After already dropping two critically acclaimed albums in 2020, Conway the Machine is back with another classic album, From King To A GOD. The Griselda rapper shows no signs of slowing down as his fanbase is frequently being fed with top notch projects, a feat that most musicians would have a hard time pulling off. With that being said, it is probably safe to say that this is not going to be the last project out of Conway this year, as fans eagerly wait for his major label debut with Eminem’s Shady Records, titled God Don’t Make Mistakes.
From King To A GOD is stacked with a lot of classic hip hop elements. Like much of his older work, audiences really appreciate the authentic content Conway is able to produce regularly. For starters, the Buffalo rapper’s wordplay and lyricism is sharper than ever. One could assume that someone who raps about the gritty topics that he chooses to illustrate, which include—but are not limited to—street violence and illicit activity, would ultimately lead him to run out of material or deliver stale bars. However, that is the exact opposite of what actually happens in this scenario as he only seems to be sharpening his craft. One of my personal favorite lines came from the track “Jesus Khrysis” where the rapper states that his work has “lyrics written in Braille… you gotta feel it to understand,” which is straightforward yet extremely clever. Conway the Machine’s lyrics are comprised of all the true elements an MC should be able to deliver and his unique flow makes it all the more interesting to listen to. His steady and clear delivery is stunning to witness when considering that half his face is paralyzed from Bell’s Palsy. Without him reminding the audience about it, it would be nearly impossible to tell that he was rapping with a physical impairment.
Moving on to the production side of the album, things start to become more interesting as Conway begins choosing beats that diverge from his usual raw and menacing style of hip hop. A plethora of legendary producers lent a hand towards the project including Murda Beatz, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Alchemist, Hit-Boy, Erick Sermon of EPMD, and DJ Premier, along with Griselda’s in house producers Daringer and Beat Butcha. And to top off everything so far, Conway was able to enlist a couple A-list rappers to feature on the record. My personal favorite appearances came from Method Man on “Lemon”, Lloyd Banks on “Juvenile Hell”, and Benny the Butcher on “Spurs 3”, all of which are in my top features of the year most definitely. Personally, the most surprising feature that landed on the album was from Detroit native, Dej Loaf. On paper this collaboration does not seem to work, however both artists were able to kill their Hit-Boy produced song “Fear of God” and seamlessly blend together better than I thought.
Though I may be a little biased, I feel as though From King To A GOD has little flaws. If I were to nitpick, the biggest drawback may be that some songs sound similar to his past work. Some people on the internet complained that the album has a couple filler songs and though I understand these takes, I feel as though the album is meant to be listened from top to bottom as it flows like one concise piece of art, rather than a random collection of songs. Plus, I do feel like the standout tracks can definitely be added to playlists and listened to out of the context of the album.
With that being said, my favorite tracks include “Juvenile Hell”, “Lemon”, “Spurs 3”, “Fear of God” and “From King” though I recommend that the album be played for the full runtime. If I had to give From King To A GOD a rating out of 10, I would go as far to say that the album is a 9 as I do think it is definitely near some of Conway’s best work and is definitely one of the best projects released this year. For anyone trying to get into Conway the Machine, this album is a great place to start. From there, I recommend trying to work backwards with his catalog and trying to catch up by the time his next album release, which I predict won’t be too long from now.
Article By: Sushrut Shendey