Westside Gunn has announced that 2023 will be the last year in which he releases new music of his own, citing a number of career accomplishments warranting his early retirement.
The Griselda Records co-founder made the announcement with a series of tweets on Friday (December 30) that saw him listing out a number of his past collaborators and the milestones he’s achieved since launching his imprint in 2012.
“23’ def my last year doing this shit,” Westside Gunn tweeted. “I don’t have nothing else 2prove, I put my team on, I put my city on, I worked w/everybody I ever wanted to work with, plus MFs still don’t even understand 1-10, FLYGOD, Awesome GOD, or Pray for Paris(mind u Virgil did the cover) im the [goat emoji] [shrug emoji].”
What followed was a number of tweets shouting out the Hip Hop luminaries he has worked with during his career, starting with securing partnerships between Griselda and both Eminem‘s Shady Records and JAY-Z at Roc Nation. He also listed off the rappers and producers he has collaborated with, paying homage to fallen comrades MF DOOM, Prodigy, DMX, Sean Price and Combat Jack.
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) December 31, 2022
He also made note of his 2023 Grammy nomination, thanks to an appearance on Mary J. Blige’s latest studio album, Good Morning Gorgeous.
“My music played at Fashion Shows in Paris, Japan, countless Tattoos, Countless murals,” FlyGod added. “I’ve never taken longer than 10-14days to make ANY project.. not 1x a year either multiple albums a year and I elevated every single time.”
Westside Gunn admitted that some fans may expect him to go back on his decision, as he has before; but explained that his early retirement was inspired as much by the struggles he’s experienced in the music industry as the heights he has attained.
“I know I say I’m a retire all the time so ppl might be like he always say this,” he wrote. “Seriously I been thru so much with this shit behind closed doors y’all would never know, it’s brought more pain than joy I’m just so G that I make it look super easy but I fight these devils everyday.”
He continued: “What makes me also the [goat emoji] is not only have I made the best albums personally in the last decade but I also executive produced the best albums in the last decade and they all sounded diff and made every artist sound immaculate listen to them all again the beats are all NEXT LEVEL.”
Elsewhere in his open letter to the fans, which he delivered in 20 separate tweets over the course of at least two hours, Westside Gunn detailed some of the challenges he has faced due to his dedication to his craft and his determination to fight for all artists to be allowed creative freedom.
He also acknowledged the controversy behind his Hitler Wears Hermes series, explaining that he had been warned to abandon the concept after its fifth iteration for fear of how it might impact his future success.
I was told I had to stop HWH the series after 5 (5yrs ago) I was told I wouldn’t get any endorsements, I would never be nominated, I will only get so far if I kept it going but I knew my heart was pure and my life is ART and explained how I even thought ofthe name I chose my fate
— WESTSIDEGUNN (@WESTSIDEGUNN) December 30, 2022
“I was told I wouldn’t get any endorsements,” he explained. “I would never be nominated, I will only get so far if I kept it going but I knew my heart was pure and my life is ART and explained how I even thought ofthe [sic] name I chose my fate.
“Ofcourse [sic] I would be 10x bigger if it wasn’t for that name,” he went on, “but again I knew my heart &I stuck to my script and did it my way, I can live with that decision many ppl would’ve folded & played the game.”
Before ending the conversation, W.S.G. assured fans that some of his most highly anticipated projects would see the light of day before the end of 2023, including his cryptic MICHELLE RECORDS project. He also added that he will continue to curate and serve as an executive producer for others and confirmed upcoming projects by several artists on the Griselda roster.
“YES ARMANI Dropping again, YES ROME dropping again, YES me and BOLDY gonna cook, YES ME and JAY WORTHY about to cook, NACKSAW JIM DUGGAN is halfway done, the ADOLF movie &Soundtrack &whatever else GOD wants me to do but I’m a go hard all year but after that I’m raising my babies.”
Fans will also have plenty of opportunities to see Westside Gunn before he retires from the rap game, as he announced his first international tour earlier this month.
The first leg of the God Is Love Tour will kick off in Amsterdam on January 13 and see him visit 12 cities in Europe before coming to a close in Lisbon on February 10.