Last month, Westside Gunn released 10. What began as a mixtape series a decade turned into a vehicle that delivered the Buffalo, New York MC and label founder to the mainstream. Griselda Records has become a movement to be reckoned with, and WSG has helped usher in a renaissance of hardcore Hip-Hop that crosses boundaries, reignites legends, and challenges the old guard music industry system.
As expected, 10 features some heavyweight features. Look no further than “Peppas,” featuring Black Star. The highlight from the project named after a Brooklyn-based Caribbean food grail now comes in a video starring WSG, Yasiin Bey, and Talib Kweli. In a year where Black Star released an acclaimed album on an exclusive podcast platform, they’ve kept a low profile about outside work. Talib and Mos Def make exception for Wes.
In the visual, the three New York giants pay one location a visit. Daily Gems directs the treatment which matches the flow of Conductor Williams’ smooth production. Mos Def kicks things off with a pink lemonade in hand. He raps from the counter and catches flicks with the real-life Peppa’s staff, in the community he hails from. Yasiin Bey kicks off the song with his signature style. “Core capability, Flacko facility / Fly guy, do or die, Bed-Stuy energy / Semper Fi, B-E-Y / These h*es hilarious, the cardiac serious / Cartier tank top, blow the central bank up / It’s all where your bank’s chucked, nah, baby, it ain’t luck / Days without a way, we prayed, then we made one / See that God graced us with flavors and fountains / X amount of mountains, X amount of X amount, it’s countless / Your wizard is a fraud, what you afraid for? / Saw a lot of thunder, no rainfall / Keynote considered glowin’, get the geometrics, true and living,” he raps.
Talib Kweli matches the energy. He begins: “The stars of the story got him movin’ different / Goofy ni**as that hate bein’ they change, because they true religion / If it isn’t love, it must be new addition / Flygods, nah, we don’t believe in superstitious / / Superman to man, see through the system with my supervision / Power, the spirit’ll grab it like tabernacle / The voice of the people keep it deeper than an Adam’s apple / Yeah, even more than before / I said what I said ’cause I saw what I saw / It’s unswore, you ain’t the boys, but always callin’ the law.”
WSG finishes with a menacing verse, filled with luxury brand references mixed with callbacks to his come-up. “My sh*t feel like it’s Illmatic again, my favorite fiend went to rehab / Two weeks later, he was back in attic again / He was three dollars short, had to drop him from the Benz wagon again / Trash it, brought another tour / Did ’em for sure, chef lover boy / Everybody know my dean, burnt clean / Fifty sweat pants, got the MAC on a jaw string / My ni**a hit me just to say he got the biggest lock in Orleans / I had the thirty-eight in ’14.”
Rome Streetz, a Griselda MC who delivered his KISS THE RING album recently, also appears in the video.
Earlier this month, Black Star and Madlib promoted their 2022 album No Fear Of Time on SNL.
#BonusBeat: “Peppas” and other selections from 10 (as well as Rome Streetz’ album) are currently on the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist: