Westside Gunn’s “Hitler Wears Hermes 10” drops at a very interesting time…
5. Red Death
It’s mandatory that Griselda posse cuts make top 5 lists.
“Red Death” is a whopping nine minutes long. That’s longer than it took Elon Musk to fire Twitter executives after acquiring the company. The song isn’t necessarily exciting either… In it, Conway The Machine, Westside Gunn, Benny The Butcher, Armani Caesar, Stove God Cooks, and more drop hard-ass verses over this lethargic The Alchemist beat. At the end of the day, DJ Drama’s amped-up adlibs and the chemistry between everyone involved will keep you entertained.
4. Science Class
“Science Class” is an unbelievable musical experience.
I’ve never heard certified street ninjas rap over a beat as sweet, hippie-ish, and Love Connection from the 70s-Esque as the one that powers “Science Class.” Don’t let it fool you, Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Stove God Cooks, and Westside Gunn will all slap you in the face. The beat they are handed makes it sound like they would pick some dandelions for you.
BTW, Swizz Beatz made the beat on this song.
3. Peppas (Ft. Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli)
Because of Ye, I don’t know if I’m supposed to like Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli anymore…
I’m completely joking, I f**k with both of them heavily! Matter of fact, this track makes the top 5 list because it was dope hearing Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) and Talib Kweli on a track together again (Never thought this would happen on a Westside Gunn album). They both kill their verse too, proving that consistent flows over soulful beats still hits.
2. Shootouts in Soho (Ft. A$AP Rocky & Stove God Cooks)
Why would you want to be involved in a shootout in Soho? There are some good-ass pizza spots there.
“Shootouts in Soho,” which features a hip-hop beat that was probably made on some clouds, features three of the coolest verses I’ve heard this year. The way Westside Gunn, A$AP Rocky, and Stove God Cooks gently frolic through the track, rapping about everything from cooking dope to reaching their dreams, is remarkable.
“BDP” features my favorite beat on this album.
Thankfully, everyone on the song (Rome Streetz, Stove God Cooks, and Westside Gunn) meet the beat at the rim with hella confident deliveries, hungry bars, and super steady flows. Thank God!
No offense, but if you took Westside Gunn and the random-ass “This Is How We Do It” sample off this song, it would get five stars from me.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Intro (N/A)
2. FlyGod Jr (4/5)
3. Super Kick Party (3.5/5)
4. Shootouts in Soho (4.5/5)
5. Peppas (Ft. Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli) (4.5/5)
6. Nigo Louis (3/5)
7 BDP (4.5/5)
8. Science Class (4.5/5)
9. God Is Love (3/5)
10. Switches On Everything (4/5)
11. Mac Don’t Stop (3/5)
12. Red Death (4/5)
Westside Gunn’s albums feel like hip-hop honors tapes. I had nothing but smiles on my face hearing all the different MCs on this album.
Production: F**king outstanding! The production on this album made me nod my head violently, made me want to watch YouTube clips of Mr. Rogers’s neighborhood, made me want to freestyle, and made me say “what the f**k is this?.” As usual, you will be blown away by the random-ass beats that Westside got these gangsta-ass ninjas to rap over. Kudos to Denny Laflare, Elijah Hooks, Swizz Beats, Conductor Williams, Flygod JR, Mike Shabbo, The Alchemist, Pete Rock, and RZA.
Guest Appearances: As expected, the guest appearances on this album are everything. A$AP Rocky, Yasiin Bey, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Run The Jewels, Conway The Machine, Benny The Butcher, and plenty more enter into Westside Gunn’s wacky world filled with Alice In Wonderland-ass beats. Every single person shines so much, they make you forget that you’re listening to a Westside Gunn album. The person that I think steals the show on the album the most is Stove God Cooks. His ability to craft verses that are crazy + gutter as hell + sensible is very impressive.
The Performances: So… I wouldn’t call Westside Gunn’s rap performances on this album bad at all; what I would call them is purposely forgettable and pretty entertaining. Kudos must go to his curation skills. The way he combines sounds that are not supposed to be combined on this album is something else.
What I would change about this album: I want more DJ Drama! He was sprinkled in not enough pockets in this album.
Why You Should Press Play On This Album: It will f**k with your mind in ways that are fascinating. The odd production mixed with the gritty-ass verses from everyone featured on 10 makes for a listen that is only comparable to the other nine HWHs.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.