EP Review | Westside Gunn – Riots on Fashion Avenue

Click HERE to purchase this EP

Please note that this review was written mid-depression, which may be reflected in the content/quality.

This EP was released on February 10th in the year of our Lord 2017. Westside Gunn is an up & coming lyricist from Buffalo, NY. He’s one half of a duo with his brother, Conway the Machine, called Hall N’ Nash. They recently signed a deal with Shady Records, so they’re in good company I guess. He dropped an album called FLYGOD in 2016 to critical acclaim. I’m gonna have to check that out at some point. I think this’ll be a better entry point for me tho since it’s only 6 tracks. I’ve only ever heard him rap once. He was featured on Royce da 5’9″‘s 2017 mixtape, The Bar Exam IV. If you haven’t checked that project out you’re fuckin’ up. Anyway, I think I’m gonna love this project. Every song is produced by Mil.

Track 1: Fly Shit (Intro)

I’m about 40 seconds into the track. So far the production just sounds like ambient background music from a Thriller film. Oh shit. The beat just dropped. This beat is great. Hmm… I’m halfway through the track already. I don’t think this is gonna be an actual song. The production is top notch tho. This Mil guy is really talented. I hope they end up using this beat for an actual song.

Track 2: Brains Flew By

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Oh. Okay, I guess they’re not gonna use the beat from the previous track. Whatever. This beat is great. Westside Gunn’s finally goin’ in now. His voice kinda reminds me of MC Pee Pants. He screams New York. I could see him rapping alongside The Lox or Capone-N-Noreaga. The first verse was nice. This hook is hard as fuck.

Shot him up close / The nigga brains flew by.

It’s what you’d expect from a typical New York gangsta rapper. He’s goin’ in about cookin’ crack and doin’ hoodrat things with his friends. This shit is hard.

Investing in the vest; that’s a waste / My aim bad, I still knocked off his face.

The second verse was cool. I enjoyed this track. Nothing about it really blew me away, but I was obviously entertained. The production was really fucking good, and Westside Gunn did his thing too. I fuck with this. It’s dope.

Track 3: Don’t Trust a Soul

Oh maaaan… This beat is incredible. God. I’m loving this Mil guy. Westside Gunn has pretty much the same exact flow and delivery as Action Bronson. I’m not gonna lie; this isn’t really as good as I thought it’d be. I mean, I definitely like it, but… I don’t know. His gritty lyricism is the only thing that really stands out about him to me. His flow is really basic. I like his unconventional voice tho. There aren’t any other rappers that sound like him. I can see how it could annoy some listeners, but I like it personally. The hook’s kinda corny, but I don’t really mind it.

I don’t trust a soul except the sole on my Gucci loafers.

I love the way the production kinda adapts during the hook tho. I’ve noticed that all of Westside Gunn’s hooks kinda follow the same formula. I’ve only heard three hooks from him, but they’re all pretty similar in terms of the delivery. The second verse was good. I really like this song, but I think it’s mostly because of the production. A good song is a good song tho. This shit is dope.

Track 4: Brains Flew By (1964 Version)

Oh. This is just Brains Flew By with a different beat. So… There are really only two completely original songs on this project if you don’t count the intro and outro. Damn. That’s kinda disappointing. It’s not that big of a deal tho. I guess. I honestly don’t really have a preference between this and the original version. This one uses the same sample that Omen flipped for the song Motion Picture. I like this song more than that one honestly. I’m not gonna count this song in the final score for this project since it’s just a remix tho.

Track 5: Don’t Trust a Soul (7th Avenue Version)

This beat is awesome. It sounds a lot less gritty than the original one, but it’s still really good. It gives the song a really different vibe. Honestly, I think I like this version more than the original one. This is dope af. Actually, nah. I like the original more. They’re both great. However, I’m still not gonna count this one for the final score.

Track 6: No Face Dealer Feat. DJ Djaz

Hmm… I’ve heard this sample before too. I can’t remember where it’s from tho. The scratching on this track is really fuckin’ dope. DJ Djaz did a great job on this one. There’s no rapping, but it still sounds like a full song. This is dope.

Final Thoughts:

This was kind of a weird project. The way it’s structured is just kinda confusing. I feel like he should’ve either made an original song with every beat here, or just saved the two original songs for a longer project. This project isn’t gonna blow anyone away. I like it, but it’s really just two good songs. Mil is the real star of the show here. The production is easily the best aspect of this EP. Westside Gunn did his thing. If you’re a fan of super gritty Gangsta Rap you’ll like this. Just don’t expect anything groundbreaking. It’s good. Not great. Just good.

Favorite Song: Don’t Trust a Soul

Least Favorite Song: Brains Flew By

Verdict:

B-

70-79

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