Westside Gunn – “Pray for Paris“ (Album Review)

Westside Gunn is an MC & entrepreneur from Buffalo, New York that made his mark on hip hop in 2016 with his debut album FLYGOD. This has been continued with a handful of mixtapes, his 2018 sophomore album Supreme Blientele, inking a management deal with JAY-Z’s Roc Nation & his own label Griselda Records even signing a distribution deal with Shady Records. In 2019, we saw Westside drop his 3rd album FLYGOD is an Awesome God in the summer & then the 7th installment of his infamous Hitler Wears Hermes series 4 months later. However to kick off his final year of making music allegedly, he’s coming through with his 4th full-length album.

After the $4M + Tax” intro, we get into the first song “No Vacancy”. Where the FLYGOD of course talks about pushing over a blissful DJ Muggs instrumental. The next track “George Bondo” with Conway the Machine & Benny the Butcher sees the 3 talking about going from selling dog food to being successful over a grimy Daringer/Beat Butcha instrumental while the song “327” with Joey Bada$$ & Tyler, The Creator sees the 3 flexing over a mellow boom bap beat.

The track “French Toast” with Wale sees the 2 talking about crushing their competition over a piano-inflicted boom bap beat & while the song “Euro Step” may have my least favorite instrumental on the album, I do like how Westside pays tribute to everyone he knows who’re still slanging yay. The track “Allah Sent Me” with Conway & Benny sees the 3 trading bars back & forth with each other like it’s nothing over a menacing Daringer beat while the song “$500 Ounces” with Freddie Gibbs & Roc Marciano sees the 3 getting mafioso over a jazzy Alchemist beat.

The track “Versace” talks about how he’s never going back to being broke over a harmonious vocal sample while the song “Clairborne Kick” with Boldy James sees the 2 talking about their dealing days & I really love the atmosphere that Uncle Al provides them with. The track “Shawn vs. Flair” shows off his wordplay over a flawless boom bap beat from none other than DJ Premier while the song “Party with Pop Smoke” finds Westside bragging & Keisha Plum closing it out with some beautiful poetry over a colorful Tyler, The Creator instrumental. The album then finishes with “Le Djobila”, where we get a very short verse & some really awesome tap-dancing over a soulful beat

If this really is Westside’s final year rapping because everyone has said it at some point, then what a way to kick it off. He sounds as passionate as ever, the big name features all come together fantastically & the production is easily some of the best that the man has EVER gotten his hands on.

Score: 8/10