One of the most impressive things the Griselda squad has proven these past 365 days is the power of commodifying music —— by making it more difficult to get. This calculated process weeds out the casual fans and once again putting a value on the music reaching its intended audience outside of the streaming bubble.
We saw this with Westside Gunn’s last release, which dropped initially as physical only. Now, to end the year with a bang, Conway The Machine’s latest release EIF 2: Eat What U Kill (the follow up to Everybody is F.O.O.D) is available for digital download and physical (for those lucky enough to have been online to grab it before it sold out).
The formula hasn’t been diluted, as Conway delivers the 10-song-effort, orchestrated by the likes of Graymatter, Ral Duke, Mephux, DJ Skizz, DJ Shay, Khrysis and Alchemist.
While it’s difficult to point listeners towards a wack verse in the Buffalo MC’s catalog, there are are some that do stray from his more prominent thematic vices, and open him up beyond top-tier level tough-talk that’s made him so famous.
It’s in these moments, like the Khrysis-produced “Be Proud Of Me,” that we get to see new dimensions of his character. In this case, Con reflects on those closest to him that didn’t have his back on the way up. Specifically, a woman in his life that said he should find a real job as opposed to continuing the rap dream in his 30s — to which he notes, “I wanted to quit rapping, but instead I went harder.”
There’s also a soulful dedication to Machine Gun Black with the DJ Shay-constructed “Piece Of My Heart.” He died before Griselda’s potential fully blossomed and is very often referenced and saluted across the roster’s back catalog — like on the aptly titled “Machine Gun Black” and on Conway’s ultra emotionally charged verse on “The Cow.”
The LP does include some really dope stylistic variation, such as the drumless flow on Alchemist’s “Overdose” or the slightly off-filtered bounce of the Mephux-produced “Cocaine Paid” which provide enough sonic range to keep you from getting too comfortable.
With a Shady Records debut yet to drop — which according to Westside was 90 percent done as of this past summer — the label has done a great job of setting the stage for greatness.
For diehard fans of Conway, EIF 2 is yet another must-listen appetizer to the main event.