Bringing the sounds of '90s hardcore rap into the 21st century, Buffalo-bred rapper Westside Gunn emerged as an underdog from the underground alongside his brother and fellow emcee, Conway. With their tales of street life, drugs, and gun violence, the pair have employed sample-heavy production in the gritty East Coast tradition of the Lox, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, and the Wu-Tang Clan. In addition to his work with Conway and their Griselda labelmates, Westside Gunn branched out on his own with a series of mixtapes issued in the 2010s, as well as solo albums such as Flygod (2016), Supreme Blientele (2018), and Pray for Paris (2020), the latter of which cracked the upper half of the Billboard 200.
Born Alvin Lamar Worthy in Buffalo, New York, Westside Gunn started rapping at a young age. In high school, he joined with Conway (born Demond Price) and fellow rappers Benny the Butcher and Machine Gun Black as the Forerunners. They stuck together over the years and in the early 2010s, they founded Griselda Records. In addition to output as Westside Gunn & Conway, Worthy began issuing his own mixtapes, including the Hitler Wears Hermes series, which kicked off in 2012. With his strong, steady rhymes and often laid-back production, he released five installments of the Hermes series into 2017.