FAITH, RESILIENCE, AND FULFILLMENT ALBUM REVIEW: GOD DON’T MAKE MISTAKES BY CONWAY THE MACHINE
Stefano Mariano Rebuli
@Conway the Machine
On God Don’t Make Mistakes, Conway delivers a masterfully written and produced album that elevates his sound and style. His major label debut on Shady Records is characterized by introspective writing and immaculate production, making it one of his best bodies of work.
Above all, God Don’t Make Mistakes is a personal album. Conway uses the subject matter to tackle impactful topics and events in his life, without sparing the deep or dark details. He discusses his life in the streets of Buffalo, his career, grief, anxiety, depression, and getting shot in the head. He makes the heartbreaking revelation of losing a son on “Wild Chapters” and “Stressed”, the latter being a jarring, honest confession of his battles with anxiety, depression, and alcoholism. “So Much More”, in comparison, is a track where Conway breaks down the pros and cons of the music industry and his navigation through it. The title track is a reflective, career-defining moment where Conway looks back on the night he got shot and ponders upon all the “what-ifs” of his life and career. His level of introspection is what makes the writing on this album shine: its raw, honest nature is what compels the listener to devote their attention throughout the entire album.
The production strikes a healthy balance between two distinct styles. On the one hand, Conway taps frequent collaborators like Alchemist and Daringer for gritty beats that capture the signature Griselda Records sound. Tracks like "Lock Load", "Piano Love", "Drumwork", and "John Woo Flick" pair sinister string and piano-based melodies with hard-hitting drums, creating the ominous soundscape that comprises most of Conway's music. "Babas" features an eerie, piercing organ line and is easily one of the most haunting beats on the album. The other crop of instrumentals is characterized by a polished, lavish sound, courtesy of big names like Hit-Boy, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and Bink! . "Guilty" and the title track feature elegant piano melodies that perfectly score Conway's meditative state, whereas "Tear Gas" and "So Much More" feature ethereal soul and choir samples. Each beat is well-crafted and well-mixed, creating a consistent soundscape that stands out due to its quality.
The featured artists also contribute to the greatness of God Don't Make Mistakes. Whether they are rapping, singing, or delivering spoken word, each guest exerts their personality and presence over the track that they appear on. Westside Gunn and Benny the Butcher join forces with Conway on "John Woo Flick" to deliver yet another banger that showcases their excellent chemistry as Griselda Records' leading trio. Beanie Sigel fits right into the menacing vibe on "Lock Load", and neo-soul singer Jill Scott delivers an outstanding rapping performance that plays into the relationship dynamic on "Chanel Pearls". The spoken word features are perfectly delivered, too: Keisha Plum's poetry on "Babas" is cold, vivid, and violent, and Wallo267 offers his segment with a load of conviction. Conway's own mother (Annette Price) appears at the end of the album in the form of a heart-wrenching dialogue snippet. Her contribution closes out the LP on a heavy note and makes for one of the most jarring endings to an album in recent memory. The strength of Conway's performances causes some features to feel less necessary (Rick Ross, T.I., Novel), but every appearance is great, nonetheless.
All in all, God Don’t Make Mistakes feels like a realization of Conway’s full potential. His writing is the most personal it has ever been, and the production feels like a perfected evolution of his usual instrumental palette. This album is remarkable in terms of quality and is the closest Conway has come to delivering his magnum opus.
God Don’t Make Mistakes lives up to its title: despite all the trials and tribulations that Conway has faced, he rises above them all and proves himself to be one of the best rappers in the game—exactly where he is meant to be.
Best tracks: Lock Load, John Woo Flick, So Much More, God Don’t Make Mistakes