Westside Gunn and Conway sign to Shady Records

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May 4, 2005
Conway The Machine Speaks On Shady Deal and Reveals Details About ‘G.O.A.T.’

If you’e not aware of the massive moves Conway and the Griselda label are making, we don’t know what to say. We’ve been trying our damned-est to keep y’all up on their movement all year. We can best summarize their rise with a simple summary of the Griselda to-do list: flood the market with songs and features. Check. Become the biggest names in hardcore hip hop. Check. Get co signed by Raekwon, Prodigy and D-Block. Check. Get signed to Shady. Check. Somehow also get signed to Def Jam. Check.

Yup, major moves.

While GxFR team keep info about their releases and deals close to the chest, we do know that Westside Gunn will be collaborating with Doom. Meanwhile Conway has been working on his G.O.A.T. opus for months and that’s it is dropping imminently. So, we caught up with The Machine to try to get some idea of where himself and the label stand after an insane Spring and Summer. He not only gives us a full status update but also reveals the guest and producer lineup on G.O.A.T., tells us whose music he’s feeling right now, and talks about his prolific output of guest verses.

What is the situation with the Shady and Def Jam deals? With the Hall ’N Nash single dropping on Shady, it’s clear that project is coming out with them. But yall got more stuff coming through there?

Yeah, there’s more stuff coming on Shady. We dropping G.O.A.T., my album. Grimiest Of All Time. As far as everything else goes, that will be brought to the forefront in due time. Everybody will see what’s going on and what the move is.

So Paul Rosenberg hooked up both deals?

We’re Paul’s best guys, right now. We was handpicked by Paul. So, everything is great. People can stay tuned and they’ll see what’s about to happen…which is something beautiful.

It seems like an ideal situation being down with Paul at a time when he runs Shady and Def Jam.

It’s a beautiful situation. [Laughs] Very beautiful!

Who is the official Griselda team?

B.E.N.N.Y., Daringer…that’s pretty much it. Meechy Elcamino, that’s little bro. So, he always around for the bullshit. Griselda is a small puzzle with big pieces. Westside Gunn and myself and Daringer and B.E.N.N.Y., we pretty much make up that Griselda puzzle.

I’m glad you mentioned Meechy because I wanted to ask about him.

Like I said, Camino is little bro. He’s like a little brother to us. He mobbing with us.

When did you start taking rap seriously? Like what track sparked it for you?

It probably wasn’t even nothing I did. No track I did. I think it was all the success and the recognition my brother was getting. That made me [want to] go hard and put a 100% into this shit…150% into this shit. That’s when I really got focused and locked in. I stopped everything. I didn’t hang out no more. I didn’t want to go to the club no more. I didn’t hustle. I didn’t want to sell drugs no more or be in the streets no more. I just locked myself in Daringer’s studio and made sure I did my part to get us to where we at today.

I’ve been seeing your name on so much, I swear I get a track featuring you sent to me every other day. Where do you find the time? There must be a million people reaching out.

Yeah, it’s a lot of people reaching out. It’s getting kinda hectic and out-of-hand now but it’s what we signed up for. I’m not upset about it. It is what it is. I get dudes they shit as fast as I can. That is the shit that inspires me. I need that to keep my blades sharp. To keep me going. To keep me locked in…keep my head in the game. I just love being in the studio. I ain’t no funny style dude, I want to work with whoever wants to work with me. If you hungry, you dedicated to this shit, you passionate, and serious with your craft, why not collab and create?

Is there anybody who really co-signed you hard back in the day?

As fas as like industry-wise, or like just good dudes from the hood in my city, or pillars in the hip-hop game?

Pillars in the hip hop game.

In the industry it was dudes like Premier, Alchemist, Tony Touch… Outside of rap, my dude Carlos from over there at Classic Material, he put a lot of dudes onto us. Everybody that comes in the store, he be putting them onto us. So, definitely a shout out to him. There’s a lot of dudes like that. Of course, my brother Prodigy, rest in peace. Just a lot of people that I would have never expected [when I was] coming up in this shit. So, for them n*ggas to say that they fuck with my shit, I really didn’t care what no-one else said. “Yo, you fuck with it? I salute that.”

Talk about the clothing label Fashion Rebels.

Really Griselda Records was a spin-off from the Griselda By Fashion Rebels clothing line. That’s some shit my brother created and founded. The record label was just a spin-off. He could tell you more about that in detail.

What was it like to work with Just Blaze?

It was dope. I’m a fan of this shit first, so it’s always shocking to me when legends like Just Blaze reach out. I’ll fly there immediately and get it poppin’, and do work. Shit like that is like bucket list shit for me. So, you can imagine what that was like for me. When we went there we did a gang of songs. I want to say 7 or 8 records or maybe more. We did a lot of shit and I was only there from 4 in the afternoon to 4 in the morning. The energy was crazy. The vibe was crazy. Everything he played was crazy. That’s just right up my alley.

You seem like a true fan of the culture, who is an artist you like that people might not expect?

I like SZA. I ain’t a fan of rap, to be honest with you. I hate rap and I hate rappers. I’m feeling SZA’s album right now. SZA, if you reading this, I love you. I love your album. I think you’re incredibly dope and I fuck with your shit. Salute. That’s who I’m inspired by right now.

You and your brother’s love of old school wrestling is well known. You down with any of the newer wrestlers?

New wrestlers I mess with is Finn Balor “The Demon King” and Samoan Joe.

Tell us about the producer and guest line-up on G.O.A.T.?

So far I got Daringer, The Alchemist, 9th Wonder, and Statik Selektah. As for guests, I got Styles P, Schoolboy Q, Anderson .paak, Royce the 5’9”, B.E.N.N.Y., and Westside Gunn on the album.

Conway’s Top 5 DJs (On Tracks)

1. DJ Jazzy Jeff
2. DJ Premier
3. Statik Selektah
4. The Alchemist
5. DJ Red Alert

Conway The Machine Speaks On Shady Deal and Reveals Details About 'G.O.A.T.' | Mass Appeal