Westside Gunn – “Hitler Wears Hermes VIII: Sincerely, Adolf (Side B)“ review

This is the highly anticipated 2nd disc of the 8th mixtape from Buffalo emcee, songwriter & entrepreneur Westside Gunn. At this point, what can be said about the guy now that hasn’t been said already? From running one of the hottest hip hop labels in recent memory to his first 2 full-lengths FLYGOD & Supreme Blientele, you’d be lying to yourself if you said he & the rest of the Griselda crew haven’t had the culture on lock for the last 5-6 years. Dude’s been laying low throughout a good portion of 2021 so far, but is deciding to finish the Hitler Wears Hermes mixtape series in the form of the 2-disc Sincerely, Adolf. The first disc came out last month & it was only a matter of time that Side B came out.

It technically starts off with the “Brodie Lee” intro & the “End How You Start” intro, but things really don’t get rolling until Conway the Machine & Benny the Butcher tag along for “Hell on Earth, Pt. 2” for some eerie boom bap coke slanger shit. Jay Electronica assists West for the jazzy “Free Kutter” calling for his homie to be released from the pen, but then “Richies” is a Gunnlib reunion reusing same sample as “Ontheway!” by Earl Sweatshirt asking if you’ve ever seen a corpse.

“Julia Lang” despite it’s brevity gets back on that yay shit with a grimy Camoflauge Monk instrumental leading into Chase Fetti, Flee Lord & Heem aligning for the disgusting 2-parter “Celine Dion”. Following this, Mach-Hommy pops up on “Best Dressed Demons” with a dusty Daringer beat declaring themselves as rolling stones just before Armani Caesar & 2 Chainz help morbidly declare that they’ll take their words to their graves for “Forest Lawn”.

Meanwhile on “Why I Do ‘Em Like That?”, we have Westside Gunn & Billie Essco jumping on top of a luxurious boom bap instrumental getting criminal minded whereas “RIP Bergdorf” finds him & Mach going back & forth nonchalantly on top of a mesmerizing vocal loop from Nicholas Craven. He later shouts out his boys Sly & J Batters on the perilous “TV Boy” while the orchestral “Survivor Series ‘95” with Jay Worthy, Larry June & T.F. declares Griselda as the new Roc-A-Fella.

Rome Streetz comes in for the JR Swiftz-produced “Eddie Kingston” saying life’s lavish & they’re beyond greatness & even though I love the classiness of “Ostertag”, it feels more like a Stove God Cook$ joint since West isn’t on it at all. “Munch” with Tiona Deniece has a bit of an R&B flare telling listeners to love how you want, but of course the AZ-assisted “99 Avirex” works in a melodic instrumental getting on their mafioso shit.

“The Fly Who Couldn’t Fly Straight” with Tyler, The Creator takes a soulful route flexing on motherfuckers while the final song “Big Al” with Rome Streetz is a depressing tribute to MF DOOM. However, the actual closer “BYE BYE” starts off with a jazz sample & then a brief spoken word passage from none other than Keisha Plum.

Now that both discs are out, I think Hitler VIII as a whole is a jam-packed finale to the popular mixtape series. There are just as many features that all come correct as the first disc did, West solidifies his icon status & I like how he went with a more varied list of producers rather than sticking with The Heartbreakers again.

Score: 3.5/5

Westside Gunn – “Hitler Wears Hermes VIII: Sincerely, Adolf” review

This is the 8th mixtape from Buffalo emcee, songwriter & entrepreneur Westside Gunn. At this point, what can be said about the guy now that hasn’t been said already? From running one of the hottest hip hop labels in recent memory to his first 2 full-lengths FLYGOD & Supreme Blientele, you’d be lying to yourself if you said he & the rest of the Griselda crew haven’t had the culture on lock for the last 5-6 years. Dude’s been laying low throughout a good portion of 2021 so far, but is deciding to finish the Hitler Wears Hermes mixtape series in the form of the 2-disc Sincerely, Adolf. The first disc given to us now & the other most likely on Halloween

After the “Murders in Marfield” intro & the “Blessed Times” interlude by AA Rashid, the first actual song “Mariota” with Stove God Cook$ kicks things off with a soulful beat & them saying you ain’t gotta worry whereas “Vogue Cover” is somewhat similar instrumentally except the 2 are talking about birds going fast. Mach-Hommy tags along for the jazzy “Margiela Split Toes” to spit that fly shit just before the dusty boom bap cut “Draymond” with Rome Streetz & Stove God saying they had to pray over the bricks.

Meanwhile on “Peri Peri”, we have West & Rome sticking around to jump on top of some keys & dusty drums to talk their shit leading into the Jadakiss-assisted “Right Now” working in another jazzy beat to get on their pyrex shit. “Westheimer” by Boldy James alongside Sauce Walka & Stove God Cook$ find the trio hopping on top of an old time loop saying they had no choice but to commit murder, but then West & Lil Wayne come together for the grimy “Bash Money” to brag about their riches.

The song “Claire’s Back” starts off with a boom bap joint & the FLYGOD telling a bitch to not touch him since he got so much money, but then goes into rock territory for Conway the Machine & Benny the Butcher to spit that mafioso shit. The penultimate track “Spoonz” finds Hall ‘N Nash going back & forth with a meditative Conductor Williams instrumental, but then “716 Mile” reenlists Boldy for a wavy closer getting in their gangsta rap bag.

Although I like what I’m hearing from Hitler 8 so far, I think I’m gonna enjoy it more in context with Disc 2 when it drops a couple months from now. He didn’t have to put a feature on every single cut on here even though they all killed it, but I can definitely commend West for coming correct as much as the guests do & not rushing it like he did FLYGOD is an Awesome God II.

Score: 3.5/5

Westside Gunn – “WHO MADE THE SUNSHINE?” review

Westside Gunn is a 38 year old MC & entrepreneur from Buffalo, New York who broke out in 2016 with his near-perfect debut album FLYGOD. He would go on to take over the culture with his brother Conway the Machine & their cousin Benny the Butcher as all 3 of them have consistently dropped a slew of high quality releases both solo-wise & as a trio over the past 5 years. However, Westside has stated on numerous occasions that he’ll quit making music after 2020 & has released 2 albums since the year started: Pray for Paris & FLYGOD is an Awesome God II. But with Hitler Wears Hermes VIII set to drop at the end of the month, Westside is delivering his highly anticipated Shady Records album.

After the “Sunshine” intro, the first song “The Butcher & the Blade with Benny & Conway finds the trio talking about God having them winning over a boom bap beat from Daringer & Beat Butcha with some rapid keyboard arpeggios whereas the next track “Ishkabibble’s” with Black Thought sees the 2 talking about pushing over an eerie instrumental. The song “All Praises” sounds like a leftover from Boldy James’ The Price of Tea in China down to the Alchemist beat as Westside Gunn only handles the hook while the track “Big Basha’s” talks about there being blood & brains everywhere over a somber boom bap instrumental.

The song “Liz Loves Luger” with Armani Caesar finds the 2 talking about wanting loyalty from their partners over a luscious beat while the track “Ocean Prime” with Busta Rhymes & Slick Rick sees the 3 talking about chopping dudes into pieces over a forlorn instrumental. The song “Lessie” talks about how they’re still getting paid over a wavy beat while the track “Frank Murphy” with Elcamino, Estee Nack, Flee Lord, Smoke DZA & Stove God Cook$ is an epic East Coast posse cut with a wailing instrumental. The penultimate song “Good Night” hooks back up with Slick Rick to get in their storytelling bag over a beat with some ominous keys & then the closer “98 Sabers” is a vicious showcasing of the Griselda roster & the Just Blaze instrumental fits perfectly, but I wonder why Boldy James isn’t on here.

Not a bad album, but it could’ve been better in my personal opinion. It’s pretty much a slightly better version of FLYGOD is an Awesome God II as there are a lot of features & a couple of questionable production choices on here. Here’s to hoping Hitler 8 will be much better.

Score: 3.5/5

Westside Gunn – “FLYGOD is An Awesome God II” review

This is the 5th full-length album from Buffalo emcee/entrepreneur Westside Gunn. Breaking out in 2016 with his near-perfect debut album FLYGOD, he would go on to take over the hip hop scene with his brother Conway the Machine & their cousin Benny the Butcher as they’ve consistently dropped a slew of high quality releases both solo-wise & as a trio. However, Westside has stated on numerous occasions that 2020 will be his final year rapping & kicked it off just this spring with Pray for Paris. But with the 1 year anniversary of FLYGOD is an Awesome God approaching this weekend, Westside is celebrating with a sequel preluding his Shady Records debut Who Made the Sunshine? set to drop next month.

After the “Praise God” intro, the first song “Michael Irvin” finds Westside talking about how no one’s flyer than him over a jazzy beat whereas the next track “Jose Canseco” with Stove God Cooks sees the 2 talking charismatically boasting over a soulful instrumental from STREETRUNNER. I was surprised to see the loosie “1 More Hit” appearing on here, but I’m glad it did & the new Stove God Cooks verse added on is a nice touch to it as well. After the first “Sadhu Interlude”, the song “Lil Cease” with Griselda Records’ newest signee Armani Caesar finds the 2 rightfully proclaiming their thrones as King & Queen of Buffalo over a creepy boom bap beat from JR Swiftz.

After the “Fuck the Police” skit, the song “Buffs vs. Wires” with Benny the Butcher & Boldy James of course gets on the drug dealer tip over a classy ass loop from Daringer. Then after the “Mr. Maino” skit, we’re treated to a remix of another old WSG loosie “Bubba Chuck” with Stove God Cooks being added on once again & I actually like this a lot more than the “1 More Hit” remix that I discussed earlier. After the final “Sadhu Interlude”, the song “Drive By Love” is a gangsta sex tune over a savory Chuck Inglish instrumental. The penultimate track “Rebirth” lyrically is exemplified by the snippet at the very beginning of the song of Kanye West’s infamous TMZ appearance a couple years ago & I absolutely love the peaceful instrumental. The album then finishes with “Steve Behr”, where Westside enlists Rome Streetz to talk about pushing coke over a hypnotic sample.

It’s not as good as Pray for Paris, but I still think this is a solid album regardless. In contrast to the predecessor seeing Westside Gunn experimenting & trying new things, he pretty much takes it back to the basement on here. Beyond excited to see where he takes things on Who Made the Sunshine?.

Score: 3.5/5

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

Griselda – “W.W.C.D. (What Would Chinegun Do?)” review

Griselda is a hardcore hip hop trio from Buffalo, New York consisting of Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine & Benny the Butcher. All 3 of whom have made names for themselves throughout the latter half of this decade with modern East Coast classics like FLYGOD, Supreme Blientele, Reject 2, G.O.A.T. (Grimiest Of All-Time), Tana Talk 3 & The Plugs I Met. Now despite all those projects being put out independently under Griselda Records, the trio have seen fit to team up with Shady Records & make their collective debut album their inaugural release on a major label.

After the spoken word intro from Raekwon, the first song “Chef Dreds” finds all 3 members trading bars back & forth with each other over a chilling boom bap beat from Daringer & Beat Butcha (both of whom produced the entire album by themselves). The track “Moselle” serves as the theme song for crack dealers over a frightening instrumental while the song “Cruiser Weight Coke” talks about running the game over an organ-inflicted beat. The track “Freddie Hotspot” talks about drug dealing tip over a haunting instrumental while the song “DR. BIRDS” sees the 3 flexing over a grimy beat.

“The Old Groove” then talks about life in Buffalo over a ghostly instrumental while the track “Scotties” continues to display their amazing chemistry over a demented beat. After the “Kennedy” interlude, the song “City on the Map” with 50 Cent pays tribute to NY over a cold blooded instrumental & in a way it’s like 50 passing the torch down to Griselda. The track “May Store” talks about trapping being their calling over an ominous instrumental & then after the “Lowery” outro, there’s the bonus track where Westside Gunn & Benny add verses to the decent “Bang” single that Conway dropped with Eminem over the summer.

For a major label debut, this is damn near perfect & easily one of my Top 5 releases of 2019. Other than wishing that both Conway & Marshall recorded new verses for the “Bang” remix, I really admire how Griselda didn’t change up their lyricism or production trying to appeal to a crowd that doesn’t exist & just stayed being themselves.

Score: 4.5/5

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

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

Westside Gunn – “Hitler Wears Hermes 6” review

1540965477_westside-gunn-hitler-wears-hermes-6.jpg

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

7040018.jpg

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