Westside Gunn - FLYGOD is an Awesome God 2 (Album Review)

Westside Gunn is back for the second time this year, shortly after releasing 'Pray for Paris' with 'FLYGOD is an Awesome God 2'. Westside Gunn, one member of Griselda, is a coke rapper with an old school flow known for soulful instrumentals and brttt adlibs. After releasing a good album earlier this year you couldn't help feel this could be a bit rushed - and while it sure didn't sound rushed, it didn't quite meet it's predecessors level.

Firstly the production overall on this album is decent, but there's not a huge distinction between tracks and occasionally it can sound a bit bland. The beat on 'Jose Canseco' includes these soulful vocals and a nice guitar and honestly it sounds amazing as he provides a solid verse with slight complexity in his lyrics (although nothing amazing when broken down) and the feature in Stove God Cooks gives us some good coke bars throughout with a hard delivery (despite a slightly annoying voice) and nice flow. The song drags a bit but it's still good. An example of the beat not being distinct is 'Buffs vs. Wires' which again is soulful as WSG talks on the usual coke rap content. Boldy James has a nice flow on this track but doesn't say anything interesting while BENNY THE BUTCHER makes his presence known with a solid verse and some mean bars, "That's expected, VS cuts on my wrist big enough to catch infections". Benny is easily the best on the track but the other two are just forgettable. The beat of 'Rebirth' is this calming, laid back looped piano beat that just sounds really lifeless, as WSG gives us some forgettable lines and the feature in Keisha Plum is just so pointless all she does really is just talk on the track. This song is just boring and not enjoyable in anyway. The key elements of the beats include: pianos, boom bap drums, soulful production and guitar bass'.

Westside Gunn himself has some hard verses and some great bars on this album mainly coming from the first half of this, such as on the track 'Michael Irvin' where he talks on his experiences in prison and the justice system with some hard lines, "Woke up, middle of the night, my celly cryin' // The n**** got a L, he realized he gon' die there". The distorted and hard piano with the heavy drums acting as a bass and a soulful beat creates this intense feel and it's a great track with a lot of meaning. There are also some basic moments where he isn't saying much in an interesting or creative way. 'Bubba Chuck (Remix)' is an example of this where WSG's verse is incredibly weak and basic and he isn't' saying anything interesting. Stove is here again and he has some good lines, "Could've fought his case, I guess he'd rather fight his way up out a coma (Brrt, haha)", but I'm just kind of sick of hearing him at this point there's not need for him to be here 3 times. The light piano and screaming brass instrument in this beat sounds good but that's about it from this track. His flow is pretty smooth all throughout and his voice while slightly annoying is definitely distinctive and passable.

The features on this album are fine and shared chemistry with Westside Gunn - but there are some features on here that are just so forgettable as well. Armani Caesar has an amazing feature on 'Lil Cease' where she gives us slick wordplay, great punchlines and an entertaining voice over this boom bap beat with heavy drums and a piano with a more mean tone, "He tried to walk, we chopped his feet off him // Left his brains hangin' for a peace offerin'". The song is about just casual street life topics and Westside kind of drags but has some nice lines - Armani killed this one though. Right on the last track, Rome Streetz provides a verse on 'Steve Behr' and has a smooth flow, decent enough lyrics and is easily the best part of the song. The soulful beat consisting of looped vocals and violins is pretty bland and WSG is decent at best in this track before we get the ending which is about a religious group of people who are arguing about God. Again, I'm not much enjoying this track.

This album is plagued with some pointless skits and interludes which don't keep a narrative going and I'm confused as to why they're there and why so many are there. The first one 'Praise God Intro' gives us an insightful look at a renaissance which sounds like the law of attraction almost over this piano and whining soulful synth - it's an actual good skit and good introduction. The first 'Sadhu Interlude 1' is just pointless despite the fact it sounds decent, before we get a 'FCK the Police skit' which I'm not getting into because politics stress people out too much. 'MINISTER MAINO SKIT' is actually a nice skit talking on people being insecure and needing massive crews to roll around with. It definitely speaks on facts and is a nice, well fitted skit. The final interlude is 'Sadhu Interlude 2', which again sounds good but is pretty pointless. Some of these skits are definitely interesting and enjoyable, but there's too many of them for an album this short.

Content wise it's everything you expect from Westide - street life, cooking drugs, shooters, flexing and his new found wealth. A key example of all these being incorporated into a song is 'One More Hit', where WSG again gives hard bars over this soul sampled beat. Stove features again referring to making money and whipping drugs with some nice lines, "He said he prayed through summer and he read through winter // Then he came home rich, I had the bread delivered // Bitch, I just hit seven figures (Woo) // The same night, my young shooter hit eleven n***** (Brr, bah, bah, bah)", a nice delivery and flow - but just like the whole song nothing was entertaining me much about it. A quick mention to the track 'Greatminder' which was added on later so I don't have any notes on it - I don't know who performs this or why it's been added but it's a passable track.

To conclude, this album is a mix and match. There's some highlights, and there's some bland spots too which are tedious. There's an unnecessary amount of skits and it just seemed a pointless project and a worse version of 'Pray for Paris'. It really nose dived in the second half and that's where some poor songs crept in. There isn't many bad songs here, but there also isn't many good songs - a large majority of this album just sits in the middle of not boring me to death as well as not really entertaining me.

FAVOURITE TRACKS: Michael Irvin, Jose Canseco, Lil Cease



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