A Track by Track Review by- Marv
Rochester, New York Emcee/Producer 38 Spesh and Buffalo, New York Emcee Conway The Machine have joined forces and potentially created a Super-Duo with the new joint project; ‘Speshal Machinery’.
With both artists being well known for their top tier lyricism, high work rate and New York influenced Boom Bap style, ‘Speshal Machinery’ drops just months after both artists release their own solo albums and features guest appearances from artists such as Che Noir and Lloyd Banks.
The project is entirely produced by 38 Spesh & Buffalo, New York producer Jimmy Dukes and has finally delivered the collaboration that a lot of fans have been asking for.
“In the streets, moving too fast they forgot their patience…”
The drum-less Organ driven loop sets a sinister tone for the start of the project yet provides a perfect musical bed for hardcore rap giants, Conway The Machine & 38 Spesh, to get some things off of their chests before diving into the rest of the project.
Both emcees go back and forth presenting reasons why a lot of people don’t ‘make it’ in the industry and how easy it is to take the wrong path, helping to emphasise the difficulties in which both artists needed to overcome to get to where they are now.
2. LATEX GLOVES
“Your rap careers ain’t workin’ out, a bunch of sloppy songs”
‘Latex Gloves’ is where the project really gets started. Two of New Yorks most in- demand emcees go back and forth over a funky Boom Bap production, with Conway The Machine setting the record straight on his intentions to “Take over the game”.
38 Spesh blessing the track with his unique flow and vivid story telling abilities is enough to make this track a certified hit however, a guess feature from New York rap veteran and G-Unit OG Lloyd Banks helps to solidify this track as a New York classic.
3. LAST WEEK
“I’ve been on the strip since Motorola Flips”
This track screams New York. The Boom Bap style beat which has been synonymous with New York Hip Hop since the 80s automatically transports you to the Big Apple and forces you to bop your head.
The track gives an opportunity for both emcees to detail their roles in the streets as well as remind the listener that they’re far from new comers in the game. If you’re a real Hip Hip fan, this track will leave you no choice but to get hyped and everyone needs that once in a while.
4. BEEN THROUGH
“Said I’ma run this shit until my rockin’ chair, I’m from Buffalo, New York ain’t had too many options there”
The title is self explanatory with this track. The dark Boom Bap beat is the foundation which allows the emcees to sit you down and let you know just exactly what it’s taken to get to where they are today.
The dry, in your face vocals leave you with no choice but to sit back and acknowledge the trials and tribulations the artists have had to endure in order to achieve their successes.
They way Upstate New York has been providing Hip Hop with elite emcees again and again in recent years, to me, is reminiscent of the Marvel Universe providing Superhero after Superhero and this track introduces yet another character from the Upstate universe, Elcamino.
His laidback, straight to the point bars compliment the production perfectly, catching the attention of the listener and forcing them to listen up.
5. SPESHIAL MACHINERY
“I’ve been through a lot in this game, but it made me headstrong”
Both emcees weave in and out of a cinematic masterpiece of a beat with both artists documenting how their lives in the streets has helped to shape them to conquer the music industry.
Both emcees are able to create a story so vivd it almost transports you there whilst flowing so effortlessly. This is certainly a standout track on the project and it’s clear to see why it represents the project as a whole with it’s title.
“I was 15 upstate in barbed wire gates. Now I’m 38 with a crib that sits by a Lake”
This track gives 38 Spesh an opportunity to take centre stage and deliver some what of an origin story. The mystical driven beat aids 38 Spesh in reminiscing on the hustle it’s taken to get from being deep in the streets to transitioning into an artist and boldly lets people know what sets him apart from everyone else in the industry in true 38 Spesh style.
“My beats harder, my whip newer, my deal better and my bank statement six pages long like a jail letter”
Would it even be a Griselda affiliated project if it didn’t feature a verse from Benny the Butcher? Luckily this project does and as you can imagine, he doesn’t disappoint.
‘Goodfellas’ is the perfect description of this trio. Three street guys who were prepared to put in as much work as needed to get to the top and now that they’re there, they are reminding everyone else that they can’t be topped.
“When I took my first L, I ain’t lose much sleep. Disappeared and came back like two front teeth”. This line by 38 Spesh essentially embodies everything that the three emcees represent.
All have faced their own losses, however have been able to keep pushing to get to where they want to be. This track is just a reminder that there’s levels to this game, and these three have set the high score.
“Formal, thats how we dress to seem normal”
A Casino Royale reminiscent Jazz beat sets the tone for this, as I like to call it, Tuxedo Rap. Tuxedo Rap is a term I coined to describe the type of track where the emcee boasts their wealth and riches and this is something that Conway the Machine proudly presents in this track.
But with a lavish lifestyle come, inevitably, plenty of hate and this is the main topic of conversation in Conway’s verse. “ I done got richer than my adversaries, that’s why I keep exteno clips up in this Mac I carry”.
The verse presents an opportunity for Conway to let people know that although he has achieved success through his career, he is more than willing to defend it by any means necessary.
9. MADE BOSSES
“Toya held me down when I didn’t have a dollar round, now I got her jumping out the Benz, Balenciaga down.”
“The wins and losses make bosses”. The opening line sang by R&B singer Emanny sets not only the theme for the track, but the theme for the whole project.
Wins don’t come without losses and this is something the two emcees understand thoroughly. Conway begins the track by reflecting on how far he’s come from his life in the streets to becoming the artist that “took over the game”.
He begins to reflect on family members and how they played their part in his rise to success. This verse certainly shows a more vulnerable side of Conway The Machine and this continues to allow the listener to appreciate his come up and route for his success.
38 Spesh, on the other hand, uses the Piano lead instrumental to double down on the fact that there’s simply no one on his level. He reminds the listener that he’s hustled longer and harder than anyone else and that’s the reason he is where he is today.
10. WE OUTSIDE
“You can look at my scars, see I’ve been through a lot”
We Outside definitely symbolises the final scene of the movie. The ‘Happy ending’. The ‘We made it’ scene. The Backpack era type production aids the emcees in detailing where they started, compared to where they are now.
Boasting features from rising star Che Noir & Hip Hop veteran Pharoahe Monch, the track acts as a final recap of how far the artists have come and how much they have achieved. Cue the convertible riding off into the sunset as the credits begin to roll.
Overall, this project has been a favourite of mine from both artists catalogues and whilst top tier lyricism is something that you can guarantee from both emcees, the production on this project has really impressed me.
This is most definitely a Boom Bap driven project and the tracks have flowed very seamlessly from one another despite evoking different emotions and exploring different themes. I also feel, though minimal, the features made sense and the project didn’t include a bunch of popular artists ‘for the sake of it’.
If this is the start of a new Hip Hop Super-Duo, I’m 100% here for it.