Griselda Records has been arguably the hottest label of this year. The collective is fresh off a BET award nomination for “Best Group”. Its common knowledge Benny The Butcher has emerged as one of the top MC’s in the game, period. With the release of ‘Plugs I Met’ releasing last year, and the Buffalo native has a collection of fire features & singles that have released in 2020. Conway The Machine also has his fair share of high quality projects over the past couple of years, while featuring on some of the best albums of 2020. Earlier this year, on April 17 to be exact, Westside Gunn released the album Pray For Paris. An album that debuted on Billboard, and is among the top 10 hip-hop albums of the year (so far). Just two and a half months later, Gunn returned with another full length project.
‘Flygod Is An Awesome God II’ is the sequel to his 2019 mixtape, Flygod Is An Awesome God. The project is 14-tracks long, and it did not have any singles release leading up to the album drop. From the first look of the track listing, you can see that there aren’t the same high-profile features that were on Pray For Paris. Don’t let this discourage you from proceeding to listening though. If you’re familiar with Griselda’s music at all, you know that the bars will always be there. The first musical track is “Michael Irvin”, a song with no hook, just a two minute long verse, and an interlude that features a news headline about the Cowboys wide receiver being indicted on drug possession charges. The next track is named after another retired athlete in “Jose Canseco”. The track features a verse from Stove God Cooks (who is featured on the project), and another interlude, but this time it’s a “Macho Man” Randy Savage interview. “Fck the Police skit” features audio from a real news report from the George Floyd protests in Buffalo, NY. It’s both old-school, and it relates to the people now. These interludes and skits may not mean anything to some people, however it just adds to the nostalgia of the music. It’s both old-school, and it relates to the people now. It’s crazy that the term nostalgia can be used to describe an album that dropped today. “Buffs vs. Wires” featuring Benny the Butcher & frequent collaborator Boldy James. This is probably going to be the stand-out track on the project, and that is probably due to everyone wanting to hear Benny rap. Who can blame them though? Another frequent collaborator is poet Keisha Plum, who is featured on back-to-back tracks in “Drive By Love” & “Rebirth”. The final track “Steve Behr” features a verse from Brooklyn underground MC, Rome Streetz. The production on the project was handled by Tarik Azzouz, Conductor Williams, Daringer, and Chuck Inglish among others. You can tell that the instrumentals used were meant for Gunn, and were not some random beats these producers just had on their computers.
Is this Westside Gunn’s best project, no. However it’s still a high quality album, that was hard hitting rap tracks slapped together.
Gunn took to his twitter last month, and posted a tweet saying:
The fact that rapping wasn’t even in the plan for Gunn is remarkable, and now he has ascended to become one of New York’s best MCs today. At 37 years old, Gunn is able to show how old he is with the song titles, and the interludes at the end of the tracks, but still able to stay in touch with the younger audience with his lyrics while still touching on political problems that are really happening right now. Flygod Is An Awesome God II is out now on all streaming platforms.