Conway The Machine recently dropped the LULU with legendary producer The Alchemist.
As one third of the rap group, Griselda with Westside Gunn and Benny The Butcher, the group blew up as they dropped three separate projects as well as a group album.
LULU is based on the cocaine dealer Luis “Lulu” Lujano from the cult classic “Paid In Full.” The character Lulu throughout the movie rarely comes out of his apartment, but he wears the nicest clothes and hauls the purest cocaine in the Harlem Neighborhood. Conway The Machine has very similar characteristics as they both are visible only when they want to be.
The project LULU is a seven song EP that is entirely produced by The Alchemist with features from ScHoolboy Q and Cormega. The EP was released on March 30. With “Shoot Sideways” that features ScHoolboy Q as the promotional single for the EP. The cover for the EP is a Great White Shark coming out the water. In a sense, it reminded me of how Ruthless Conway is on the mic.
Though I enjoyed and replayed the entire project, it was three standout tracks that I go back and play over and over again. The tracks are “14 KI’s,” “Shoot Sideways” (featuring ScHoolboy Q), and “Calvin.”
“14 KI’s” was basically the first song on the EP (other than the intro, which was a voiceover from the movie “Paid in Full”) was about Conway pushing narcotics (most notably cocaine). Conway The Machine describes “moving weight” by using vivid lines like “I keep my gun in perfect condition, machine get dirty like Ben Wallace puttin’ work for the Pistons” and “Gettin’ money, that’s what I do often, I get treated like I’m the big ticket when I’m movin’ through Boston.” The ending of the song was a sample from 1973 crime drama movie “The Mack.” The instrumental on the song was very dark and menacing and the lyrics throughout the song mesh very well.
“Shoot Sideways” was the promotional single and the fourth for the EP. The song was all about how Conway and ScHoolboy Q are commiting acts of violence like murder. Lines like “Comin’ at me, you better get your ratchet, my lil’ shooter like A.I but he been missin’ practice, but he scorin’ on the opps and he still hittin’ baskets” and “Try to slide, you gon’ die, you know the outcome, before I got signed or dropped a album, I was in the trap, draco by the blinds like Malcolm.” Though I feel like he should’ve had a verse, ScHoolboy Q delivered a haunting hook which ties the song together. The instrumental of this track was simply fitting with the song itself, like the beat was very boom-bap and very refreshing.
“Calvin” is The fifth track and probably my favorite track out of the top three of this project. This song also showed Conway a different flow than the previous songs that are mentioned. In this song, Conway talks about being the big homie. Lines like “I’m the big homie, I just make a call, don’t gotta pick up a finger at all, when it’s a issue, I hit up my dawg, bigger the gun, the harder they fall” and “N**** should be paying me homage, be in them trenches, I’m straight from the bottom, dropped out of school, never made it through college, I got in the game and I made a few commas” help illustrate him being the big homie and how he operates. The instrumental was very dark and gritty, but the unusual trap flow that Conway uses in the song fits the beat perfectly.
Overall, The EP “LULU” was pretty good. every song fit the theme of the EP and it wasn’t too repetitive. The transitions through the EP was pretty smooth with the help of certain samples from movies like “The Mack” and “Paid in Full” and mixing from legendary producers ‘“The Alchemist.” Instrumental wise, The Alchemist was at the top of his game with the dark, murky and menacing beats throughout the project. Though I enjoyed the entire project, The songs “14 KI’s,” Shoot Sideways,“ and”Calvin “ were all standouts on the album due to the subject matter, instrumental use, and the lyrics.