Here we have the 12th EP from Buffalo emcee Conway the Machine. Blowing up in late 2015 as part of the 3 OGs of Griselda Records alongside his brother Westside Gunn & their cousin Benny the Butcher, the trio have had hip hop lock ever since their arrival by their constant work ethic balancing quality & quality as well as vividly detailing their lives in the streets on top of boom bap production kin to that of RZA & Havoc in their music. Con’s full-length debut From King to a God was my Album of the Year for 2020 & the Shady Records-backed sophomore effort God Don’t Make Mistakes is the most personal he’s ever been. But coming off Organized Grime 2 as well as the Big Ghost Ltd.-produced What Has Been Blessed Cannot Be Cursed & Won’t He Do It, we’re now being treated GxF in-house producer Conductor Williams of The Heartbreakers fully producing Conductor Machine.
“Blessings of the King” is a soulful opener to the EP charmingly showing off how ill & fly he is whereas “Believe Me” gives of a jazzy boom bap flare to the instrumental declaring that the real is back. “Noir” works in some pianos, kicks & snares asking what exactly it is that you want from him leading into “Higher” taking a more psychedelic route to the beat talking about shit getting spooky up in here once again.
One of the first Drumwork Music Group signees 7xvethegenius joins Con for “Flame” hoping on top of a soul sample dropping some hardcore lyricism prior to “Church Fan” featuring the label’s first recording artist Jae Skeese pulling from gospel music spitting that higher power rap with his mentor La Maquina. “Love the Lord” though ends the album with some heavy vocal chops justifiably comparing his rhymebook to national treasure.
West’s Pray for Paris sequel And Then You Pray for Me is pretty much his La Maquina, but Conductor Machine is the best thing that Con has done this year in my opinion. Conductor coming fresh off his For All the Dogs production credit further showcasing why he’s one of the biggest beatsmiths today & the performances are equally consistent.