After a steady release schedule of induvial projects, Griselda Records tries their hand at combining forces like some trinity of Mac-10s and diamond chains. The three ringleaders spawn as Conway The Machine, Westside Gunn, and Benny The Butcher who are able to meet like trap house monsters that take the sound from the Buffalo background to the center stage of hip-hop. It is an inspirational story that comes from grief and hardship, but WWCD is a fantastic tribute to a fallen member that shines like a memorial in the dimly-lit corners of Buffalo.
After a short introduction from Raekwon, “Chef Dreds” is the first musical track that holds all three members together on a verse. WWCD somehow is able to capture emotion from each artist without seeming like one had more verses or more edge than the other. Every single moment on WWCD just appears as natural as possible, and describes initially, “Ayo, hanging out the Royce with the Russian, everybody ducking.” It is in this quick display that the voices change and switch from Westside Gunn to Benny The butcher who is able to finish Gunn’s verse. This style works like a golden ticket that gets everyone in rotation and creates segmented murder on a track.
That goes for the production which is exclusively handled by Daringer and Beat Butcha who encapsulate the Griselda motive. Honestly, it is difficult to not be impressed by the work ethic and performance of Griselda Records. From the consistent drops of records, videos, and singles, WWCD feels like a long time coming.
As they move onto “Cruiser Weight Coke,” the combination is deadly and is almost hypnotic like Hydro. Benny The Butcher illustrates, “I was young in the state pen, just enough time to make friends. If we link up and make plans, it’s a done deal if we shake hands. You won’t understand me ‘less you move your family to a place they feel safe in, fuck what these hoes talk about cause I’m more concerned what the bank saying.” It is a vibrant verse, but that goes for most of WWCD as the bounce back between each vocalist is nearly perfect.
WWCD is dirty in context but clean in production and sound. The topics of drugs, violence, and illegal activity is rampant in Griselda’s music, and even though most of the audience can never relate, the way the story is told is what draws people in. Each vocalist works to carry their own weight both figuratively and literally, dictating that no matter what the situation is, Griselda is able to hold the attention for more than just the 13-track, 46-minute long record. WWCD is gracing a hopeful but continuous history of records that have been like diamonds in the rough among hip-hop.