The album cover is a photo of a homeless woman named Claire. She is well known in Buffalo where the group is from.

Griselda: The Trio Keeping 90’s Rap Alive

By Pearce O’Neal
Music Journalist

The familial rap group Griselda, consisting of brothers Westside Gunn and Conway The Machine, along with cousin Benny The Butcher, are keeping the hardcore street feeling of 90’s rap alive.

All three had a big year in 2019 which ended with their debut album as a group. They gathered momentum and support to propel them into another big year.

Nowadays, some people think of the 90’s gangster rap as being an outdated form of the genre.  With the expansion of rap, there aren’t a lot of rappers out there still making music about their life on the streets and doing it with the same type of flow and beat used by some of the artists from the golden age of hip-hop.

 Now, Griselda isn’t the only group doing this. They are doing it with a certain organic feel that is unmatched, all while really solidifying their roots in New York.  They are taking their experiences on the streets and turning them into hard-hitting anthems. 

Westside Gunn’s high-pitched, nasally delivery mixed and contrasted perfectly with the deep, heavy voices of Conway and Benny, gives a captivating sound.

The members of Griselda have been quoted saying that making music was never a popularity contest.  It’s biographical for them.  They don’t make anything to be cool or fit in with whatever trend is big at the time in the rap game.

 They have been through hard times on the streets and have stories to tell because of it.  Conway The Machine was shot in the back of the head and is now paralyzed on the right side of his face.  Benny The Butcher and Westside Gunn have both been in and out of prison. 

The group takes these life stories and raps about them with ominous and sometimes even antagonizing beats, bringing people the nostalgia of the 90’s era hip-hop. 

Griselda signed to Eminem’s Shady Records back in 2017, but we didn’t get a major label debut album until this past November.  On their debut album of WWCD, the rappers incorporate Eminem, as well as a few other legends like Raekwon and 50 Cent, to hammer home a sense of the city street life. 

We get a very genuine-sounding project, sticking to their plan of authenticity.  The group is making music like and with mainstream artists, without sacrificing their roots.

Even though Griselda has only one album under their belts with WWCD, Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine and Benny The Butcher, each has a large discography of great music to check out. 

Listen to each of their albums and tapes on all major streaming services and peep the new freestyle they just did in “Fire In The Booth” on Youtube. 

Featured image by Pearce O’Neal via album cover screenshot.

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