Conway the Machine is a 38 year old MC from Buffalo, New York who’s risen to prominence as a co-founder of Griselda Records with his brother Westside Gunn. The label has put out a lot of the most essential releases from the East Coast within the past 5 years & have quickly become one of the most well-respected crews in hip hop today. Although everyone on the team has always been working their asses off (especially as of late), Conway has definitely stood out the most in 2020. He dropped 2 damn-near perfect EPs in the spring with LULU & No One Mourns the Wicked but as the release of his long-awaited Shady Records debut God Don’t Make Mistakes approaches, La Maquina is finally delivering the highly anticipated prelude album From King to a God.
The opener “From King…” speaks on how Conway has become a brand over a grimy Daringer beat whereas the next song “Fear of God” with DeJ Loaf sees the 2 talking about how far they’ve come over an empowering Hit-Boy instrumental. The track “Lemon” with Method Man finds both wordsmiths talking about over a creepy beat while the song “Dough & Damani” is pretty much Conway’s equivalent to “‘97 Hov” off of Benny the Butcher’s 2018 magnum opus Tana Talk 3 down to the switch-ups in the instrumental. The track “Juvenile Hell” with Flee Lord & Lloyd Banks sees the 3 over a dusty Havoc beat & after the “Words from Shay interlude, the song “Front Lines” is a well written response to the murder of George Floyd backed by a demented Beat Butcha instrumental.
The track “Anza” with Armani Caesar finds the 2 talking about how their crew has the most money over a trap beat from Murda Beatz while the song “Seen Everything But Jesus” with Freddie Gibbs finds the 2 talking about their regrets over a boom bap instrumental with some fancy keyboard embellishments. After the “Words from Shay 2” interlude, the song “Spurs 3” with Westside Gunn & Benny the Butcher get on their pyrex shit over a somber instrumental while the song “Forever Dropping Tears” talks about how no one can deceive him a smooth beat from both Erick Sermon & Rockwilder. The penultimate song “Jesus Khrysis” talks about being in rare form over a cinematic instrumental from Khrysis whereas the closer “Nothin’ Less or More” talks about how he’ll forever keep it raw over a funky boom bap beat from none other than DJ Premier.
After years of hype, this album certainly lived up to my expectations & only enhances my excitement for God Don’t Make Mistakes through the roof. Not only is Conway the most versatile he’s ever been before, but you can really hear how much he’s grown both as an artist & as a person throughout the years.