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  • Howard Butler

'WWCD' : Griselda - Album Review

W.W.C.D (What Would 'Chine Gun Do) is the major label debut for Griselda. For those who think I'm speaking gibberish, Griselda is the underground supergroup formed by Benny the Butcher, Conway the Machine, and Westside Gunn. The three lyricist connoisseurs hail from Buffalo and have made major waves over the last few years releasing dozens of notable projects. Will Griselda's first official group effort help to solidify them as what's next for the Coke Rap subgenre?

Full Disclosure: I may call this one of the best albums of the year and you might not be able to stomach even one verse.

Thanks for your click and I appreciate you showing interest in reading my stuff. However, if you don't appreciate at least some of the following rappers...

  • Raekwon (or any member of the Wu)

  • Pusha T (or Clipse... oh you don't know Clipse.... oh....)

  • Freddie Gibbs

  • Jay-Z

  • Roc Marciano

  • Black Thought

I can tell you that you probably won't like this project.

In March of 2017, the Griselda group signed to Shady Records, owned by Eminem. Since signing, the boys from Buffalo have continued to drop solo projects and collaborative tracks at an outstanding rate.

Since receiving the torch from Raekwon The Chef on their On Steroids Tour, they have hit the ground running, preparing audiences for their Shady debut.

They recently took steps to ensure their future success by signing a management deal with Jay-Z and Roc Nation.

It's inevitable that Griselda will triumph, but it's refreshing to see that they are looking to avoid the missteps of the dream team Shady Records couldn't quite boost to the finish line... I'm looking at you Slaughterhouse.

Introductions

Benny The Butcher

Name: Jeremie Pennick

Age: 35

Notable Projects: Tana Talk 3, The Plugs I Met

Conway The Machine

Name: Demond Price

Age: 37

Notable Projects: Look What I Became, Everybody is Food 2: Eat What U Kill

Westside Gunn

Name: Alvin Lamar Worthy

Age: 37

Notable Projects: Flygod is an AWESOME God, Supreme Blientele

Since being introduced to Griselda by fellow Burbs writer, Carter Ferryman, I've been hooked. They might just be the the coldest MCs walking at this very moment in hip-hop. Their music is grim and grimey, there aren't better words I could use to describe.

Individually, they are clearly talented. However, it's when they collaborate on a track, which they do FREQUENTLY, that each member puts their style and personality on display.

  • Benny brings his appalling pen game, as his ability to craft rhymes in graphic detail will never fail to send chills down your spine.

  • Westside Gunn contributes his beloved, yet deceivingly high-pitched voice; his love for fine art, high fashion, and professional wrestling. Most of all he brings his classic "DOO DOO DOO DOO" gunshot ad-lib.

  • Conway lends his unmatched delivery. His verbalization tends to be somewhat foggy because of the Bell's Pallsy leaving half his face paralyzed, but his message is as clear and his flow is as pure as the crack he rhymes about.

WWCD is 46 minutes long, with 13 tracks. Three quarters of an hour of bars on bars on bars, and aside from the Eminem and 50 Cent features, these verses are all brought to you by Griselda. Production is handled exclusively by their in-house guys, Daringer and Beat Butcha. Following a spoken word Raekwon intro; Benny, Westside, and Conway all weave bars beautifully over the up-tempo boom-bap beat on "Chef Dreds."

"I pull that gun up, you slippin', you better run it Shells, those feel like oatmeal, they sit in your stomach I came home and let back niggas biddin' them numbers I'm thinkin' 'bout which block that I'm killin' this summer" - Benny The Butcher // Chef Dreds

Benny had another clever bar on the song Moselle, where he plays with the "stand on my" lyric used by mainstream darlings Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert

Ah, hand on my clip, we animals, dismantle my strip I'm 5'8" but 6'11" if I stand on my bricks I cancel y'all quick with the Glock I shoot cannonballs with I sat in prison, walkin' the yard, just plannin' all this - Benny The Butcher // Moselle

What Would Chine Gun do starts fast and exciting with the majority of its highlights fitting in the first half of the project. Songs like "Cruiser Weight Coke" and "Freddie Hotspot" have some really interesting and engaging melodies from organs/pianos. Conway shines on these tracks, delivering some of his toughest verses on the project.

Few thousand for the god crystals I can make a call and get the raw shipment One shot, one kill when my dog clipped him Scored on them niggas with one bullet, that's Rod Strickland Four fifth-ed him, left him in the front seat of his car, twitchin' I don't know what kind of raw you been sniffin' Think you fuckin' with me, my bars different Rock the Dior with the KAWS stitchin', boy, listen You see a spaceship when my garage doors liftin' My broad a vixen, smokin' Billy's, cigar twistin' - Conway The Machine // Freddie Hotspot
My son gon' be a hustler, I see it all in his eyes Pole on the backseat every foreign I drive My connect like Domino's, I can order a pie I hit him back like, "Matter fact, I want all your supply" - Conway The Machine // Cruiser Weight Coke

"Dr. Birds", just like most album's singles, was everything this album should be. Menacing production with bars and clever taglines. I thought this track was the prime example of all three rappers in perfect harmony, with no one verse carrying the track. One of my all time favorite Griselda lines rang out mulitple times across the track, "TELL VIRGIL WRITE 'BRICK' ON MY BRICK."

So if it's smoke, we ain't even askin' We just pullin' up and somebody gon' see a casket Hall N Nash and Benny like James Worthy, Kareem and Magic Every time Griselda drop, this shit gon' be a classic. Yo, I gave cocaine to users, and okays to shooters I'm cocky, vintage Versace with the stone face Medusas Sopranos, and Margianos, we got gold-plated Rugers This pistol'll backflip you and blow your whole frame to Pluto Conway The Machine & Benny The Butcher // Dr. Birds

The back half of the project is where I felt it fell off a little bit. If you reordered the track listing, I would probably say the same thing. The features weren't negative, I just felt they were a little bit unnecessary, aside from Tiona Deniece's "blow your fucking face off" on Kennedy. I think the project became dryer and dryer the more I heard the same beat. Production was ruthless, but repetitive. 50 Cent hopped on the track City On The Map, and he sounded surprisingly great. His pen was nowhere near that of the three Buffalo rappers, but his legendary cadence fit right in. May Store brought me back in as Benny killed it, painting a vivid picture of his time trapping.

I don't feel no pressure, I feel like this my callin' Bought the work, a hour later, I had to flush it down the toilet Every time they kicked the door down, I'm who took the charges I came back and trapped harder, just in case they thought I lost it I was starin' them pots over with terrorist block soldiers Yeah, I went from heroin to a Merrill Lynch stock broker - Benny The Butcher // May Store

The final track, Bang (Remix), mixes business with pleasure as Shady boss Eminem gets a verse to close out the record. He raps about his past beefs with eventual losers such as Canibus, Ja Rule, and Charlamagne the God. Slim also talks about where he sees his legacy fitting in to the discussion today, with comparisons to Nas, Meek Mill, Notorious B.I.G., and Tupac Shakur.


VERDICT:

Griselda's debut album has ferocious verses and brutal bars, but ultimately becomes boring when production lacks any sort of soul sampling or modern rap influence. WWCD's artistic concept falls flat in comparison to past solo efforts. It's all good and dandy, but when looking for my next coke rap fix, I am much more likely to play The Plugs I Met, Hitler Wears Hermes, Supreme Blientele, Flygod, Look What I Became, Hall and Nash, etc.


7.2/10


~Howard Butler~