Breaking down The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of “Lotto” by Westside Gunn featuring Benny the Butcher.
The song’s intro is a 13-year-old wrestling fan’s wet dream. Westside Gunn is introduced by his own personal Paul Bearer. It’s the kind of thing that makes you shout out on the subway or at the gym while listening to it.
You also have to love the cover of the single, the album cover (“Fourth Rope”) and the song names, all of which are coded or direct references to classic wrestling.
Also, falling squarely in The Good is Benny the Butcher’s verse. In particular the line, “F**k my b***h in the hills, n****a, and I ain’t talkin’ fashion/I’m talkin’ about a mansion and a crib in Calabasas” is solid (except for the unnecessary, misogynistic epithet).
This is a four-minute song and there are about 49 seconds of gun sound effects. Actually “sound effects” is being a bit generous; it’s actually just Westside Gunn making gun noises with his mouth.
This is undoubtedly the worst part of the song. It fetishizes violence (always a bad thing) and it kind of sounds stupid. Like, there are 10-second chunks of Westside Gunn saying either “boom”, “doop” or “dook” (we couldn’t decide) over and over again. And yet…
It might be the best part of the song. What pulls you into the song (if anything does) is the fact that the song is so over the top and so cartoonishly dedicated to its premise. It’s a hip-hop song with extra violence; it’s as if they finally found, after stuffing the crust, a place for more cheese on a pizza. In the future, a real banger will be four minutes of someone making uzi noises into a fan.
The ugly items aren’t so black and white. Here’s a list:
- The organ beat works, but it’s also very simple. Kinda matches the song though…
- Westside Gunn drags the word “lotto” and “motto” out until each word is protruding out from your skull. It’s grating but it’s also catchy in the same way that an advertising jingle is catchy.
- It is tough to determine how much of this song is to be taken as fact. It’s almost too easy to draw a parallel between hip-hop and professional wrestling but this song beats you over the head with it. Ultimately it’s much easier to deal with The Bad of the song when it is looked at through the lens of pro wrestling. Still not an excuse though.
- Seriously nobody knows what sound he’s making:
This song is a mixed bag, but it gets stuck in your head. Westside Gunn has released 4 projects in 2019 so if you like, tolerate or are intrigued by this song check out his other stuff.