Westside Gunn, Benny & Conway Explain Why Griselda Was The Best Rap Crew Of 2019
Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, and Westside Gunn had a stellar campaign in 2019. Amid the roughly dozen projects dropped by the Buffalo, New York-based label, the trio of MCs released their debut collaborative project, WWCD, from Shady Records.
Recently, the Griselda squad sat down with B.Dot and Elliott Wilson for an in-depth interview with The Rap Radar Podcast. Over the course of the sit down, Benny, Conway, and Westside discuss their recent partnership with JAY-Z and Roc Nation, and explain how song titles and the WWCD artwork are extensions of the Buffalo streets. Deeper into the interview, Griselda bring up their Buffalo roots once again. This time, admitting that they have had to work harder than most to get to where they are today because of their Western New York beginnings. However, it is because of these struggles, as well as their diligence, that they consider themselves to be Hip-Hop’s best Rap group of 2019.
Near 1:16:00, Westside Gunn explains, “At the end of the day, it’s unfortunate, but it’s like, we do have a handicap with the Buffalo sh*t. I’m being totally real. I’m being totally real. That’s why we gotta work way harder than other mothaf*ckas. That’s why we gotta bring out so many projects. Because it’s like, yeah, no seriously, because we gotta keep constantly reminding y’all. Like, no disrespect. I’ma just say this: this is no disrespect cause these is the homies. I just wanna make examples, and I’d rather make examples with people I respect that won’t take it the wrong way, ’cause [so many] ni**as is suckas.”
The group jokes, but Gunn continues with sincerity, “Nah but, nah seriously…I’ll say it with people I respect and I know respect us and won’t take it the wrong way, ’cause so many people out here are suckas. So, when they hear one lil’ thing they go left. But it’s like, say for instance, who made a f*ckin’ [Hitler Wears Hermes 7, Flygod Is An Awesome God], a What Would Chinegun Do, a Plugs I Met, a Look What I Became, a Everybody Is F.O.O.D.? All of this in one year and we not mentioned as the top group?”
To follow, Westside compares their year in Hip-Hop to fellow Rap crews. “Like, you still gon’ mention a TDE; you gon’ mention Dreamville. Dreamville or TDE didn’t do that. They incredible, but they didn’t do that [in 2019]. You see what I’m sayin’? That’s the Buffalo sh*t. That’s the Buffalo sh*t I’m talkin’ about. Like you still gonna mention, you still gonna say TDE is a powerhouse of ’19, but where is ScHoolboy [Q] and Kendrick [Lamar], and Ab [Soul] and everybody projects that consistently had to do it every other month and haven’t slacked one bar? You see what I’m saying? Going into the next year even stronger. So, it’s like if you’re gonna name the Dreamville’s and the TDE’s, then what the f*ck is Griselda then? If you’re not even gonna say we’re the best, why are we not even in the conversation? You see what I’m sayin? I’m talkin’ with elite MC’s. I’m talking about people that’s with Marshall Mathers, with Shawn Carter, with doing songs going back to back with Black Thought’s, and Eminem’s, and 50 Cent’s, and f*ckin’ Pusha-T’s, and Jadakiss, and all these artists—Fat Joe’s and Raekwon intros. All of these things for the culture, and you not saying Griselda’s the best? Something’s wrong with y’all.”
Conway The Machine closes, admitting that there are those who are giving Griselda their props recently. However, Conway reminds everyone that it’s because of their grind in Buffalo that anybody knows who they are today. Conway finishes, “Maybe now they are catching on and sh*t, but that’s just one of the obstacles we had to overcome being from Buffalo is that we had to go extra hard. We had to drop 12 projects in a year and sh*t just to keep up with other guys who had to drop one project. We had to work 10 times as hard, and we wouldn’t have had to. Like, if we were from a [New York City] burough or from like, Atlanta, or L.A., or Houston, or somewhere like a big, known, popular city, I could be wrong, but I just feel like we wouldn’t have had to do what we had to do to get here. We’d have been here.”
Heads can catch Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, and Westside Gunn on their Griselda Presents: WWCD Tour beginning February 16 in Atlanta. The tour ends on March 6 in Los Angeles.
WWCD and The Plugs I Met were named to Ambrosia For Heads‘ Best Albums Of 2019.
Press photograph by Tef Wesley provided by Griselda Records.
#BonusBeat: Griselda (with Daringer in the DJ booth) performing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: