The Evolution Of The 10 Crack Commandments
by Benny The Butcher
In the weeks leading up to the release of Tana Talk 4, Benny The Butcher talked about a set of 10 More Crack Commandments on The Breakfast Club. The list provides brutal yet honest insights into the world of drug dealing and crime. Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ten Crack Commandments” provided guidance to new drug dealers in the early ’90s. Benny offers a fresh perspective for those who find themselves in the same position.
This is one of my favorite songs by Benny The Butcher. The whole vibe of it, and the message that Benny wants to tell the world. I was always intrigued by the new commandments and what they would be.
I’m going to walk you through this rap song and tell you why these rules here are not only for the streets.
Most of them are also timeless rules that you can use in other areas of your life as well.
20. Number twenty gotta be to make sure that you count the money
Singles and fives under hundreds, we call that bankroll a dummy
I been on both sides of that, made a smooth relationship ugly
When dealin’ with a true connect, my first goal is get you to trust me (Uh-huh) -Benny The Butcher
When you have someone else counting your money for you, you need to count it yourself too. He knows this from experience because he has scammed other dealers out of their money. He responds to dealers who trust anyone involved with their finances. He says when he was in that role his first goal was to gain the trust of the person whose money he was about to scam.
The basic principle of this rule is that you cannot afford to trust anyone. Benny had to learn to pierce through people’s intentions. He had to see through the facade they put up.
When there’s money in the equation, it is inevitable to find people who are scheming for your downfall. Benny himself admits to having scammed someone for money. It is a rule of thumb, especially in the world he grew up in, to never trust anyone when money there’s money involved.
You don’t have to be a drug dealer to learn from this. What you need, is to widen your perspective of the rule and the rule is to learn how to see through people’s appearances. Learn their true motives and never be naive. If you suspect that your friend might be betraying you, then you need to find out why. The point is that you cannot afford to leave that stone unturned, you are building an empire.
19. Nineteen is don’t ever burn the plug, dawg, that’s silly shit (Silly shit)
I had to mention it since this one wasn’t on Biggie list
He knew y’all would have a hard time comprehendin’ it
I mean, riskin’ six-figure business for pennies is kinda ridiculous.
The plug refers to the drug supplier who deals out drugs for the distributors to sell. Benny advises you not to screw your plug. This business has the potential to make you a millionaire, so you cannot afford such a luxury.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you because you will go hungry. Never do anything that may compromise your pockets. Always keep the bigger picture in mind and that picture, in Benny’s case, is securing the bag.
18. “Eighteen, you better test that work before you buy it
Yeah, of course, they gon’ say it’s fire, but you know these niggas be lyin’ (I know, I know)
Me and Fonz was OT with eighty racks, but that’s on the driver (Two-thirty)
Drove back with the money ’cause when the fiend tried it, he up and denied it (Uh)”
Benny warns dealers to test if the product is real and if it is actually quality. He, himself, used to sell fake cocaine to users, he says.
It’s simple economics. Want to compete against your competitors? You need to make sure you have the best product at an affordable price. You can never achieve that when you do not even have the real product. This is the perspective that Benny was presenting to us.
He’s aware that people who are still caught up in the life he was once caught up in, actually listen to his music. So he warns them to make sure they test it.
17. “ Seventeen, take care of the people around you
They only appreciate how you value loyalty when they eatin’ beside you (If everybody ain’t eatin’, you gon’ get ate)
You a worker, the boss wouldn’t be here without you
You do the dirty work from the first to the thirty-first, but I see they forgot you (Not me)”
The drug game is a dangerous game, like war. In war, you need to understand the value of your soldiers and generals( Your Team). They play an essential role in your success.
They carry out your commands and orders in effect. If they are not well taken care of then envy and jealousy will consume them.
Next thing, they are plotting your demise and downfall.
Not only is this a truth in the drug game but it also applies in business. Many CEOs have been victims of transgressing this simple universal rule.
Avoid such dangerous mistakes.
16. Sixteen hard for niggas, but you gotta stack
You got some racks, soon as your name started buzzin’, you got attached (Chill)
You should be spendin’ that money on re-in’ up and not in Saks (Real estate)
It’s only cool bein’ dressed in designer if your dollars match (Real estate)
Benny says best when he says “Stack that paper”. Don’t spend more than what you earn. It’s either you invest the money into real estate or spend it on another kilo of cocaine. As long as it maximizes your profit.
The point here is to focus on expanding your ways of making more money. Having the flyest gear is marvelous but if your dollars don’t match then it is pointless.
Another aspect he conveys is that most dealers get attached to their status. They lose sight of the bigger picture when a significant amount of money flows in.
In Benny’s view, a true hustler is always looking to level his game up.
15. “Fifteen a good one, listen, most people confused
How we spend our money on whips and jewels, they think we fools (Let me break it down)
But from a drug dealers view, buy a Benz or a chain or two
Go broke then sell everything, in a week, you’ll be back like new (Mhm)
So basically, fuck all that spendin’ on clothes and trickin’ on hoes
Only buy shit that can be sold
’Cause you gon’ need a plan B if your trap phone startin’ to get cold
If somethin’ happens to your plug and your bills startin’ to get old (Damn)”
Drug dealers are well known for their high-end and keen sense of style. They all have the biggest diamond chains and Rolex watches. I’ve always wondered why they prioritized having so many chains.
But The Butcher explains it better, I get it now!
In simple terms, always have a plan B. Setbacks are inevitable on the road to success. A smart hustler thinks ahead and they always plan for these inevitable setbacks.
Always make sure you have an Ace up your sleeve.
14. “Fourteen, just lead by example, nigga
’Cause you could be richer, but my hand don’t equal triple the financial difference”
“A good leader leads by example” as the saying goes. You need to be willing to put in more hours than your team. This is important because you need to inspire your team to put in the extra mile for you.
They need to see the worth of following you. Don’t be the general that fights battle from the comfort of his chair. Instead, you need to stand at the forefront of the line and lead your team to victory.
This is also a universal rule that also applies to business. John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest men to live, also practiced this. when he started his own production business.
Rockefeller was the first to arrive and the last to leave. He would stay up late at night and clean the place and the machines. He would sit long hours in his office, reviewing the accounting books. He studied them and found more ways to bring in more money for the produce business.
With this attitude, he was able to raise $100,000. He started an oil refinery, which would be later known as Standard Oil. Owning 90% of the oil market.
Wise words from a butcher.
13. “Thirteen tricky, B.I.G. couldn’t even approach it
When he was slingin’ and totin’, this wasn’t even a focus
No social media postin’, greedy emotions
Niggas chase fame and not the money, that’s broke shit, y’all be on ho shit”
As mentioned above, Benny the Butcher’s song is a continuation of Notorious B.I.G’s Ten Crack Commandments. He explained in an interview he had with The Breakfast Club,
“The Commandments evolved, you know what I’m saying as everything evolves. So the commandments evolved. So no social media posting and different things that BIG didn’t talk about.”
Biggie’s song also covers a lot of these universal rules, but he feels that many factors changed ever since then. Social media, for example, wasn’t as common and popular when Biggie was still hustling.
How can you learn from this rule? Understand that Benny here is saying that you should chase the money and not the fame.
Focus on securing that bag.
12. “Rule number twelve, I know this one a little too well
Stand for somethin’ or fall for anything (Anything), respect is like a shield (Uh-huh)
You gotta go wherever this shit takin’ you if you for real (Why you doing what you doing?)
Play for keeps, use your steel, and hopefully, you shoot to kill (Brrt)”
You have to be willing to do whatever it takes for you to run a tight ship. Sometimes, you will have to go to greater depths to further your cause. Or else, you will fall like the rest of the wannabes.
11. “Eleven the most important, somewhere on our way, we lost it
Tossin’ rocks at prisons married the game, it’s hard to divorce it (Uh-huh)
From a hustler to another, not to interfere with your business (Nah)
But since I’m here for this one, I gotta be crystal clear with you niggas (Uh)
The first chance you get, you better get out this shit (Nigga)
Them old stories how you was gettin’ dough won’t amount to shit
Can’t feed your child with it (At all) when they come wearin’ jackets with alphabets
Look around, the smart hustlers are the only ones ‘round here rich (Yeah)
Get out the game, rap niggas, hope y’all don’t get no ideas
You gotta live the way I lived to talk the shit I just did
Ten more crack commandments, ah”
Number eleven is an interesting one and you can only relate if you’re in that life. Benny prides himself on the things he learned while selling drugs on the streets. He knows that in reality, the hustling life leaves you in two places: Dead or in jail.
As a person who made it out, he advises other hustlers to quit whenever they get a chance. Benny also admitted that he was still hustling when he first signed to Griselda Records. He says he wouldn’t have stopped if an opportunity like that never revealed itself to him.
The ten commandments are a great guide that any person can use and learn from. Whether you’ve dealt crack or not. The commandments represent the dos and don’ts of street life. Apply them — when you find yourself in the same street life.
If you’re not a drug dealer, understand that not every single rule will be of use to you. At the end of the day, you learn what resonates best with you and your life. I'm certainly not advising you to start dealing drugs!
I wrote this to show you that hip-hop has the ability to convey a deeper meaning through rhythm and poetry. It is my hope that you are able to learn from it or at least get insight into some of the harsh realities of the black communities.
Let me know what your thoughts are. Which commandment did you like the most?