EP Review | Conway the Machine & The Alchemist – LULU

This extended play was released on March 30th this year. Conway the Machine is currently my favorite gangsta rapper, so I was pretty excited when I saw that this project was happening. If somebody asked me who I wanted The Alchemist to do a full project with, I most likely would have said Conway. Well, I don’t know. Someone did ask me that earlier this year, and the first person I said was Ty Farris, but I mentioned Conway too. The Alchemist is one of my favorite producers of all time, so I think this has the potential to be one of my favorite extended plays of the year.

1. Intro

This is just a 57 second long intro containing samples from the movie Paid in Full over a dramatic 80s action movie sounding instrumental. It sounds like the music that plays in Grand Theft Auto V when you’re running from police on foot. It’s not a super memorable track or anything, but I think it sets the tone for the rest of the project pretty well. It’s dope.

2. 14 KI’s

I love how cinematic the instrumental on this track is. Conway of course murdered that first verse.
Got out of jail and my fur was beige
Actin’ like you did it, quit it; you did thirty days
Pussy, I body beats and I murder the stage
Let you niggas slide and make ‘Chinegun turn in his grave
I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying the hook. The idea of Conway doing a melodic hook seems like something that shouldn’t work, but he pulled it off. I mean, he wasn’t tryna sang. I don’t know what to compare it to… It was dope though. The second verse is even better than the first one in my opinion.
White girls tell me my dick is too awesome
I said don’t cross the line and you crossed it
Now I want smoke, I’m through talkin’
That line where he said your mother would have to sell her dinner just to afford your coffin was crazy, and I love how cold hearted he sounded when he included that signature laugh ad-lib; that shit was hard as fuck. I really fuck with the song overall. It’s not the best I’ve heard from him, but I don’t have any actual issues with it. This shit is dope.

3. The Contract

This beat is fucking crazy. It seriously sounds like it’s performed by an entire concerto. This isn’t really the type of thing I would’ve chosen for Conway myself, but it went over surprisingly well. I feel like Life Is Good era Nas would’ve torn this beat to shreds. Conway’s verse here isn’t amazing or anything, but he did a pretty good job. My favorite aspect of the song is easily just the production. The hook has Conway doing that annoying singing thing that Westside Gunn always does. It’s not nearly as irritating here though because unlike Westside Gunn, Conway doesn’t have one of the most annoying voices of all time. I like this song slightly more than the preceding track, but, as I said before, it’s mainly just due to the production. I really feel like this one could’ve used at least one more verse. This shit is still dope though. I fuck with it.

4. Shoot Sideways featuring ScHoolboy Q

Conway the Machine is releasing a collaborative extended play with The Alchemist tomorrow entitled LULU, so that’s pretty exciting. As I’ve said countless times already, Conway is easily my favorite rapper out of the Griselda crew. He had a song with ScHoolboy Q & The Alchemist back in 2018 if I’m not mistaken, and that shit was fire, so I already knew I was gonna love this song. The sung hook from Q is really dope, and Conway of course murdered the opening verse.
He with the action, still ridin’ with a stick in traffic
So if it’s smoke he ’bout to have your mama pickin’ caskets
I came a long way from flippin’ on a pissy mattress
Now I smell the piss on them bricks when I rip the plastic
The second verse was even better though.
Every time I drop a project, I just increase the violence with it
Talkin’ funeral homes, hospital visits
Yeah, I got the killers on the loose
Not stoppin’ ’til the opps blood spillin’ on my boots
In the streets or on a beat, I can kill ’em in the booth
Shooter lock ’em in the scope, he ’bout to drill ’em from the roof
It would’ve been nice if Q had a verse, but he did his thing on the hook, and I don’t know if he could’ve kept up with Conway. This shit is hard as FUCK though. I’m really looking forward to LULU. I hope it’s followed up by a full album.

5. Calvin

This song has one of the darkest, grimiest beats on the whole project. The beat sounds like the musical equivalent of a cave in which some sort of satanic ritual is being performed. It would’ve fit in perfectly on Ab-Soul’s last album. I love the hook on this song; it’s pretty straightforward, but Conway’s flow is catchy as hell. Conway’s flow all over this song is crazy honestly. If you can listen to this song without getting that coveted involuntary head nod, you’re not human. He slaughtered this shit.
Yeah, nigga, we still in the trenches, scope on the stick, I can hit you from distance
Fuck nigga thought he was ridin’ on me, got the drop on him first, put a end to his mission
Young nigga been gettin’ rich in the kitchen, gun on the table, he weighin’ and whippin’
Niggas start hatin’, we ain’t even trippin’, we just gon’ pull up and spray him and clip him
I love how dark and menacing his delivery sounds too. I think the second verse might be even better than the first one to be honest. He fucking annihilated this shit.
Real nigga, watch what you say in my comments, I’ll drop off a bag, I’ll pay a few dollars
I’ll have niggas next to you, aimin’ the TEC at you, shootin’ at you right in front of your mama
Yeah, don’t make me get your location
Yeah, don’t make us grip up and take us a mini vacation
I have zero issues with this song at all. It’s a major highlight. Also, shoutout to Jason Goldwatch for directing that awesome music video. I’ve always loved his videos, and this one turned out really great. This shit is dope af.

6. They Got Sonny featuring Cormega

I would’ve never guessed that Cormega would be featured on a project with Conway in 2020. Not that he doesn’t fit in alongside Conway. It’s not even really a weird collaboration to be honest. I just never think about Cormega these days, so it’s surprising to me that Conway would reach out to him for a feature. I like Cormega a lot though, so I’m glad he did. Anyway, this track has yet another amazing instrumental. The percussion is really interesting. It sounds like he sampled someone putting the container on a medicine bottle or something. I don’t know how to describe it. I feel like Conway’s rapping better on this track than he was on the first couple joints on the album.
I listen to niggas’ albums like, “What the fuck all the hype about?”
Like, nigga, I can write one verse that’ll wipe ’em out
Don’t make me bring the ’89 Tyson out
I’ll get it shipped soon as that Louis Off-White come out
There are so many quotable bars in the first verse.
I’m from where the kids don’t get a new jacket in fall
Roach in the cereal and every spoon black in the drawer
Mama used crack and his pops shoot smack in his arm
He just use that as all of the fuel that’s in these bars
The line about how a dude who stole 100 dollars from him was found with his hands missing was crazy too.
Shot to the temple, that’s the hole-in-one
With a stolen gun and fuck the police that he stole it from
I love that one. Cormega actually fuckin’ bodied that second verse too.
Sweat drippin’ down my chest in the sauna
Majestic in aura, indeed, you can’t impress me with talkin’
Unless you’re a lawyer finessin’ the court
To take my people from detention to walkin’
My rhyme is a diamond inspired by pressure before it
There’s a lesson in every blessin’, never ignore this
Two things I never been: on paperwork or extorted
I’m livin’ my truth, no lie, Griselda and Cory
This is another major highlight for me. I have no issues with this one at all. The production is fantastic, and both of the MCs here had stellar performances. I think this shit is dope af.

7. Gold BBS’s

This song has yet another phenomenal beat. The first verse is really great.
Free the brodie, they got my dude up in the mountains
When we was fifteen, we used to shoot up niggas’ houses
Started with an eight ball and then I moved a couple ounces
I fucked niggas’ baby mamas, even seduced a couple spouses
The sung hook is pretty dope too. He’s not really trying to sing like Luther Vandross or anything; it’s more of what he did on 14 KI’s, but I like this one more. The second verse is pretty awesome. I love the line about him having to teach his son how to shoot after he found the gun in his closet; that was hard and funny at the same time. The ad-libs in this verse were funny to me. The way he said “I feel you” in the background when he was rapping about how Westside Gunn said he was the best rapper made me laugh. He followed this couplet right here with his signature laugh too…
Your bitch could tell you I’m rich
She came to my telly, the Ritz, and I gave her impeccable dick
The song is really awesome. It’s not my number one favorite on the project, but I still really love it. I think this shit is dope as hell.

Honestly, this project is pretty amazing to me. It’s just as good as I was hoping it’d be. Alchemist’s production is on point as always, and Conway bodied this shit. At this point, I’m just hoping we get a full album from these two in the near future because I need more of this shit. I’m glad there were only a couple features since the project is so short. Honestly, I don’t have any consistent gripes with this project. I think it starts off relatively slow, but there aren’t any songs that I don’t like. This just further solidified Conway as the best MC out of the Griselda crew, and my favorite gangsta rapper right now. I think this is one of the best extended plays I’ve heard all year. It’s dope af.

SCORE: 90 (A)