If you’ve managed to sleep on Westside Gunn up until this point, that’s about to change very soon. The Buffalo native has released a string of acclaimed projects over the past several years and was recently brought under Eminem's Shady Records umbrella through an exclusive deal with Gunn’s own Griselda Records.
Along with major label distribution, the Shady deal also comes with the immense lyrical resources of the label’s affiliates, which, of course, includes Royce Da 5’9”. And since any rapper, if given half the chance, would grab a verse from Royce, Westside and his brother Conway did just that for “100,000 Machine Gunz,” a standout track from Gunn’s recently released Hitler on Steroids project.
While Westside and Conway’s performances are certainly dope, albeit a tad sluggish, it’s Royce who steals the show with a dizzying verse that seems to invent new flows as it goes along.
Holy shit, you need to hear him go in on this.
Good lord. Royce comes in all smooth, lulling listeners into a false sense of security, only to trounce the beat in ways I didn’t even know were possible. Royce’s pocket has always been vast compared to most, but these deliveries are impressive even for him.
It’s not just the way he teleports in and out of the beat like Goku dodging Cell punches, either. As has come to be expected from the Detroit veteran, the bars are delivered with 21 tons of dynamite.
Just a quick sample:
"They call a n*gga wrecking ball Nickle / No shark swimmin’ or dentist'll check a jaw quicker / Product of my momma and poppa upper dresser drawer wisdom"
That was merely one example I could confidently pull out without confirmation from Genius, but rest assured, there’s plenty more where that came from.
Although Royce has enjoyed plenty of mid-career success—Layers was a fantastic album, and PRhyme arguably an instant classic—he’s still infuriatingly slept-on in terms of being fully recognized for his technical skills and experimentation.
“100,000 Machine Gunz” marks Royce and Gunn’s second collaboration after Royce’s “The Banjo,” and given the quality of both of those tracks, we can only hope that someone locks these two in the studio together for the foreseeable future.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.