The Buffalo MC comes through with his third release of the year, and his best solo work to date
Throughout the last few years, the Griselda crew have solidified themselves as one of hip hop’s most highly regarded acts. With multiple high-quality projects released every year and a consistent signature sound, the group has set a high standard for their releases. On his latest release, founding member Conway The Machine continues the tradition, with yet another gem being added to the crew’s catalogue.
On From King To A GOD, Conway’s mastery of his craft is apparent, and though he was already elite, he is in rare form on this LP. He spends the album’s runtime spitting verses like a seasoned veteran in the genre, even going bar-for-bar with legends like Method Man and Lloyd Banks. His unique drawl — the result of his Bell’s Palsy — paired with his fiery flow and distinct delivery make him completely captivating on every instrumental his voice touches.
Lyrically, the album contains a good balance of Griselda’s signature gritty street raps, and more intimate moments of introspection, grieving and reflection on society’s ills. On “Front Lines,” we see Conway delivering an extremely potent verse responding to the murder of George Floyd, over a grimy, sinister Beat Butcha instrumental that perfectly captures the horror, pain and aggression in Conway’s lyrics.
On the emotional, Erick Sermon-produced “Forever Droppin Tears,” Conway reminisces about close friends that he’s lost over the years, including Griselda producer DJ Shay, who passed away earlier this year. His reflections on losing some of those closest to him and the trauma attached to it are felt through the pain in his voice. It’s a touching moment on the album, and one of the most personal songs in Conway’s entire catalogue.
There are several soundbites peppered throughout the album of DJ Shay being interviewed regarding the Griselda crew, and Conway specifically. It’s clear that Shay had a deep admiration for Conway and his craft, and vice versa, and Conway misses him dearly. These interview clips serve as a fitting tribute for DJ Shay, while showcasing just how highly Conway’s peers think of his abilities.
With From King To A GOD, Conway reminds us how elite of a lyricist he is, while also showcasing sides of himself that fans may not be familiar with. Striking that balance between the street raps, and the new, more personal content, he shows growth while keeping the album’s sound familiar. This project is his most well-rounded work to date, and with it being billed as the prelude to his Shady Records debut, it looks like Conway is gearing up for something special.
Trial Track: Forever Dropping Tears