Buffalo, New York rappers Westside Gunn and his brother Conway, who together rap in the duo Hall N' Nash, make street music. The brothers were both signed to Eminem's Shady Records earlier this year.
Steeped in early Nas and Wu-Tang Clan, Westside Gunn and Conway definitely gravitate toward the grit and grime, radiating an attitude born in the cold, darkness and poverty of their home city. Buffalo and Detroit could be said to be sister cities in a way, both with the burnt-out Great Lake vibe. Westside Gunn has done time. Conway has survived gunshot wounds to the head. These guys aren't play-acting. They probably are the first major hip-hop acts from Buffalo. As with many emerging hip-hop artists and collectives, the artwork and visual style associated with the pair seems to be as important as the music. Anyone who's looking for a break from the reigning Atlanta hip-hop of the moment might feel that Westside Gunn and Conway are a throwback to something classic and familiar.
Westside Gunn and Conway will be at Toad's Place, 300 York St., New Haven, on Friday, Oct. 13, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20. toadsplace.com and 203-624-8623.