Westside Gunn Discusses The Possibility Of An Entire Griselda Album With DJ Premier
Just over two years ago, Buffalo, New York MCs Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, and Benny The Butcher formed a partnership with Eminem’s Shady Records. The three artists have been busy ever since, independently releasing a string of acclaimed hardcore Hip-Hop albums on their Griselda Records imprint, including Wes’ Supreme Blientele, Con’s EIF3, and Benny’s Tana Talk 3, to name a few. Regarding their forthcoming effort, The Butcher spoke to Ambrosia For Heads this spring, giving a bit more insight. “It’s all three of us,” Benny confirmed. “Sh*t was a marathon. I flew in from Cali’ and went straight in the lab. I love it.”
To follow that announcement Benny, Conway, and W.S.G. dropped a brand new DJ Premier-produced single, “Headlines,” less than one week ago. Part of a single series Premier has piloted at Payday Records, the song, complete with a Jason Goldwatch-directed music video, marks an inflection point for a troop of hardcore spitters that are on a meteoric rise.
The Buffalo trio sat down with AFH TV to discuss the significance of “Headlines,” as well provide detail on at least two Shady-backed albums. Throughout the video interview, Gunn, The Machine, and The Butcher discuss the song, and why it may be a forecast of much more to come.
Early in the discussion (4:00), Westside Gunn revisits creating “Headlines.” “That was a one-taker. [DJ Premier] went in, laid it down. While he was actually making the beat, we were already [making our verses].” Elsewhere in the conversation, Conway reveals that he commits nothing to the page in his jarring, quote-worthy verse. “By the time he was basically done, it was already press play or press record. It didn’t take us long at all. Everything was made from scratch. We didn’t have to listen to nothing else. Whatever he made, that was ‘Headlines.'” Gunn, who heads Griselda adds, “I’m glad it’s coming out now more than anything, because all the work that’s about to come out is with us three, together. So this is kinda like giving you a glimpse of Griselda as a whole.”
Later, (7:00), the group tells AFH TV about their first Shady Records release, their first as unit. To open, Benny dives in, “To me, I think that’s special in its own right because it’s the first time with a full-length project. It’s the first major release from Griselda on Shady/Interscope, and trust me, there’s some special sh*t on there. That’s what the fans want, us three together. That’s what they want on a major scale.”
While Griselda feeds fans with limited edition physical music and merchandise, the upcoming W.W.C.D. will compete with all the resources now available to these DIY giants. “It’s [the album] coming through a major. It’s gotta have the proper roll-out. It’s going to be so much behind this project visually. It’s going to be all over the place. This is one of them projects where it’s like, ‘Yo, we gotta do it this way.’ Like, I’m putting my foot down type of sh*t… So, it’s going to be a lot more push than ever before.” While Griselda surprises fans on a whim, deciding to release albums sometimes hours before, this is strategic and concentrated. “You’re going to know about the album two months ahead of time, not two days. We’re already about to start going with the push.”
Deeper in (20:00), Gunn describes the significance of “Headlines.” “This Preem’ record is now the beginning of Griselda 2.0. This the new chapter now. This is page one of the Preemo joint. ‘Cause now it’s like, ‘Oh sh*t, then the Shady album. Oh sh*t, then the Conway album.’ It’s about to be a domino-effect now. The Griselda you knew before is old. What you about to hear now is all the new beginning sh*t. And we’ve been talking. I feel we’re going to do a Preem’ album; I really do. It’s for the culture. I think it’s what people wanna hear. I think it’s a necessity. Especially our sound with our East Coast raw sh*t. You even said it yourself: ‘You got TDE in the West, Griselda in the East.’ Who better for Preemo to work with than doing an album with someone who’s running the East? It makes sense, especially for the culture. That’s something that has to be done just for the culture. It’ll go down in history.”
To round out the video interview, the MCs further discuss the future of Griselda, first by remembering all of the hard work they’ve put in over the past seven years. In closing, the upstate New York triad stresses the importance of staying true to your roots.
Press image provided by TTT.
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