Conway the Machine is a 38-year-old rapper from Buffalo, New York. Before ending his career year, the Griselda members back with a brand new expansion to his critically acclaimed album, From King To A God. With five new songs and about 19 minutes of running time, can Conway the Machine solidify his title as 2020s MVP?
Being his last effort in an illustrious year, Conway’s tying up loose ends in the cockiest way possible. His flexes are more in your face than ever, but that only adds a new element in his go-to boom-bap formula seen on cuts like “Raw Oysters” and “Stefon Diggs”. Between the boasting of his critical acclaim and commercial success, the Machine flashes some vocal experimentation with new rhyme schemes and cadences that further equip his profound arsenal. Building on this, “Crack In The Nineties” breaks the Buffalo MC’s usual formula of two to three-minute tracks in exchange for a heart-wrenching six-minute thriller. With illusive metaphors about death and a scary change in perspective from the excellent supporting verses from Jae Skeese and 7xvethegenius, this is easily one of the most unique cuts any of the Griselda camps has ever made. For those who are still worried this project is just a dense showcase of skills, “Ammenah’s Van” is another refreshing change of pace where Conway takes a step back and jots a letter to an ex-associate of his where he reminisces on the past and looks to the future. Hearing him rap in these multilayered lenses is a giant leap forward for Conway the Machine as its only adding to his already top tier skill set. Out of all these tracks, the glamorous “Serena vs Venus” was the batch’s highlight as, despite its subject matter revoling around a female love interest, Conway’s flow and melodic side take their most significant leap forward since the standard versions “Anza”. Overall, these five simple tracks only show Conway the Machine’s only getting better, and he’s not letting his foot down on the competition.
Sonically, each one of these songs does a perfect job at complementing Conway’s splendid performance. You have your typical grimy Daringer beats in “Raw Oysters” and “Stefon Diggs,” but the other three tracks are some of the more intricate loops the Machine’s ever rapped over. Produced by Mario Luciano, Cardiak, and Hitmaka, “Ammenah’s Van”s chipmunk soul sample, climatic drums, and dramatic piano climate together in what feels like a modernized version of Jay-Z’s “Song Cry”. Also ending off his phenomenal run this year, “Crack In The Nineties” contains a menacing instrumental arranged by the one and only Roc Marciano. With its demonic organs and distorted creaking and shaking, it’s hard to sleep after taking this one in. Last and certainly not least, the angelic chords and four-four timed drums of the 9th Wonder produced “Serana vs Venus” is what makes the entire track so revered in the first place. As a whole, these five instrumentals stay true to the standard editions core while adding new and intuitive layers.
In conclusion, From King To A God (Deluxe) is one of the best deluxe albums all year and actually fulfills the purpose of what a deluxe album is supposed to be. Conway adds to the standard version with songs that aren’t repetitive or generic but also don’t steer too far from its core. At this point, Conway the Machine is only getting better, and I’m sure this won’t stop in the future.
- It makes the entire body of work better
- Stays consistent with the standard version
- Showcases Conway’s artistic expansion
- Instrumental choices push him in new directions
- Typical boom bap tracks aren’t bad but bloat the originals tracklist up unnecessarily
Written by: Marc Dator
Scored and edited by: Marc Dator founder and owner of Fantastic Hip Hop