Album Review: Westside Gunn – Pray For Paris

Today is a big day for rap and R&B albums, but there are maybe none that have the hype of the constantly working Westside Gunn. The Buffalo rapper has released his new album Pray For Paris, which was largely made over two days in Paris. He has been bubbling up from the underground into the mainstream and this superstar-filled LP should help him make that leap.

The album was not planned before Virgil Abloh invited Gunn to Paris for his Off-White fashion show. As Gunn's first time out of the country, he felt inspired by the city to create the album. Abloh designed the album artwork.

As mentioned, this album features some big names across the board from guest verses to production. In total, it features fellow Griselda members Conway The Machine and Benny The Butcher along with Tyler, the Creator, Wale, Joey Bada$$, Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano, Boldy James, Billie Essco, Joyce Wrice, Keisha Plum and Cartier A Williams.

However, the album feels at its best when it is Benny, Westside and Conway all together like the rap three musketeers. Having worked together on countless project and collabs for each other, their chemistry is among the very best in rap today and it shows. Their connection to Buffalo, not known as a rap powerhouse, also brings out the best in each other to represent the oft-maligned city at its best. They give a shout out to Buffalo legend Chicago Blackhawks superstar and taxi-hater Patrick Kane on “George Bondo.”

Despite this album having the sheen of opulence and examining fuck you money at the outset, it remains grounded with an ear to the streets. Elaborate cocaine raps are woven into the fabric of the album that is banked on Gunn’s high-pitched voice and start and stop flow.

With the producers on this album, expect something great. There are resplendent and luxurious beats like on “No Vacancy,” chilled out and smoke-ready beats like on “French Toast or subdued table-setters like on “327” as Gunn, Joey Bada$$ and Billie Esco rap about their rags to riches stories.

The full album is a great and smooth listen from start to finish. See the complete tracklist below, get your copy here and listen to the record now.

1. 400 Million Plus Tax
2. No Vacancy [prod DJ Muggs]
3. George Bondo ft. Conway The Machine & Benny The Butcher [prod Daringer, Beat Butcha]
4. 327 ft. Joey Badass, Tyler, the Creator, Billie Essco [prod Camo Monk]
5. French Toast ft.. Wale, Joyce Wrice [prod Camo Monk]
6. Euro Step [prod Conductor Willams]
7. Allah Sent Me ft. Benny the Butcher & Conway The Machine [prod Daringer]
8. $500 Ounces ft. Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano [prod Alchemist]
9. Ver$ace [prod Jay Versace]
10. Claiborne Kick ft. Boldy James [prod Alchemist]
11. Shawn Vs. Flair [prod DJ Premier]
12. Party Wit Pop Smoke ft. Keisha Plum [prod Tyler, the Creator]
13. LE Djoliba ft. Cartier A Williams [prod Bohemia Lynch]