Stream Westside Gunn’s New Album Pray For Paris
At the end of last year, the hard-as-hell Buffalo rap crew released their major-label debut WWCD and began their transition from underground sensation to something like straight-up rap stardom — a change that they’re managing without changing their fundamentally guttural sound one bit. The members of Griselda have been putting out solo music for years, but in the past year, they’ve all found ways to distinguish themselves individually, releasing their best and highest-profile music outside the context of the group. Last year, Benny The Butcher released his great EP The Plugs I Met. A couple of weeks ago, Conway The Machine teamed up with the Alchemist for the great LULU EP. And today, we get the best and biggest solo album from crew figurehead Westside Gunn.
Pray For Paris, Westside Gunn’s new solo album, is full of big names. The list of guest rappers includes WSG’s Griselda comrades, as well as Freddie Gibbs, Joey Bada$$, Roc Marciano, Boldy James, and Tyler, The Creator, who contributes his best straight-up rap verse in a long minute. Tyler also produces a track, and other producers on the record include DJ Premier, DJ Muggs, the Alchemist, and regular Griselda guy Daringer.
More than the guests, though, Westside Gunn himself stands out on Pray For Paris. He recalls the neck-jerk style of classic ’90s East Coast rap, but he also talks wild shit and projects a fundamental hardness that never feels too throwbacky. The album has a vibe that transcends the question of who might’ve collaborated on which tracks. Some of the most memorable voices only appear via sample: Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Ghostface Killah when he was cutting his hellacious promo on Action Bronson. The whole thing hangs together beautifully. You can stream it below.
Pray For Paris is out now on Griselda Records.