Westside Gunn went to school at George Perimeter
College in Atlanta — for one day. Young and admittedly
careless at the time, he took the financial aid money and
bought drugs to sell instead. Deep down, Westside Gunn
knew he was destined for something else,
Now at the helm of Griselda Records with his brother
Conway The Machine and cousin Benny The
Butcher, Westside Gunn is living the life he always
dreamed of but on his own terms. His latest
album, Hitler Wears Hermes VIII: Sincerely
Adolf, found him collaborating with rap juggernaut Lil
Wayne along with his labelmates Boldy James, Mach-
Hommy, Rome Streetz Stove God Cooks and, of course,
Conway and Westside.
Two days after its arrival, Kanye West finally delivered
his long-awaited Donda album and Westside Gunn was
among its many, many guests. But at one point, he didn’t
think he’d made the cut.
During a recent interview with sources, the 39-year-old
powerhouse explained how his inclusion on “Keep My
Spirit Alive” wound up being a pleasant surprise and
luckily, didn’t need to go full-on Soulja Boy either.
“That was one of the things that was a big deal to me,” he
tells sources. “I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know it was
going to be on the album at first. He ended up doing like
the listening in Las Vegas and everybody was hitting me
like, ‘Yo, I heard you on Kanye album.’ So I was happy as
shit. I’m like, ‘Word. I did it.’ So it was like, ‘Damn, OK.
He finally dropping it, and I’m on it.’ Then he had the
listening party in Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Arena,
one of the biggest stadiums, period. He played [the song]
and I wasn’t on it.
“I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m not on this shit?’ I took my
family, we all in there, I was just waiting to hear my part
and it never came on. So I’m leaving the stadium like,
‘Man, fuck this man.’ I was mad as hell. So then he had
another one in Atlanta and I was like, ‘I ain’t going back
to that one.’ And then I was on it [laughs].”
Kanye then reached out to Westside Gunn to attend the
third and final public listening party at Soldier Field in
Chicago — and he happily hopped on a plane.
“I was like if he’s inviting me to Chicago, I must be on it,”
he says. “For him to want me in Chicago? So once I went
to Chicago, I’m thinking I’m just going to watch it from
the stands, but no he actually took me backstage. I hung
out with everybody, was just chillin’ and then I ended up
on the porch.”
Kanye had done the seemingly impossible and recreated
his childhood home for the event. As the album played,
various contributors to the album would pop up,
including DaBaby and Marilyn Manson.
Both artists have been the center of controversy at some
point over the past year. DaBaby was under fire for
his perceived homophobic rant at Rolling Loud in July,
while Manson is currently facing multiple sexual assault
allegations from several women.
Nevertheless, Westside Gunn took a photo with the
legendary shock rocker and posted it on Instagram,
causing a wave of controversy in his comment section.
But as he explained at the time, he wasn’t about to not
take a photo with someone whose music he grew up on,
especially when there hasn’t been a conviction.
“I do what I want to do,” he says. “I don’t look at social
media because I live like a wrestler. If you look at
wrestler analogy and terms, I’m a heel. You got your
good guy and then you got your bad guy that people love.
I was always considered the bad guy, but people love me.
“People sometimes forget that I’m really a heel. Like, I’m
really the bad guy, you know what I’m saying? Don’t get
shit twisted. It’s just that I made it to the point where
sometimes you cheer for the bad guy to the point where
you actually forget he’s the bad guy.”
Westside Gunn likens it to the character from The Joker.
“In his movie, you really cheer him on and you love him,
but you actually forgot this is the guy who like blew up a
million building and tried to kill Batman,” he continues.
“It’s the same thing. It’s like I’m still the Joker. Don’t
forget it. I might feed the homeless and give back to the
kids, but I still got the train hostage [laughs]. Don’t forget
“I be moving, calculating, so I knew people was going to
be fucking shitting on themselves when I did it, but it was
just like, why not? At the end of the day you mad at me,
but he on Kanye’s porch, not mine. Don’t get mad at me. I
gave him his flowers. I’m a ’90s baby. That’s Marilyn