This extended play was released on May 15th this year. I really don’t need to say anything in this preamble do I? If you follow this blog closely you know that I’m a humongous fan of Conway the Machine, and I have a shit ton of respect for Big Ghost as well. I’ve written before about how this blog would not exist without him, but if you wanna know why just go back and read my review of A Bullet for Every Heathen. Anyway, I don’t think I’ve heard any songs from this project, but I’m expecting it to be great since I’m such a huge fan of both of these guys. I don’t think it’ll be one of my favorite releases of the year, but maybe I’ll end up being surprised.
The project starts off with a skit called Family Secrets, which is honestly pretty awesome. It’s just what sounds like a movie clip, but the production from Big Ghost in the background is absolutely glorious. I’m guessing the “family secret” thing has to do with the fact that Benny, Westside Gunn & Conway the Machine are all technically related to each other. The actual content of the movie clip that they used for this intro isn’t super interesting, but, like I said, the production is fantastic. It segues really smoothly into Dead Flowers, which is a highlight for me. I’m just gonna come out and say it real quick… These beats? Breh… Big Ghost is a fucking monster. The production on this project is absolutely phenomenal. Literally as soon as the beat dropped on Dead Flowers, I was like…
The production here sounds absolutely evil. I love it. Conway pretty much just raps throughout this entire track. There are two verses, but there’s no hook. There’s just a quick break between the two verses. I wouldn’t say it’s one of Conway‘s best performances, but I was definitely satisfied. I loved that line where he said he had to take a knee to shoot his gun and that it’ll knock a tree down. That shit was hard as bricks.
I should aim shots at your head, but now you gotta sleep at night
Knowin' you ain't a real nigga, now lay on top of your bed
That's how you made it, I just won a hundred thousand down in Vegas
Gucci down to my socks, smilin' like Radric Davis
Bitch in my DMs said, "I'm proud you made it"
Told that ho that "I don't even want your pussy now, you basic"
Even if it isn’t the best rapping I’ve heard from Conway, I still think the song is fire. The production is absolutely stunning, and the rapping is very good. The song is dope as hell. The following track, Icon, is arguably better. Once again, Big Ghost’s production here is absolutely nasty, and I think Conway’s rapping here was more impressive personally.
Nigga get out of pocket, I'ma break his jaw
I like a rap nigga chain, I make him take it off
I whip the yayo in the mayo jar
Fronted my man a 31 on Thanksgiving, that's what he thankful for
The song is structured the same way that the preceding track is; it’s just one verse over a super grimy instrumental. It’s not the most fleshed out song, but everything here is just super well executed. I think it’s dope as hell. Track 4 is called Fake Love and it features ElCamino, whose work I’ve slowly been familiarizing myself with over the past year. The sample based production on this one is way smoother than any of the preceding material. It’s a very pretty instrumental. It’s not one of my favorite beats, but I definitely think it’s very good. The opening verse from ElCamino is solid. It’s not gonna blow anyone away, but it’s definitely sufficient. I was actually way more impressed by his vocals on the hook. He’s a really good singer. I mean, he’s not that great of a singer, but he’s way better than you’d probably expect. He sounds great here. Conway’s verse on this song was far more impressive to me. He did a much better job at staying on topic. Camino kinda just rapped about typical street shit, but Conway focused on his fake friends. This track isn’t really a highlight for me, but I definitely enjoyed it quite a bit. I think it’s dope. It’s followed by Shark Guts, which is the only song on the EP that I don’t like at all. I actually think this is one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard from Conway. First of all, this beat is actually terrible. The repetitive ass sample is so fucking annoying. Everything about this song is annoying as shit to be honest. The one artist who kept coming to mind while I listened to this shit was Westside Gunn. The pitch-shifted verse sounds just like something he would do, mainly because it’s annoying as fuck. I hate that flow that he was using so much.
Reject 2, that's a classic, Hall n' Nash, that's a classic
Hitler I through VII, all classic, Griselda Ghost, that's a classic
FLYGOD, that's a classic, Awesome God, that's a classic
Tana Talk 3, that's a classic, Blientele, that's a classic
Plugs I Met, that's a classic, F.O.O.D. 1 through 4, all classic
Look What I Became, that's a classic, What Would 'Chinegun Do, that's a classic
I don’t get why anyone would wanna listen to something like this. The repetitive lyrics, instrumental, and flow are all incredibly annoying. I think the song is wack personally. Thankfully, I like every other track on the project. In fact, it’s actually followed by my favorite song on the project, Bricks to Murals. Once again, the production here is absolutely filthy, and in the best way possible. It sounds like the musical equivalent of having your limbs cut off with a rusty saw. Conway murdered the first verse too.
Pop a nigga, put that on my kids
Sometimes when you kill a nigga you love, you stand over him, close his eyelids
I only rap what I lived, don't fuck with me
You'd rather commit suicide and dive off a high bridge
Eatin' raw oysters and fried squid
Even in Canada, I became a champion like Kawhi did
These the streets, you either gon' get a bullet scar
Or twenty years in the prison yard on the pull up bar
After the second recital of the hook, the instrumental switches up. It sounds like there’s some kind of soulful, Gospel sample here. It’s a really gorgeous beat. The verse he spits over this beat isn’t as nefarious, but he has some dope lines in there. I loved that one about how he’s bipolar like Busta Rhymes and flips modes. That shit was hard. Anyway, I think the song is dope af. I have zero gripes with it. The following track is an interlude called Rich. It sounds like another movie clip. This one sounds like it’s from a documentary. It’s just somebody talking about Rich Porter’s death. It’s not something that really interests me, but, once again, I really like the instrumental in the background. It’s dope. The penultimate song is called SDLN, which stands for “Streets Don’t Love Nobody.” Again, Big Ghost’s production here is very good. It kinda reminds me Letter to Falon by Jay Electronica. I mean, it’s not as good as that beat, but the piano kinda reminded me of it. Anyway, the opening verse from Conway is very dark. The hook is super simplistic, but it serves its purpose well enough. The second verse is also pretty good, although it felt shorter than the first one for whatever reason. I definitely like the song to some extent, but I have to admit that nothing about it particularly stands out. It’s not as memorable as any of the other tracks in my opinion. I do like it though. I think it’s pretty good. The closing song is called Sicarios, and it features Flee Lord, who’s another artist I’ve been getting into lately. He performs the opening verse on this track and does a pretty great job. I really love how aggressive and mean he sounds here.
Them shenanigans you play, now them hammers finna spray
Had him lackin' in the lobby, but his moms got in the way
Drummin' with some iron sticks, coke dryin', fryin' fish
Jungle Lord got gorilla lungs and a lion wrist
Pots burnin', kids playin', block earnin', shit sprayin'
Took it on consignment, knocked it off on his fifth payment
Lord for Fred Fresh leave your sofa bed stretched
How you told the bros "No," went and told the feds "Yes?"
Also, the beat sounds really grandiose and heavy. It sounds like music that would play during a boss battle in a video game. Flee Lord’s hook is really nice here too. Conway murdered that second verse. I think that’s one of the best verses on the whole project to be honest.
In Houston ridin' down Westheimer in the car
That cost more than what you signed for, admire from afar
'Cause if a nigga run up on me, I'm firin' this rod
Chopper set you fuck niggas on fire, I'm the God, nigga
Pussy niggas mad 'cause I'm eatin' and they can't take it
'Bout to drop my album, and the impact gon' shake pavement
If it's smoke, four goons pull up with Ks wavin'
A lot of bullets thrown like when Brady played Peyton
Yeah, rockin' designer to my draws
Niggas slidin' to the mall, but they ain't findin' this Dior, nigga
We was in the trenches sellin' China by the store
Window-watcher in the trap, MAC-90 by the door
It’s not my favorite song on the project, but it’s definitely a highlight. I think Flee Lord did a great job here, and Conway’s performance was fantastic as well. The song is dope as hell.
This is a very good project. It’s far from a favorite of mine when it comes to Conway’s catalogue, but I’m definitely satisfied. I honestly think Big Ghost is the star of the show here. A lot of these beats absolutely blew me away. There was one that I kinda hated, but for the most part this shit is really goddamn good. I’d love to see more work from Big Ghost on future projects from Conway or Benny because he’s super talented. I’d personally say that LULU is more consistent, but I think I was more blown away by the highlights on this one. Big Ghost killed this shit, and of course Conway did his thing. Don’t sleep on this EP. It’s dope.
Favorite Song: Bricks to Murals
Least Favorite Song: Shark Guts
Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this project.