“I ain’t bring New York back, I put Buffalo in the front,” describes the lyrical Tyson, Conway The Machine in a heavyweight match against himself on his newest record Look What I Became. Whether you like or dislike Griselda Records, A level of respect is put on the name like the rap Tony Montana. In a new age where coke rap is no longer at the height of sound, Conway The Machine grabs the listener by the collar, bringing their eye to the light of just what Buffalo rhymes can do.
New York City may be the birthplace of hip-hop, but Conway The Machine pays his respect to the roots from which he came; giving new meaning to “The Nickel City.” As he silently creeps behind the listener, sliding in through the door frame with a ratchet tucked under his overcoat, Conway The Machine scratches an itch that not many MC’s can. He begins on the Alchemist produced track, “No Women No Kids” with a scoreboard full of wins and swagger. “You can’t tell me all these rappers not inspired, before Reject 2, niggas was rappin’ like Desiigner… Alejandro Sosa the only cat that I aspire to be,” before letting off this machine gun ring of ad-libs that fade into the background. The performance is instantly recognizable within a sea of sounds, no longer hidden in the Buffalonian streets.
But it is on the iconic, “Tito’s Back” where Conway The Machine explains just why all eyes are on him. He begins, “Two bodies on the broken 40, your favorite rappers is broke and 40…” as Benny The Butcher jumps in behind with a lyrical Mac-10 on the Lambo-truck seat. They trade verses quickly, but resonate under the same crest, “Continental Spur, I can barely park the motherfucker, got an app on my phone that’s how I start the motherfucker.” Conway The Machine then finishes the line describing, “Gun on my hip, got aim like an archer motherfucker. I be swingin’ through New York like Peter Parker motherfucker.”
Later, Conway The Machine puts the pistol down and instead acts less like a Terminator and becomes more human on “Half Of It.” Rather than being a stiff-spined rhymer, Conway The Machine surrounds himself in the anxiety of what’s occurring in the world behind him. “I been so stressed out lately, nigga you don’t even know the half of it. My homie just finished 10 years of his prison sentence, that ain’t even half of it,” describes Conway The Machine over an instrumental from Rick Hyde. It’s strange, but Look What I Became is somehow a perfected journey that balances the reminiscent style of Conway’s rise with the punch of lyrical hip-hop.
As the record begins to fade with another W getting marked in the book for Conway The Machine, everything falls into place for Griselda Records. Between the rhymes and the way that the Buffalo king carries himself, Conway The Machine wants the world and everything in it.