It is truly the year of Griselda. Westside Gunn released his album Pray For Paris back in April, while fellow label mates Conway The Machine & Armani Caesar released records of their own. Benny The Butcher has his own LP Burden Of Proof on the way. Gunn is now back for round two in 2020 (a year that has felt endless with today being the latest twist) with his major label debut Who Made The Sunshine on Shade Records / Interscope.
The “major label” tag is a little deceiving here. It gives the connotation that one loses some artistic integrity for cash, especially for a rapper who has remained so closely linked to the rap underground. But that isn't the case here. Instead he brings his raps to the majors and Shady is right place for it.
The LP has a polished feel to it with Gunn executive producing the record. He works with Griselda stalwarts Daringer and Beat Butcher, along with Alchemist, Just Blaze, and Conductor Williams to keep things sounding tough and fluid.
The major label connection helps nab massive collabs with Slick Rick, Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss and Smoke DZA, in addition to the Griselda crew. Even with the collabs all across the album, it is his unique and high-pitched voice that stitches the LP together. His story-telling remains as great as ever, telling of life of women, overzealous cops, big paydays and more. It ends with “98 Sabers,” a tough and face crunching celebration of Griselda, bringing back the full squad for one final salvo cementing their place on this year.
Get your copy of the album here.