Westside Gunn – “KARL ft Keisha Plum & Tiona D.” (prod by Roc Marciano)
Released: 20 February 2019
In typical Roc Marci fashion, “KARL” is absent of drums, and led by a singular vocal sample with a light piano keying in the background. Westside Gunn deploys his signature high-pitched delivery, stacked with booming adlibs and gun & drug references. But instead of straight-up flashing gaudy violent, luxury raps in our face for shine purposes, on “KARL” Gunn tells the story of his troubled past as a means to an end.
★★★★: By the end of the song, Westside Gunn affixes designer Karl Lagerfield, often seen photographed with the likes of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, as a motivational status symbol. Karl Lagerfeld died on February 19, 2019.
★★★★★: Best in show; pinnacle release from an all-time great artist.
★★★★1/2: Stellar example of genre; peak potential.
★★★★: Excellent; recommended to all fans of artist or genre.
★★★1/2: Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.
★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.
★★1/2: Average; does little to establish the artist or maintain quality.
★★: Unexceptional; a few highlights but otherwise bland.
★1/2: Weak; unrecommended for anyone but major fans of the style and/or artist.
★: Seriously flawed; very poor work but relatively listenable.
1/2: Terrible; a true embarrassment and akin to audio masochism.