The focus of fashion and wrestling are often repeated motifs in Westside Gunn’s sound that has now become instantly recognizable when paired with the production of Daringer, Camoflauge Monk, and J57 that format the instrumentation of the record. As for features, Griselda member Conway The Machine pulls up alongside Keisha Plum, High Fashion P, and Tionna D. Together as a unit, Hitler Wears Hermes II can strike through nine tracks in 24 minutes and create a balance of brains and Berettas.
Pulling back the controversial curtains with “Big L & Half A Mil,” Westside Gunn is immediately transported through the 70s with instrumentation that relies on slowed, authentic percussion and a looped guitar that is dusty but hits like a crisp vinyl. The vocals here are a stream of consciousness coming directly from the iconic-voiced Westside Gunn as he describes, “And my shit the bomb diggy, Fendi strap on the SK, who can F with me. All gator strap back, relax, Supreme hoodie, couple niggas with me got the MAC, facts. SB Dunks, Dior gloves with the pump out. I want my money now or your brains get blown the fuck out.” He is violent, but charismatic and never seems to drop this theatrical style that proceeds through his Hitler Wears Hermes saga.
When he reaches the end of Hitler Wears Hermes II, Westside Gunn uses the final track “Salute” as a sendoff into the future with a roll call of past deaths or lock-ups seen in his lifetime. While he is not political, his speech carries weight and for the millions who are outside of the Griselda ranks, they are beginning to perhaps, only be seen as the most impressive spectacle of hip-hop power.