Conway the Machine - From King to a GOD Music Album Reviews

Conway the Machine - From King to a GOD Music Album Reviews
On his latest album, the Buffalo rapper and member of the tough-talking trio Griselda makes his first bid for a bigger audience. 

Buffalo’s Griselda Records has built a fiefdom in western New York through prolific output with a very specific aesthetic, characterized by deep-seated grime draped in muted elegance. It’s the sound of long nights and cold winters, art made by hustlers toiling in relative obscurity, unable to garner support even from local institutions. As one of its founding MCs, Conway the Machine has come to embody Buffalo’s identity as a forgotten city, carrying a chip on his shoulder big enough to block out the sun. But on his latest LP From King to a God, Conway looks to shed his earthly confines for something more heavenly.
A rapper’s voice is their instrument, and few have one as distinct as Conway. His Bell’s Palsy (the result of several gunshot wounds) splits his diction right down the middle of his face, somewhere in between sharp and slurring. He’s a poignant lyricist with a penchant for storytelling, and his words are always intelligible, even if they sometimes sound strained through gritted teeth. His flow can turn an average track into something memorable, and serves as the perfect foil to his brother Westside Gunn’s nasal delivery.

The lyrics that unique instrument delivers on From King to a God are often vivid—albeit somewhat rehashed—street tales told with clever wordplay and a knack for scene-setting. He carries himself with the confidence of someone who knows they’re hard, and therefore isn’t afraid to be vulnerable, threatening violence and shedding tears in the same breath on “Juvenile Hell” (“I cried when Country Mike died, my heart broke/On the yard, get your jaw broke, as far as the bars go/Not only did I raise the bar, the bar broke”).

From King to a God’s production credits are star-studded, spanning several decades of hip-hop royalty, including EPMD’s Erick Sermon, Gang Starr’s DJ Premier, Mobb Deep’s Havoc, and the reigning maestro of mafioso rap, the Alchemist. The bulk of the production is handled by UK producer Beat Butcha and Griselda’s in-house producer Daringer, who are reverent enough towards the aforementioned OGs that the aesthetic across From King to a God is relatively seamless. The lone exceptions come from two modern-era production gurus, Hit-Boy and Murda Beatz.

Murda Beatz’s “Anza” floats a Double Dragon-esque chiptune melody atop a buoyant beat, and sounds like nothing else on the album. But the Hit-Boy helmed “Fear of GOD” is the album’s most compelling track, with a twinkling beat that teasingly withholds a sinister bassline in service of calculated drops. The inclusion of a perfectly serviceable Dej Loaf verse is curious, to say the least—her candy-coated AutoTune delivery sticks out like a sore thumb against the muted mahogany flows that typically populate Griselda records. And the vibe vanishes as abruptly as it arrived, shifting back into the tortured strings of the Method Man collab “Lemon.” It’s the strongest verse from Mr. Meth in years (“We creamin' em with pockets of dirty money, I'm clean again/Ain't gotta tell you I'm dope, just stick the needle in”), but the sequencing does it no favors.

From King to a God would be considered a solid effort from most MCs, but it's clear Conway has his aim set higher. Having conquered his hometown, Conway now seeks adulation from the world at large. And largely, it’s a world that has moved on from the New York sound of the ’90s. There are forays into potential new directions, but much of From King to a God finds Conway treading water. And the late additions to the tracklist—including the three interludes that essentially eulogize his homie DJ Shay (the recently deceased Griselda production mainstay) and tracks produced by DJ Premier and Khrysis—seem to look more backward than forward.

Conway admits that this LP is meant to be somewhat of an appetizer for his forthcoming Shady records debut, God Don’t Make Mistakes, the record that would mark a sea change for both himself and Griselda as a whole. And if he wants to shed the genre-rapper tag and graduate to the next level of stardom, he’ll need a record that elevates the Griselda sound beyond the limits of Buffalo’s icy streets.
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Conway the Machine - From King to a GOD Music Album Reviews Conway the Machine - From King to a GOD Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, September 21, 2020 Rating:

0 comments:

Post a Comment