Conway the Machine Addresses Resistance & Trust Throughout Wun Two-Produced EP “Palermo” (EP Review)

Buffalo emcee Conway the Machine following up his best release of 2023 at the beginning of the month Conductor Machine by putting out his 12th EP only days before Christmas. As you may already know by now since late 2015, as part of the 3 OGs of Griselda Records alongside his brother Westside Gunn & their cousin Benny the Butcher, the trio have had the culture on lock ever since their arrival by their constant work ethic balancing quality & quality as well as bringing the underground to the mainstream or vividly detailing their lives in the streets on top of boom bap, drumless, jazz rap & even trap production. Con’s full-length debut From King to a God was my Album of the Year for 2020 & the Shady Records-backed sophomore effort God Don’t Make Mistakes is the most personal he’s ever been. Organized Grime 2 & the Big Ghost Ltd.-produced What Has Been Blessed Cannot Be Cursed were both great EPs, but his latest full-length Won’t He Do It received more moderate reception even though it was the beginning of a new era for him & like I said out the gate: Conductor Machine was the best thing Conway has done this year, but is now teaming up with German lo-fi producer Wun Two resulting in Palermo.

After the introductory interlude, the first song “Carduni” really starts off the EP with a dusty ass boom bap instrumental getting on his Pyrex shit whereas “Mind Tricks” talks about his mind playing tricks on him over and over unsettling beat with some kicks & snares. “Brick by Brick” reminds how exactly he built his whole career taking a more lo-fi approach to the traditional boom bal sound, but then the drumlessly jazzy “Cold Dish” featuring Goosebytheway flexes that they both have all the intangibles.

“Cosca” tells all the haters to stay in their lanes going for a groovier vibe with kicks & snares but following the “Zisa” skit, Goosebytheway returns for the uncanny boom bap infused “Montagna” reminding that everyone knows the way they be movin’. “Bianca” continues to push near the end of Palermo by bringing back that lo-fi flare so La Maquina can boast & finally to wrap up the EP, “Gaspare” featuring Goosebytheway sends things off with 1 last boom bap joint telling their competition to give it up.

I was already familiar with Wun Two heading into Palermo because of his collaborations with Hus Kingpin or Tha Connection, so I was undeniably interested in what was gonna come out of this EP & I still enjoy it although not as much as the last EP we got a few weeks ago. The production fuses his lo-fi sound with boom bap along with Italian samples so Conway can built its concept around the themes of both resistance & truth.

Score: 8/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 26 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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