First published at Ambrosia for Heads, 29 September 2017, read the article on the AFH site
That highly distinctive deep-atmosphere, kept so twitchy and tense, that defines the Griselda Records sound is on full display in “Bullet Club” – the first single taken from Conway The Machine’s upcoming G.O.A.T. The track sees him paired up with G-Unit MC Lloyd Banks and fellow Griselda affiliate Benny.
Produced by Griselda beat-maker Daringer, the track perfectly captures the menace we now associate with the Buffalo, New York crew. “Ni**as know something, don’t play stupid…” the sample at the start begins, setting the scene for Conway’s more measured than usual verse, against the trademark hysterical laughter and simulated gunfire.
Conway addresses the listener, or to be more accurate, the competition directly, telling us he’s “dropped the hardest tapes since ’94.” And that even though his face might be “twisted,” no other rapper can “spit it the way [he] spit it.” At one point, Conway challenges us to come up with a name equal to his, even stopping for “a minute” – literally. This adds a humorous touch to his earlier riff on people getting stabbed in the face and all the other elements that typically make up his dark musical head-space.
Lloyd Banks, who with 50 Cent dominated the East Coast Gangsta Rap game through the 2000s is fully at ease here with this next generation kindred spirits, setting it up perfectly for Griselda stable-mate Benny to close, as he makes a strong showing.