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Westside Gunn could also be a connoisseur of many issues — artwork, style, champagne, even professional wrestling — however selecting beats is the place the person actually earns his self-anointed nickname, the Flygod. Merely put, his ears are impeccable. And when he stumbled throughout video of a producer named Conductor Williams demo’ing beats on his IG web page a few years again, he knew he’d struck gold. What Gunn heard struck him in another way than the dirty sound he’d made synonymous with Griselda Data. This was symphonic however soulful. Gunn was bought.
“I spent the remainder of the day making an attempt to study Conductor,” Gunn remembers. “We reached out to one another and the remaining is historical past.”
Conductor has grow to be integral to the sound Gunn has curated for the Buffalo-based, independently-owned Griselda within the two years since they first labored collectively. And that sound has grow to be one of the distinct and influential in hip-hop. Conductor’s loop-heavy manufacturing, dissonant and sometimes devoid of bass, has a manner of elevating Gunn’s high-pitched barrage. As one-third of The Heartbreakers — the title Gunn calls his supergroup of in-house producers, which additionally contains Camoflauge Monk and Denny LaFlare — Kansas Metropolis native Williams works his magic like a jazz-era sideman, his choose tracks offering the proper accompaniment on albums starting from Gunn’s Pray For Paris and Mach-Hommy’s Pray For Haiti (govt produced by Gunn), to Gunn’s not too long ago launched double-LP Hitler Wears Hermes 8.
As two of the most recent collaborators featured on this season of The Method, the place we dig deep into joint discographies between rappers and producers, Westside Gunn and Conductor Williams have already made a serious affect. “Michael Irvin,” solely the second track they made collectively, served because the sonic inspiration for one of many greatest albums of 2021 when Tyler, the Creator rapped over the identical beat on “SIR BAUDELAIRE,” the opening track from his Name Me When You Get Misplaced LP. On this episode, we get them collectively in NYC to speak about how they encourage one another and what it feels prefer to know their music is shifting the tradition proper now. —Rodney Carmichael
ABOUT SEASON 2 OF THE FORMULA
On this season of The Method we sit down with a few of hip-hop’s rising and most revered artist-producer duos as they dissect songs emblematic of their collective physique of labor — be it an album, an period or a second in rhyme. As a result of the true stamp of a timeless collab comes when each musicians at play discover themselves eternally remodeled by the combination. Discover new episodes at npr.org/theformula:
• Tierra Whack + J Melodic (Saturday, Nov. 20)
Host/Sequence Producer: Rodney Carmichael; Producers: Tsering Bista, Nickolai Hammar; Editor: Nickolai Hammar; Animators: Jackie Lay, Alicia Zheng; Director of Images: Nickolai Hammar; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Annabel Edwards, Nickolai Hammar, Christopher Parks; Manufacturing Assistants: Amna Ijaz, Trisha Pickelhaupt; Artwork Director: CJ Riculan; Challenge Coordinator: Erin Register; Authorized Adviser: Kimberly Sullivan; Consulting Editors: Jacob Ganz, Sidney Madden; Supervising Producer, Nick Michael; Senior Producer: Abby O’Neill; Managing Editor: Becky Lettenberger; Government Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins
“Michael Irvin,” Westside Gunn, Flygod Is An Superior God 2 (2020); “Sir Baudelaire (feat. DJ Drama),” Tyler, The Creator, Name Me If You Get Misplaced (2021); “Rose Water” by DJ Face