Westside Gunn – “Pray for Paris” review

Westside Gunn is an MC & entrepreneur from Buffalo, New York that made his mark on hip hop in 2016 with his debut album FLYGOD. This has been continued with a handful of mixtapes, his 2018 sophomore album Supreme Blientele, inking a management deal with JAY-Z’s Roc Nation & his own label Griselda Records even signing a distribution deal with Shady Records. In 2019, we saw Westside drop his 3rd album FLYGOD is an Awesome God in the summer & then the 7th installment of his infamous Hitler Wears Hermes series 4 months later. However to kick off his final year of making music allegedly, he’s coming through with his 4th full-length album.

After the $4M + Tax” intro, we get into the first song “No Vacancy”. Where the FLYGOD of course talks about pushing over a blissful DJ Muggs instrumental. The next track “George Bondo” with Conway the Machine & Benny the Butcher sees the 3 talking about going from selling dog food to being successful over a grimy Daringer/Beat Butcha instrumental while the song “327” with Joey Bada$$ & Tyler, The Creator sees the 3 flexing over a mellow boom bap beat.

The track “French Toast” with Wale sees the 2 talking about crushing their competition over a piano-inflicted boom bap beat & while the song “Euro Step” may have my least favorite instrumental on the album, I do like how Westside pays tribute to everyone he knows who’re still slanging yay. The track “Allah Sent Me” with Conway & Benny sees the 3 trading bars back & forth with each other like it’s nothing over a menacing Daringer beat while the song “$500 Ounces” with Freddie Gibbs & Roc Marciano sees the 3 getting mafioso over a jazzy Alchemist beat.

The track “Versace” talks about how he’s never going back to being broke over a harmonious vocal sample while the song “Clairborne Kick” with Boldy James sees the 2 talking about their dealing days & I really love the atmosphere that Uncle Al provides them with. The track “Shawn vs. Flair” shows off his wordplay over a flawless boom bap beat from none other than DJ Premier while the song “Party with Pop Smoke” finds Westside bragging & Keisha Plum closing it out with some beautiful poetry over a colorful Tyler, The Creator instrumental. The album then finishes with “Le Djobila”, where we get a very short verse & some really awesome tap-dancing over a soulful beat

If this really is Westside’s final year rapping because everyone has said it at some point, then what a way to kick it off. He sounds as passionate as ever, the big name features all come together fantastically & the production is easily some of the best that the man has EVER gotten his hands on.

Score: 4/5

Westside Gunn – “Hitler Wears Hermes VII” review

This is the latest mixtape from Buffalo, New York emcee & entrepreneur Westside Gunn, who first rose to stardom in 2016 with his debut album FLYGOD. This has been continued with a handful of mixtapes, his 2018 sophomore album Supreme Blientele & his own label Griselda Records even signing a distribution deal with Shady Records. Westside has a history of releasing new installments of his Hitler Wears Hermes mixtape series on Halloween & despite being delayed a day, this is the 4th year in a row of that.

The opener “FCKNXTWK” finds Westside providing a very brief verse as DJ Drama’s pretty much talking all over some harmonious vocals in the back while the next song “Broadway Joes” is a self proclamation as the King of New York over a rugged beat. The track “Size 42” gets cutthroat over an eerie Daringer beat while the song “Connie’s Son” brags over a soulful beat.

The track “Banana Yacht” with Estee Nack finds the 2 flexing over a grand instrumental & while I like how menacing “GONDEK” is, it’s way too short. The track “Kelly’s Korner” with Fat Joe sees the 2 getting bloodthirsty over a jazzy beat from Statik Selektah while the DJ Green Lantern produced “Undertaker vs. Goldberg” gets on the classic Hall ‘N Nash vibe.

The track “Whoopy” talks about wanting to be with this woman over a laidback instrumental while the Animoss produced “Love U” is a better continuation of the previous cut. The track “Kool G” is an epic Griselda cut where Westside, Conway the Machine & Benny the Butcher use the same rhyme scheme throughout with this raw Alchemist/Daringer beat while the song “It’s Possible” with Boldy James & Jay Worthy sees the 3 talking about making it out of the hood over a beautiful soul sample.

The track “Lucha Bros.” with Benny the Butcher & Curren$y sees the 3 getting rowdy over a vintage Alchemist beat while the song “Westside Gunn Day” goes at Westside’s competition over a symphonic boom bap beat from JR Swiftz.  And before a spoken word outro from Keisha Plum, the final song “Kesington Pool” pays tribute to NY over a decent boom bap beat.

This is a lot better than FLYGOD is an Awesome God that came out earlier this year. Westside goes back to his roots more on this one in comparison to taking more risks on his last album. The beats are punchier & the pen game continues to flourish.

Score: 3.5/5

Conway – “Look What I Became” review

This is the sophomore album from Buffalo, New York emcee Conway the Machine. Who rose to stardom with his brother Westside Gunn & their label Griselda Records just a few years ago. Last we heard from Conway was in July when he dropped the song “Bang” with Eminem, which is the lead single to his upcoming Shady Records debut God Don’t Make Mistakes. And to prep us for it, he’s releasing Look What I Became independently.

The album kicks off with “No Women No Kids”, where Conway gets mafioso over a haunting Alchemist beat. The next song “Hawks” attacks his biters over an intoxicating instrumental & after the “RIP Owen” interlude, the song “Tito’s Back” is just pretty much Conway & Benny the Butcher showing off their chemistry over a Daringer beat with some eerie keyboards.

The track “Black Spoons” gets back on the mafioso tip over a demented DJ Muggs beat while the song “Vino D” with Dave East & Jim Jones pays tribute to Conway’s friend with the same name over a boom bap beat from JR Swiftz. The track “Half of It” talks about his success over an organ-inflicted trap beat from Rick Hyde & then after the “Bells Palsy” interlude, the closer “You Made It” pays tribute to his mother over a relaxing beat from Statik Selektah.

This is a fantastic prelude. Couple tracks I could’ve done without, but the beats are mostly grimy & Conway’s lyricism just keeps progressing with each new project he drops. Definitely looking forward to his major label debut coming soon.

Score: 4/5

Westside Gunn – “FLYGOD is an Awesome God” review

Westside Gunn is an MC from Buffalo, New York who’s been making noise with his label Griselda Records since 2016 with the release of his debut album FLYGOD. They eventually signed a distribution deal with Shady Records in 2017 but now that their major label debut is finally on the way as well as a little over a year after dropping his incredible sophomore album Supreme Blientele, Westside is preparing us for it with his 3rd full-length album & the sequel to the one that got him where he is today.

The album starts off with “Jul 27th”, which is mostly a spoken word piece from Raekwon over some synthesizers. The next song “Sensational Sherri” with Benny sees the 2 about living what he raps over a sinister beat from none other than The Alchemist while the track “Bautista” gets confrontational over a piano-inflicted boom bap beat. The song “Lunchin’” gets mafioso over a luscious beat & while the song “Ferragamo Funeral” gets murderous over a soulful beat, it’s way too short. The song “1,000 Shot Mac” with Conway, Hologram & Meyhem Lauren sees the 2 talking about hustling over a classy sample & while I do like the chilled out beat on “Birkin”, Westside’s delivery does nothing for me.

The song “Pete Sake” has little to no Westside Gunn appearance at all, but Conway & Benny make it work as they deliver a raw prelude to their upcoming collab album. The track “Amherst Station 3” is a somber conclusion to the titular trilogy while the Evidence-produced “Dance Floor Love” is a soulful love tune that works better than I had expected. The penultimate track “Gunnlib” while brief makes me hope that Westside & Madlib do a whole album together in the future because their chemistry on here is flawless & then the album finishes off with “Lakers vs. Rockets”, where the FLYGOD brags over a gritty rap rock beat. However, the Sauce Walka feature is kinda vapid.

While I personally prefer the original FLYGOD, this sequel is definitely worth checking out. A few joints could’ve been stretched out a bit longer & a couple features I could’ve done without, but Westside’s vivid street bars remain & grimy production most definitely remain intact throughout it’s 32 minute runtime.

Score: 3.5/5

Conway – “Everybody is F.O.O.D. 3” review


Conway is a 37 year old MC from Buffalo, New York who has been hustling mad hard with his brother Westside Gunn & their label Griselda Records throughout the past couple years. He just dropped his 9th mixtape Everybody is F.O.O.D. last summer with a sequel this past winter & now with his Shady Records debut coming in June, he’s decided to drop a 3rd installment out of nowhere.

The EP kicks off with “Everbody is F.O.O.D.”, where the Machine spits battle bars over an eerie boom bap beat. “The Basement” challenges his competition over a prominent guitar while the song “Country Mike” continues the confrontational themes over some somber keys. The track “Richest in the City” talks about that over a a nocturnal boom bap beat & while I do like the fitting sample as well as the drug dealing story being told on “Egyptian Cloth”, it sounds unfinished. The song “London Pound” with Berner gets boastful over a mediocre trap beat from Cookin’ Soul & then after the “Survival” interlude, the closer “Don’t Judge Me…” picks up as Conway talks about how he speaks his mind over a gloomy boom bap beat.

All & all, this definitely has me looking forward to The Machine’s upcoming Shady Records debut even more. Conway sticks to his guns lyrically & he returns to his boom bap roots for the most part on this one in comparison to the previous installment being more diverse, but it works out fantastically. However, my big complaint is that he could’ve fleshed out a couple tracks & add about 2 more songs in the mix. Nonetheless, great EP.

Score: 4/5

Conway – “Everybody’s F.O.O.D. 2: Eat What U Kill” review

Conway is an MC from Buffalo, New York who with his brother Westside Gunn & their label Griselda Records have been taking over the underground over the course of this decade. He just dropped his 9th mixtape Everybody is F.O.O.D. over the summer & now with the end of the year approaching, he’s decided to drop a sequel out of the blue.

The tape begins with “Fentanyl”, where Conway gets boastful over a chaotic beat. The next song “224 May Block” talks about having murder on his mind over a dark beat from The Alchemist while the track “Painkillers” is filled with battle bars over a dreary boom bap beat. The song “Hide the Body” with Benny pretty much speaks for itself over an eerie beat & after the “Corners” interlude, we go into the track “Cocaine Paid”. Here, Conway talks about the drug game over a surprising trap beat.

The track “G Money on the Roof” talks about people switching on him over a spacious boom bap beat while the song “Overdose” gets introspective over a minimalist instrumental. The penultimate track “Proud of Me” talks about people who expect something from him now that he’s famous over an upbeat instrumental & the closer “Piece of My Heart” is an ode to Benny’s brother Machine Gun Black over another soulful beat.

Overall, this is a fantastic sequel to one of the Machine’s best projects yet. It’s almost as raw lyrically & sonically but like the predecessor, I just wish it was a little longer. Can’t wait to see what Griselda is gonna do in 2019.

Score: 4/5

Westside Gunn – “Hitler Wears Hermes 6” review


Westside Gunn is a 36 year old rapper from Buffalo, New York who started with his brother Conway in the early 2000’s. However it wouldn’t be until this decade that the 2 would see success, eventually forming their own label Griselda Records & signed with Eminem’s Interscope Records imprint Shady Records. They’ve continued to put out a number of modern classics since, including Conway’s G.O.A.T. (Grimiest Of All-Time) & even Westside’s latest album Supreme Blientele. But now to celebrate Halloween, Westside has delivering the 6th installment of his infamous Hitler Wears Hermes series.

After the “Black Hitler” intro, the first song “GiGi” sees Westside Gunn linking up with Benny to vividly talk about drug the dealing game over an orchestral Alchemist instrumental. The track “Versace Will Never Be the Same” continues the themes of “GiGi” over an eerie boom bap beat from Daringer & while the song “Niagara Cafe” gets boastful over a soulful instrumental, it’s way too short. The track “Ready Made” talks about how he’s already been successful over a punchy Marco Polo instrumental. As for Keisha Plum’s poetry at the end, it’s just as insightful as always. The track “SLY (Slide Wit It)” talks about capping someone over a settle yet alluring beat while the “Big Luther Freestyle” with Benny sees the 2 returning to the drug dealer life over a clever Luther Vandross sample.

The track “Niggas in Puerto Rico” has some clever beat switches from The Alchemist throughout & while I do enjoy Westside Gunn’s verse as well as Benny’s, Flee Lord to me personally comes off as a Dollar Tree version of Westside Gunn. After the “Chyno Nyno Speaks” interlude, the song “Amherst Station 2” serves as a fantastically soulful sequel to one of my favorite cuts off of Supreme Blientele. The track “My First Drako” with Nick Grant sees the 2 spitting battle bars over a luscious boom bap beat while the song “Evidence Joint” is essentially Westside advising his competition not to fuck with him over a dreamy yet punchy instrumental from Evidence. The closer “John Bena” then gets murderous over a dark instrumental from none other than DJ Muggs, but the Lil Eto verse at the start is kinda boring to me.

It’s obviously not superior to Supreme Blientele or even the last 2 installments of the Hitler Wears Hermes series, this was still a solid tape. Westside Gunn’s street tales are as intriguing as ever, but some of these songs could’ve been more fully fleshed out. Also, some of the production could’ve been better & the same goes to a couple of the features as well. But still if you’re a big fan of Griselda, you’re gonna enjoy a good chunk of what’s being presented on here.

Score: 3.5/5

Westside Gunn – “Supreme Blientele” review


Just a couple months after his FLYGOD is Good…All the Time EP, Buffalo MC Westside Gunn is delivering his highly anticipated sophomore album.

After a spoken word intro from Arn Anderson, we go into the first song “GOD$ Don’t Bleed”. Here, the FLYGOD hooks up with Benny & Jadakiss get confrontational towards their competition over a haunting soul sample from Daringer. The next track “Dean Malenko” is about drug dealing over a boom bap beat with some beautiful piano chords while the song “Brutus” is a bloody Griselda Records posse cut sans El Camino over an epic Pete Rock instrumental. The track “Amherst Station” vividly tells the story of the hustler life over a soulful beat while the song “RVD” gets braggadocious over a boom bap beat with some somber keys. I also like the spoken word passage from Keisha Plum during the second half.

Then we get into my favorite song on the album “Elizabeth”, where he talks about his street knowledge over a jazzy Alchemist beat. Then it transitions into “Mean Gene” perfectly, where he spits his signature “flyshit” over a soulful beat. However, the next 2 tracks “Stefflon Don & “Sabu” are easily the weakest on the entire album. They’re not bad, but they definitely sounded unfinished to me. If he added another verse on both tracks, that would’ve been perfect. The song “Brossface Brippler” with Benny & Busta Rhymes sees the 3 getting murderous over an eerie soul sample from Alchemist that fits the vibe perfectly while the track “Spanish Jesus” with Crimeapple sees the 2 returning to the drug dealer themes over a rap rock beat from Harry Fraud.

“The Steiners” with eLZhi is filled with battle bars over a joyous boom bap beat from Pete Rock & then “Ric Martiel” with Roc Marciano go back to the drug dealer days over a soulful Roc beat. The track “WESTSIDE” gets braggadocious once again over a sinister Statik Selektah beat & before a spoken word outro from A.A. Rashid, it ends with the epic “WrestleMania 20”. Here, Westside tells us that he’s not playing games over a 9th Wonder instrumental with a prominent acoustic guitar & a smooth Anderson .Paak hook.

As expected, this is Westside’s best work yet. There are a couple tracks that could’ve been fully fleshed out but other than that, the hardcore boom bap production & Westside’s signature street bars is a lot more refined than it was on his 2016 debut FLYGOD

Score: 4.5/5

Conway – “G.O.A.T. (Grimiest Of All-Time)” review

Conway is an MC from Buffalo, New York who has been making a name with himself alongside his brother Westside Gunn & their label Griselda Records. They even signed to Eminem’s Interscope imprint Shady Records back in March of this year & after a long wait, he’s releasing his full-length debut (which is an abbreviation for Grimiest Of All-Time) & he has enlisted Griselda’s in-house producer Daringer to produce all but 1 track. The album starts off with the title track, where he’s bragging about his rapping prowess over a killer guitar. The next song “Trump” gets murderous & the production from The Alchemist fits the vibe perfectly. The track “TH3RD F” gets mafioso over a prominent soul sample & the Raekwon verse fits like a glove. The song “Die on X-Mas” with Benny sees the 2 getting confrontational over a super eerie instrumental & the track “Rodney Little” with Prodigy sees the 2 getting braggadocious over a haunting boom bap beat.

The song “XXXTRAS” vividly reflects on his days as a hustler over some horns & militant drums while the track “Bishop Shot Steel” takes a shot at the snakes over a gloomy beat. The track “Mandatory” with Royce da 5’9” sees the 2 taking a jab at their haters over a somber yet menacing beat while the penultimate track “Arabian Sam’s” with Styles P gets murderous over a grimy boom bap beat. The album then closes with “Bullet Klub”, where Conway gets with Benny & Lloyd Banks to tell the studio gangsters what life’s really like in the streets over an ominous instrumental.

Personally, this is Conway’s magnum opus. His lyricism is grittier than ever as is the production & the features are all on point. Griselda is one of my favorite labels right now & this is yet another example of why that is

Score: 4.5/5