Westside Gunn is back with a solo joint called Pray for Paris, which dropped on Friday (April 17). The Flygod is once again doing it for the culture and put on for his hometown of Buffalo with his latest project. With cosigns from Eminem and Roc Nation, Gunn’s buzz has been growing exponentially over his past few projects. After surviving COVID-19, this man deserves to celebrate his new release.
Reminiscent of grimy New York hip hop in the vein of Wu-Tang Clan, The Lox, Pre Era, and Action Bronson, Gunn is helping to bring back the east coast sound for a new generation of rap fans who may not be as familiar with his influences.
Listeners should be prepared for copious high fashion and professional wrestling references if this album is anything like Gunn’s previous work. It follows last year’s mixtapes Flygod is an Awesome God and Hitler Wears Hermes VII.
Guest artists on the project include Griselda Records rhymers (and relatives) Conway the Machine and Benny the Butcher, as well as Joey Bada$$, Wale, Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano and others. Production credits for Pray for Paris include DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill, The Alchemist, and Tyler the Creator. The legendary DJ Premier, who recently participated in a classic edition of VERZUZ going beat-for-beat with the RZA, produced the song “Shawn Vs. Flair.”
The album artwork is a riff on “David with the Head of Goliath” by renaissance painter Caravaggio. Gunn recently partnered with fashion maven Virgil Abloh, who also created the album’s cover art, for a livestream listening party hosted on the video game streaming platform Twitch in anticipation of the album dropping.
The event gave fans an early listen of the album a few hours before its official drop. Gunn doesn’t mince words when declaring on his Instagram that his music is a work of art and not just a typical rap release.
Check out the latest masterpiece from Westside Gunn, Pray for Paris, below.