Label Spotlight: Griselda Records


Courtesy of

Griselda Production Company members.

Christian Maldonado, Lifestyle Editor

When you think about the biggest and best record labels in the rap genre, it is typical to think of Def Jam, Roc-A-Fella, Shady and Young Money Records. These and many more have been staples in the rap game, and have produced artists and projects that will go down in history. One label that has risen to fame but still does not get its flowers is Griselda Records. Founded by brothers and rappers Westside Gunn and Conway the Machine, the two saw the label as a way to represent Eastside Buffalo, a territory that does not get much attention in the rap industry.  

Named after the Colombian drug kingpin Griselda Blanco, the members of the group rap a lot about their experience with selling drugs and what that has done to their lives, whether it be good or bad. One of the reasons this label is so successful is their willingness to see the other members shine. In a recent interview with Complex Magazine, Westside Gunn talked about collaborating with the members of Griselda, and how he wants his collaborators to outshine him on his own work.  

“I want you to shine,” he said. “I want you to kill me because that’s only going to make the best music.” 

This is something that is not a popular mindset in the music industry, as many people are looking for their own break and their own success before anything else. 

“I’m so stingy,” he said about a song that he collaborated with fellow Griselda members on. “I’ve always wanted Benny (The Butcher) and Conway (The Machine) to outshine me.” 

The group has become incredibly influential and worked with a who’s who of rap artists and producers in the 2010s and 2020s. From DMX to Travis Scott, the group has been known to influence and collaborate with anyone and everyone, making members like Westside, Conway and Benny, “a rapper’s favorite rapper.” 

“(Shoutout) to Westside Gunn for making me want to rap again,” Tyler the Creator said on Instagram Live in 2021. “I love it. I love rap. It changed n— lives.” 

In 2019, the three founders of Griselda collaborated with Shady Records to release the first official Griselda album, “WWCD.” All three members of Griselda are on every song, with rap icons 50 Cent and Eminem, as well as Raekwon of Wu-Tang fame finding themselves on the album as well. This was one of the first times that Griselda was introduced to the mainstream, with the album being popular with diehard fans of the group and even being a hit with mainstream review sites like Pitchfork.  

While Westside, Benny and Conway are the original members of Griselda, Gunn especially has been focusing on bringing up new artists in the label. In 2021 and 2022, smaller label members Armani Caesar, Rome Streetz, Boldly James, Mach-Hommy and Stove God Cooks either released albums under the Griselda name or had features on Westside Gunn, Conway or Benny albums. This ability to uplift smaller artists and give them a platform is something that is not seen nearly enough with other major record labels in many genres.  

Westside Gunn has said he is planning on calling it quits on his rapping career after 2023 and focusing on the curation and production of other albums under the Griselda name. Conway the Machine is no longer an official artist under the Griselda record label, but still features artists from the label on his albums, and keeps the label’s signature sound on his albums. He has featured superstar artists like Rick Ross and Lil Wayne on his most recent record, “God Don’t Make Mistakes,” and had them embrace a more underground and hard-hitting sound that is not seen often in the mainstream. There is still no doubt that the best days for this label are ahead of them, and if you either consider yourself a fan of hip-hop or are looking to get into a new artist or artists, consider checking out the first rap label out of Buffalo, NY.