Westside Gunn is a renaissance man.
At any moment, he could “diamond cut the coke like DDP”—a nod to 1990s wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, or ask for Virgil Abloh, the artistic designer of Louis Vuitton menswear to write “brick” on a brick of cocaine. That’s because those seemingly divergent cultures— wrestling, music, high fashion—are the nexus for a man with a vision so clear he can turn Buffalo, New York, into the home of hip-hop’s hottest rap group, part-owns a wrestling league and actually get Virgil to write brick on a brick.
Debuting in 2012 with the first entry in his Hitler Wears Hermes series, Westside Gunn is a man who’s both methodical and impulsive. He’ll buy a pair of sneakers from high-end brand KITH just because they matched what he wore that day, but he’ll check the price first. His music mirrors this same process, in a way. His grimey records can go down a murderous train of thought before a random wrestling reference interrupts the flow of murder and mayhem momentarily before vividly gruesome tales resume. That’s not simply for shock effect. Gunn is a die-hard wrestling fan.
“I'm front-row WrestleMania everything. My ticket last year was $13,500. This year, it’s actually going to be $14,500,” Gunn revealed to ONE37pm. “I enjoy it that much. I might’ve invested like 50 to 100 grand just going to wrestling events a year.”
Now, the kid who used to watch Hulk Hogan's main events is part-owner of House of Glory Wrestling with Master P and Brian Baez. He and his Griselda partners, Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine, recently put out their debut project, WWCD, after signing a management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
Westside Gunn stopped by the ONE37pm offices in New York to explain just how he got Virgil Abloh’s attention, how much new music we can expect in the first half of the new year and he tells us a story of a wrestling encounter that led to him becoming part-owner of HOG Wrestling.