Conway the Machine Truly is the “S.F.K. (Slant Face Killah)” [Album Review]

Buffalo emcee Conway the Machine is back with his 4th LP. Blowing up in 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 hip hop lock ever since their arrival by their constant work ethic balancing quality & quality as well as vividly detailing their lives in the streets. 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. Won’t He Do It just celebrated it’s 1-year anniversary last weekend & coming fresh off the Conductor Williams-produced Conductor Machine from last winter, Won’t He Do It 2 is now being scrapped in favor of S.F.K. (Slant Face Killah).

After the “Despertar” intro, the first song “Mutty” featuring Stove God Cooks is a dusty boom bap opener produced by Conductor explaining that those who fucked with them ain’t here to talk about it whereas “Give & Give” takes the soulful route instrumentally thanks to Cool & Dre needing something to hold on to. “Milano Nights, Pt. 1” works in some pianos, kicks & snares to break down overcoming all trials & tribulations just before “Kin Xpress” featuring Larry June psychedelically strips the drums talking about being unfuckwitable.

“Meth Back!” featuring Flee Lord, Method Man & SK da King brings the quartet together returns to the boom bap thanks to Daringer talking about this being a stickup leading into “Ninja Man” going into a luxurious direction courtesy of Swizz Beatz addressing those out here who stay talking. Joey Bada$$ joins Conway for the grimy 2nd single “Vertino” with Camoflauge Monk & Sadhugold behind the boards boasting how raw they are, but then “10 / Rya” featuring Key Glock is this 2-part trap joint that Don Cannon laced talking about being on 10.

“Dasani” throws these pianos & hi-hats into the picture talking about having this bitch running while “Raw!” featuring Tech N9ne finds Cardo pulling inspiration from the Memphis scene boasting their lyrical ferocity. “Surf & Turf” featuring Ab-Soul, Jay Worthy, T.F & 2Eleven brings everyone together for some jazzy gangsta shit while “Karimi” comes with a hazy boom bap flare talking about wanting the bread. “The Red Moon in Osaka” featuring Raekwon rounds out the album with climactic closer produced by The Alchemist dissing those capping about their street cred.

Won’t He Do It had its high points despite not being one of my favorite projects in Con’s discography, but what was supposed to a sequel to that previous LP we got from La Maquina over a year ago makes improvements in the departments where it was lacking. The production is a mix of boom bap & trap generally, we have an interestingly versatile guest-list & the Drumwork founder passionately explains why they call him the S.F.K. (Slant Face Killah).

Score: 8/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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