Last year, the prolific Buffalo rap overlord Westside Gunn released his massive double album Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Sincerely Adolf, which will hopefully be the last entry in that whole questionably titled series. Today, Gunn has released another new project, his first of 2022. In the past few years, Gunn has used his platform to highlight likeminded artists — not just his Griselda Records family members but also philosophically aligned rap greats like Boldy James and Mach-Hommy. On his new Peace “Fly” God, Gunn does something similar for Syracuse up-and-comer Stove God Cooks and Boston hardhead Estee Nack.
Peace “Fly” God is a Westside Gunn mixtape the same way that A Written Testimony is a Jay Electronica album. On that record, Jay Electronica split every track with his benefactor Jay-Z. On Peace “Fly” God, Westside Gunn raps alongside Stove God Cooks and Estee Nack, two rappers who have been in his extended circle for a while, on virtually every track. Stove God is on four of the album’s nine proper songs, while Nack is on three. Sometimes, Gunn himself barely appears. That spotlight-sharing works beautifully; Stove God, in particular, really stands out here.
The mixtape also serves as more evidence of Westside Gunn’s great ear for beats. Peace “Fly” God features loose, spacey production from Madlib, Conductor Williams, Daringer, and especially the unknown-to-me Don Carrera, who handles half of the tape. Gunn also indulges in his old habit of naming songs after wrestlers; I love that he now has a track called “Danhausen.” Peace “Fly” God below.
Peace “Fly” God is out now on Griselda Records.