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by Westside Gunn

Released October 28, 2022 via Griselda Records / EMPIRE

Reviewed November 8, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Science Class (60%), Red Death (43%), Peppas (40%)

10 years. A decade later, and still, there’s nobody doing it quite like Westside Gunn. For everyone that listened to Gunn’s double-sided tape near the end of last year, news of another installment in the acclaimed HWH mixtape series was a pleasant surprise.

It just so happens that the tape itself is as pleasant as hearing the news of its upcoming release.

For each limitation you’d think an artist like Gunn would have, he seemingly breaks through them; album after album. And if doesn’t, he’ll leave cracks in the ceiling above, hinting at what’s to come later.

10 is brimming with nostalgia as much as its focus resides in remaining fresh. Even after a decade, Gunn and his proclivity to curate — which has only strengthened as he’s grown wiser — has given us a warmth emanating from this record that seems to coincide with his growth as not just an artist, but as a person.

This tape’s nostalgia is much less steeped in a desire to return to an earlier time, but rather hearing the MCs that made your earlier years so special, once again. As legendary as they were all those years ago.

Hearing Mos and Talib on "Peppas" revitalized my urge to spin Black Star for the nth instance.

Rae and Ghost the same, only now I need an Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 3, with Gunn EP’ing and Conductor Williams taking center stage as the beat maestro he’s proved himself to be since I heard “Michael Irvin” two years ago.

If you didn’t like Westside Gunn before, this tape isn’t going to convince you of something that you’ve missed for a decade. But for those who’ve been keeping a close eye, it’s undeniable that Gunn has been an ever present monument of the underground. Even if his talents have put him in the mainstream conversation, his heart and his ear have remained deeply ingrained in what makes underground hip hop special. 10 is proof of that, and then some.

After a certain point while listening to Westside Gunn, you begin to wonder if him claiming classic status for each new release is merely promotional or a personal truth. 10 boisterously illustrates that it’s probably the latter. In fact, it’s no longer just personal truth, but universal. – Ben (Synth) (8.5/10)

As the send-off to the Hitler Wears Hermes series, 10 is a celebratory victory lap for the de facto leader of Griselda. In fitting fashion, the face of luxury rap puts together an extravagant farewell party with a star-studded guest list. Westside Gunn brings an average of more than two guest verses per track, from hip-hop legends like Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Busta Rhymes to frequent collaborators and contemporaries such as Benny the Butcher, Conway, Stove God Cooks, and more. While the extensive feature list may take away from this feeling like a true Westside Gunn album, it certainly lends credence to his belief in himself as rap’s best curator. Gunn’s presence provides the typical charisma you’d expect—those lovably obnoxious adlibs alongside cocky bars and high-fashion flexes; they might not be his most memorable performances, but they are the glue that pieces together a number of brilliant features. The beats are as opulent and beautiful as they are grimy; everyone came dressed to party, but everyone is ready to fight if needed. Griselda sure knows how to throw a party. – Dominick (8/10)

DeVán: 9/10 | Ben (Synth): 8.5/10 | Jared: 8.5/10 | Alan: 8.4/10 | Pax: 8.1/10

Dominick: 8/10 | Jacques: 8/10 | Cam: 7/10

Community Reviews:

It seemed like everyone who knew of Westside Gunn was waiting to see what he could do with his new, more mainstream fame in the rap scene. While Peace ‘Fly’ God was more of a true Westside Gunn album, 10 showcases his curation skills in ways fans have never quite seen before, rapping over different instrumentals and incorporating big names like A$AP Rocky, Run The Jewels, and many more. 10 is Gunn’s victory lap, in a sense. With more projects on the way in the coming months, it seems that the sky's the limit for the FLYGOD himself. – @jakob.milani (9/10)


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