It was just a casual Sunday afternoon when Westside Gunn’s piercing voice hit my ears as “George Bondo” started to play. Most days Spotify fills my daily mix playlist with a mixture of Griselda records and of course today was no different. As the second verse begins and Conway takes over for his stable mate I’m hit with the line “I’m impactin’ the culture like Eric Bischoff”
Now I’ve heard this song plenty of times and that line has come and gone but today something was a little different. I’m not sure why today was any different, maybe the Scott Hall shirt I was wearing helped inspire this. But today when I heard Conway say that line it made me stop to think… Is Griselda Rap’s NWO?
Now, I can recall a time when I would read articles comparing large acts like Wu-Tang to the NWO. These were the early days in the wrasslerap movement where we seemingly had articles like this popping up every other week. Twitter would be comparing members from Wu-Tang to members of the NWO. So I’m aware that this headline might cause a bit of a collective groan.
I feel like this is different. I’m not going to be sitting here asking is U-God Buff Bagwell or is he The Disciple. The answer is neither, he is clearly Scott Norton. There will be no talking points comparing Scott Hall to Conway. This is different
I get that this idea was handed to me with a bow on it by Conway. Everyone needs a muse and mine is from Buffalo.
So are Griselda The NWO?
Much like Eric Bischoff gave mainstream pro-wrestling an alternative that wasn’t really an alternative, Griselda is pulling the same okie doke on the mainstream rap scene. Throughout wrestling we’ve had the cool heel group dominate the scene. Most notably the Ric Flair led Four Horsemen, so what the NWO was doing wasn’t exactly new, just fresh. Grisedla isn’t bringing anything new to the table, we’ve had acts like Wu-Tang Clan provide this point of view before. Just like the NWO, they freshened it up a bit, but it’s still New York rap just with different scenery.
The NWO took the concept of the cool bad guy and spiced it up a bit. They used them to tear down the fourth wall between the audience and the wrestlers. They brought a level of reality to pro-wrestling that we hadn’t seen until that point. Razor Ramon and Diesel showing up and giving us their shoot names was mind melting to an audience that never experienced that before. Just like watching Griselda perform on the Tonight Show dressed in designer and spitting Pyrex lyrics at an audience that likely uses their Pyrex for something a little different.
WWF was giving us what we knew and what worked still from the late 80’s/early 90’s. It almost felt formulaic which of course it is, but we aren’t supposed to feel it . NWO came in and started to give us something that felt authentic and real. The Buffalo Boys who are delivering raw lyrics over boom-bap beats are also coming in with a fresh sound. While the music industry continues to push out the same auto-tuned voices. Acts attempting to do their best Kanye West/ Lil Wayne impression because it works. Griselda delivers an alternative to what we’ve come to expect.
Eventually the expansion and over saturation of the NWO killed off what made them cool and different. The term selling out would normally be great in the world of pro wrestling but here it feels detrimental. WCW itself started to suffer from trying to be too much instead of what made it great. Eventually we saw different factions within a faction and while we are seeing that with Griselda (Black Soprano Family & Drumwork Music Group) it doesn’t feel like the addition of acts like Armani Caesar or Boldy James will have the same negative impact as Disco Inferno and Horace Hogan did on the NWO’s cool factor.
Both impacted the culture and while the NWO might be lacking these days I think Griselda will turn out just fine, as long as they stay away from Disco Inferno.