Conway The Machine Breaks Down His Lyrics on Song ‘Clarity’
Train of Thought
Interview: Robby Seabrook III
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.
“Five Cubans over this Chrome Heart/Got all this ice on my chest to go with my cold heart/Christian Loubs, spikes on the bottoms, not on the toe part/Far as the bars go, I just go in and I throw darts/My man played with keys like he was Mozart/Now he in the feds ’til his children become adults for the most part/Seen that bitch that did me dirty, gave me that broken heart/She was on the back of the bus watchin’ this Rolls I parked/Woah, gotta pardon my sense of humor/Look, if I offended you, wasn’t my intentions to do it/It’s just, I ain’t sparin’ no feelings when my pen is movin’/I been in shootings and I sent men to intensive unit/You ain’t winnin’ while I’m in it like MJ did to Ewing/I don’t play ball, but Nike just sent my signature shoe in/That should speak volumes about the business I’m doin’/Link with Trae Tha Truth and Jay’ton when I’m visitin’ Houston, nigga/Got a homie from ’round my way, Bobby Flay when it come to the stove/Now he in the feds ’til he over a hundred years old/He stuck to the code, made a promise he wasn’t gon’ fold/Pressure bust pipes, lil’ nigga, no wonder you told/I live on the charts now, this is my humble abode/Less than two years, I done reached every one of my goals/If it’s go time, you know that I’m comin’ with pole/I’m tryna see how many shots that your stomach can hold/Smoke a blunt of pressure so I can get some clarity/I take care of everybody, who gon’ take care of me?/Conway Cares, I started my own charity, but still nobody care for me/What happened to them niggas that told me they always here for me?/Niggas don’t even hit my line no more, that shit is weird to me/I just know they sound eerily similar to the shit you hear from me/I influenced they music, that shit clear to see/Machine, bitch”
XXL: “Five Cubans over this Chrome Heart/Got all this ice on my chest to go with my cold heart/Christian Loubs, spikes on the bottoms, not on the toe part.” Do you feel like the success you’ve had in music makes you more or less cold-hearted?
Conway: I don’t think the success makes me more cold-hearted. Probably everything that comes with the grind, then having success and everybody’s unrealistic expectations of you. It’s pressure from friends, family, whoever. Everybody got their hand out. “My man played with keys like he was Mozart/Now he in the feds ’til his children become adults for the most part.”
“My man played with keys like he was Mozart/Now he in the feds ’til his children become adults for the most part.” Did having friends with serious fed time make you focus even more on music?
Absolutely. I got to put down for my loved ones and some people that didn’t really get a chance to make it to where I’m at or even to see it. Me being the captain of my ship, I got to stay alive and stay free.
“I live on the charts now, this is my humble abode/Less than two years, I done reached every one of my goals.” What are some of the things you’ve recently accomplished that you’re proud of?
Getting my label, Drumwork, off the ground. These critically acclaimed albums I’ve been dropping. The things that I’ve been doing in my community during a pandemic, giving back and feeding the homeless, book bags, scarves, sneaker giveaways and all types of different things. I really changed a lot. I can look in the mirror and I can sleep at night knowing that I kept it 100 and I impacted my city.
“I take care of everybody, who gon’ take care of me?/Conway Cares, I started my own charity, but still nobody care for me.” When did you feel like you weren’t as supported in the way that you needed?
Conway Cares Foundation is just something I started [for] my giveaway [and] philanthropy work. Working with underprivileged kids, kids who are dealing with disabilities and physical ailments and stuff like that. A lot of people don’t really celebrate the things that I be having going on. I really don’t care if they do. Ain’t nobody never gave me nothing in his music game, no handouts. I just grind and got it on my own. But sometimes you got to wonder, what more I got to do for me to get saluted and celebrated like a lot of other rappers who ain’t as ill as me?
Check out more from XXL’s Summer 2021 issue including our Freshman Class cover interviews with 42 Dugg, Iann Dior, Coi Leray, Pooh Shiesty, Flo Milli, Morray, Rubi Rose, Blxst, Toosii, Lakeyah and DDG, producer Nick Mira's thoughts on producing the beats for the Freshman Class, an in-depth conversation with Ski Mask The Slump God about his comeback this year, Moneybagg Yo's candid discussion about his new music, family and indie label, a look at what the 2020 XXL Freshman Class has been up to since last year, Doin' Lines with Jack Harlow, Lil Tecca speaking on what to expect from his upcoming We Love You Tecca 2 album, music video director Cole Bennett gives an inside look at his Lyrical Lemonade empire, Cordae talks about his upcoming album, 10 in-demand hip-hop jewelers' stories of creating rap stars' icy works of art, music executive Shawn "Tubby" Holiday's advice for artists, Kash Doll talks about her upcoming role in the Black Mafia Family series, singer Mahalia details being a Cam'ron fan, and more.