Griselda Takeover: The Kings of New York
Lately I’ve been listening to the Griselda squad a lot. Like a whole lot. I realized that I haven’t updated my Spotify playlist lately, but there’s about to be a Griselda takeover!
It all started when… well hold on. I was gonna say it started with Benny The Butcher dropping Tana Talk 3, and the single “97 Hov”. But the truth is, I heard about Griselda before I even knew who they were.
Royce Da 5’9″ Introduces Westside Gunn & Conway
Now that I think of it, over the years Royce Da 5’9″ has introduced me to a lot of dope artists. Most of them are from Detroit, but today we’re talking about them Buffalo boys.
But yeah, that Griselda tag is one of the things that really stuck with me. That, and WSG’s voice. It’s so unique that even though I didn’t hear him again for another 2+ years, I instantly recognized his voice.
Conway, not so much. I even forgot he was on this song until I came back and revisited it a couple months ago. Also, I had never heard of them before, so to me they were the new cats that got a lucky feature with Royce and Styles P.
“I Could Be El Chapo Instead of Kevin Liles”
Spotify’s algorithm has been good to me over the years. I’ve discovered some amazing music by letting Spotify take the reigns and let their recommendations play. Probably my all time favorite discover is Mick Jenkins.
Well I don’t remember what I was listening to in order to trigger Benny The Butcher to pop up. I wanna say Joey Bada$$, but I could just be making that up. Anyway, the first half of “97 Hov” is so incredible to me that I was instantly hooked.
It took me a couple months, but I eventually got around to listening to the whole album, Tana Talk 3. Benny impresses me in the way that he kind of phrases things in a way that sounds familiar, but unique. And also, there’s usually a gangster twist.
Now That We’re All Caught Up…
Ok, so now you know how I discovered the Griselda squad. So let’s fast forward a little bit and see what kind of gems they’ve dropped on us since then.
By the way, I’m not gonna bother posting these in chronological order. Instead, I’m gonna post the albums in the order that I listened to them.
Westside Gunn | Flygod Is An Awesome God
I saw Flygod Is An Awesome God poppin up a lot on Instagram. A whole bunch of my favorite rappers were praising it, so for sure I had to check it out. Now keep in mind, I didn’t remember that this was the same dude from the Royce mixtape.
If you look at the tracklist, there are some pretty big names here. Alchemist, Raekwon, Evidence, Madlib and more. I would say that this album re-sparked my interest in Griselda. Before, I had no idea what the structure of the group was, I actually thought Benny was the leader.
Now I know that WSG is the brains of the operation, Conway has been by his side the whole time, and Benny was busy hustling on his own for years, but now rides hard for Griselda.
Conway The Machine | Look What I Became
This was my jam for a minute! Look What I Became is the first full project that I heard from Conway. Actually, it’s still the only full length project that I’ve heard. I need to fix that.
I think that my favorite two songs are “Vino D” and “Tito’s Back”. Just that real New York hip hop shit. No frills, just dope rap.
So, it’s my understanding that the album artwork is actually the real photo of Conway in the hospital. He was shot in the head and neck I believe, which left him with Bell’s Palsy.
Westside Gunn | Hitler Wears Hermes 7
I kind of look at Westside Gunn albums as a way for his whole team to shine. WSG definitely isn’t selfish when it comes to sharing the limelight. Hitler Wears Hermes 7 had some dope features, of course from the almighty Griselda Records.
“Undertaker vs. Goldberg”, “KOOL G”, and “Lucha Bros” are my top 3 tracks on the album. The production overall was awesome! I spent a couple days playing this album on repeat, but I also was listening to much other Griselda music, that I kind of forget what songs are what.
Benny The Butcher | The Plugs I Met
So I obviously heard the Pusha T feature, “18 Wheeler”, when it first dropped. It was suuuuper doooope, but for whatever reason, my plate was too full with other music to listen to The Plugs I Met in full.
Months later, here I am! I definitely enjoyed listening, and I’ll never get tired of hearing “The Butcher coming nigga!”
I would probably say that “18 Wheeler” is still my favorite song from the EP, but the more Benny bars the better. Black Thought is also on the EP, so that’s a nice addition.
Benny The Butcher now has another album/EP out with Smoke DZA, called Statue Of Limitations. I still need to listen to that.
Also, coming up the Griselda Records gang are about to drop a group album called W.W.C.D. Below is the first single, “DR. BIRD’S”.
I’m an idiot and it took me a looong time figure out what that stood for, so if you’re like me, I’ll save you some time. It stands for What Would Chine Do.
Again, it took me a while to figure out the “Chine” part. That’s short for Machine Gun Black. I think originally the acronym was meant to be “What Would Chinegun Do”, but they dropped the “gun” part. Oh yeah, I guess I should explain the relationship between all of these people.
So the Griselda squad isn’t just some local rappers that teamed up for a New York takeover. Westside Gunn and Conway The Machine are actually brothers. Benny The Butcher and Machine Gun Black (R.I.P.) are also brothers. The two sets of brothers are also cousins. Confusing?
Stay Tuned For More
For myself, I still want to go back and explore all 3 artists’ catalogues of music. That’s kind of a challenge since they refuse to stop putting out new music all of the time. I tell ya what though, that’s a good problem to have.
I’m so into Griselda right now, that I can pretty much guarantee that between the blog and the podcast, I’ll be sharing their new music. Be sure to check back for the latest news, and drop a comment below letting me know you’re favorite project from Griselda Records.