Westside Gunn, JID & Conway Make 1 Of 2023’s Great Collabos
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Today (October 13), Westside Gunn delivered And Then You Pray For Me. Featuring artwork designed by the late Virgil Abloh, the Griselda Records album honors a series that dates back over three years to Pray For Paris. “I’ve been living a healthy, sucka-free life, and it’s given me a new energy,” Gunn said in a press statement. “I feel better than I ever have; stronger and smarter. I’m the best curator in the game right now and that’s said by the who’s who—not me. GOD is the greatest. I love y’all.” The album was made in France, Greece, Denmark, and England while the Buffalo, New York native traveled for work and pleasure. His latest solo endeavor involves Rick Ross, Jeezy, DJ Drama, Ty Dolla Sign, RZA, and Denzel Curry, as well as contributions from Grisela crew-mates Benny The Butcher, Daringer, Stove God Cooks, Rome Streetz, AA Rashid, Estee Nack, and Boldy James.
However, it’s Wes’, Conway The Machine, and J.I.D. who may steal the show on the album with “Mamas PrimeTime.” The song, produced by Beat Butcha and Mr. Green, has a hard-hitting drum beat with ominous accents. In the first verse, WSG positions himself as an accessible leader with tough-guy roots. “Spit in your face, but I’m super humble / I been ahead of y’all, my metaphors beretta wars / AllSaints leathers on my feet, need a extra arm / C_____e mega loss, bag in the Venetta stores / Your head get severed off.” Quick bars detail the life and times of an MC who left prison a decade or so ago, to become an unlikely Rap hero. Gunn and Griselda have since combined designer lifestyles with hard-nosed Hip-Hop for a rugged renaissance. “You n____s still blind, this greatness in real time / Love to all my n____s locked up, I send my/ Fake and real is a thin line, I been inclined / Plus, the plug a friend of mine, send at least 10 at a time / On a jet, pennin’ my rhyme / You see my neck, you the see the shine, I’m divine,” he commands.
J.I.D., another Hip-Hop star of the last six years, rhymes next. “Don’t you tell me how yo’ bro did / So and so, and sold to such and such / Grew up with no justice, no peace, it’s just us on them streets like the bus / Either martyred or you marchin’ like you Martin Luther King, bruh, keep up / N____s speakin’ on my name is free buzz / My lil’ brother tote banana clips, ain’t got no peach fuzz.” The Dreamville MC then points out some Georgia history: “Cold cash comin’ ’round the clock, hell yeah / From a city where Tupac popped two cops, hell yeah / I was bred there.” The artist then warns, “Either way, ain’t nobody gon’ get nothin’ for free, I’m takin over / I can make the Devil sell his soul to me / Give it all back to Jehova, bring you right back to the street / ‘Cause now you witnessing the culture, sprinkling coke on the keys / Yeah-yeah, hell yeah-yeah, indeed / B___h, it’s Gunn and JID, a blind man can see the vibe is immaculate / I never gotta try, it’s elaborate / I adamantly move like a mad-man / To the cash, I’m a magnet / They baggin’ up the bullets in fragments / I’m smokin’ on a pot for the cataracts / I put a red dot on a M__A hat.“
Gunn’s brother, Conway The Machine, raps last. He praises his work ethic and his incredible come-up. “Ex-street n___a, but now I’m corporate / Walk in that record label office, they start applaudin’ / F__k that contract, if I endorse it, I need the biggest portion / Park the foreign next to the plane and smoke one while I’m boardin’ / Damn, I’m so important / Damn, your boy been tourin’ / Damn, your boy been goin’ animal, recordin’.”
Both Gunn and JID were involved in the 2019 Dreamville Revenge Of The Dreamers 3 sessions. Previously, JID and Conway released two collaborations. Last month, JID released “Half Doin’ Dope/Van Gogh” as a Dreamville Records two-pack. Conway has released a handful of 2023 projects—most recently, the Speshal Machinery collaboration LP with 38 Spesh.
In addition to “Mamas PrimeTime,” the AFH playlist features another selection from And Then You Pray For Me, the solo cut “FLYGOD 2x.” The curated list also features a recent collaboration between WSG, Ghostface Killah, and DJ Muggs, a Conway WON’T HE DO IT inclusion, and JID work with Dreamville as well as Mick Jenkins.
#BonusBeat: AFH‘s 2019 interview with Griselda: