alchemist-produced album Alfredo and Freddie returning the favor thanks to some assistance from Jay-Z on Benny’s Hit-Boy-produced Burden Of Proof offering “One Way Flight.” Both also appeared on Texas rapper Bobby Sessions’ 2021 Manifest single “Gold Rolex.” All of those tracks received praise and seemed to indicate that the two rough-voiced street rappers were on friendly terms — they even teased a potential joint album to be released in 2022 — so why are they beefing now?
Freddie’s sense of humor has been the impetus behind a lot of the trouble in which he finds himself, and this time appears to be more of the same. Things seemed to have gone south in late 2021, when Freddie jokingly tweeted about a recent incident in which Benny was shot in the leg during an attempted robbery. Unfortunately, Benny wasn’t amused; months later, when Benny was asked about the status of the joint project during an interview, he said the collaboration was no longer being released. Later, in another interview, he said the opportunity to complete the album “came and went.” When Freddie laughed off the response with an unsubtle reference to the robbery, Benny snapped back on Twitter.
From there, the pair’s problems appear to have escalated to physical violence; Benny and his crew were seen brawling with Gibbs at a local restaurant when he stopped in Benny’s hometown, Buffalo, to do a show. He performed that show with a black eye. Ever since, they’ve been taking jabs at one another via social media, such as a video Benny posted showing off a chain allegedly stolen from Gibbs’ girlfriend during their restaurant fight. While Fred has sent repeated invitations for another, one-on-one bout, Benny seems content to taunt him and demean his “gangsta” aesthetic after Gibbs failed to produce a gun during the brawl (which… should be a good thing, right? Like, do you want him to shoot you? Everybody I know who has ever been shot says it sucks). And so, not only do we not get that collab album, we get to watch two grown men squabble on the internet like high schoolers. This can’t even really be all that fun for fans of immature rap beef because we haven’t gotten one diss track out of it. Hopefully, that’ll change; even better, maybe they can actually hash out their differences and get back to making more great collabs.