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.
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
Up until this point, it seems that Hall ‘N Nash member & Shady Records signee Westside Gunn has been having a quiet 2018. However, he is finally coming out of the dark with his 3rd EP & he has enlisted Mr. Green to produce it in it’s entirety. After the Kool Herc intro, we then go into the first song “Part Deux”. Here, the FLYGOD gets reminiscent on his past & how far he’s come since then over a piano & an alluring soul sample. The track “Stash House” flaunts about the shit he’s bought from being in the drug game over a grimy boom bap beat while the song “Trash Bag” gets confrontational over a funky bass-line with the drums in the background popping like his famous gunshot adlibs. The penultimate track “8 Seconds” charismatically touches down on his success & pretty much says “fuck you” to those who didn’t have his back in the past over a gloomy instrumental. The EP then finishes off with “Brazy”, where he talks about being on his bullshit & basically tells you that he’s God over a dreary beat.
Overall, this was just as great as I expected it to be Westside Gunn’s grim street bars are vivid yet charismatic as always & they suit Mr. Green’s raw production just as well as I thought they would. I believe the Griselda camp is one of the illest out right now & despite this being released under Nature Sounds, it is no exception
WESTSIDEDOOM is a newly formed duo consisting of recent Shady Records signee Westside Gunn along with the renown MF DOOM. They announced a collaborative project together just a couple months ago & it’s finally here in the form of a 2-track EP. The first song “Gorilla Monsoon” has an grimy boom bap beat from Griselda Records in-house producer Daringer & while Westside Gunn’s verse is as mobster as always, DOOM definitely outshines him on here. Especially with lines like “Overstand the past to get a grasp of the present, I make it faster than you spends it. End it”. The other track “2STINGS” sees the 2 getting hardcore & the eerie instrumental from The Alchemist fits the tone like a glove. Like many others, I am disappointed that this is wasn’t a full-length album. However, I still enjoyed this EP. The production is grimy & both MCs compliment each other very well