Conway the Machine – “If It Bleeds, It Can Be Killed” review

This is the brand new project from Buffalo emcee Conway the Machine. I really shouldn’t have to explain who he is at this point not just because I’ve been covering the whole Griselda camp quite a bit throughout these past few years, but just the way they have been dominating hip hop since late 2015 balancing quantity & quality by dropping a handful of dope projects a year. But 2020 was undoubtedly Conway’s most prolific year yet, dropping a total of 2 EPs & a full-length debut that’ve all quickly gone down as some of his best bodies of work yet. But as Conway gears up for his long-awaited Shady Records debut God Don’t Make Mistakes, he’s re-enlisting Big Ghost Ltd. for a sequel to No One Mourns the Wicked entitled If It Bleeds, It Can Be Killed.

After the “Commencement” intro from Lukey Cage, the first song “J Batters” calls to free his homie of the same name over some cinematic string sections whereas the next track “away We Move” talks about going from nothing to performing at Coachella over a soulful beat. The track “Kill All Rats” with Ransom & Rome Streetz finds the trio taking aim at snitches over an occult instrumental while the song “Toast” talks about aiming at fuck boys over a luxurious beat.

The song “Losses to Blessings” talks about the trials & tribulations over a melancholic, jazzy beat while the track “Highly Praised” talks about never falling off over a gospel sample. The song “Sons of Kings” with Knowledge the Pirate sees the 2 getting in their shit-talking bag about over a boom bap beat with some up-tempo keyboard melodies while the penultimate track “Red Beams” talks about wanting all the smoke over a devilish beat. The album ends with “Forever Ago”, where Conway talks about lying to protect his significant other from the truth over some harmonious vocal melodies.

I think If It Bleeds, It Can Be Killed is right on par with No One Mourns the Wicked & brought my excitement for God Don’t Make Mistakes to an all-time high. Conway continues to elevate as the best lyricist in Griselda & on the other end, Big Ghost Ltd. cooks up some of his best production yet.

Score: 4.5/5

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