Conway stopped by The Breakfast Club to talk about his new album, relationship with Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye, mental health and more.

Released through Shady Records on February 25, “God Don’t Make Mistakes” marks the end of the era for Conway the Machine. With this album, he fulfils his contractual obligations to the label and becomes a free agent. It is a good time to reflect on his relationship with Shady, and Conway has nothing but respect for the people behind it. He remembers how it felt to get signed to Shady:

I was ecstatic. I was in Miami. We had West signed paperwork, but the announcement didn’t come up for a couple of months. It didn’t really hit me until the announcement was made, until Marshall put the shit on his page. I ain’t gonna lie, I dropped a little tear of success because where we come from, it’s like we did the impossible.

Conway admits that his relationship with Eminem is built on business; he has never clicked with him the way he clicked with Jay-Z or Kanye. But Shady Records was the right label to go to, believes the Griselda MC:

It was more business, and rightfully so. That’s how our relationship started. We don’t really have no relationship like that. We spoke a couple of times on the phone, and I kicked it with him a couple of times at Coachella and stuff like that. We cool, he cool. He called me, he told me my album was a classic, and he loved what I’m doing. I ain’t got nothing bad to say about bro. He held me down, he gave me this opportunity, this platform.

So, without a strong personal connection, what was the pull towards Shady, what made Griselda choose them over Roc Nation? That was Fifty’s story that showed that Shady could take risks if they believe in an artist:

I was thinking about the engine that I wanted to have behind me. I thought about my story and West’s story and everything we’ve been through. Of course, we were always inspired by “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”, with what he did with Fifty. I’m looking at it like that, we know he dealt with a nigga like Fifty, somebody who’s been shot up, and it’s risky music. Fifty’s shit was a risk and a gamble. I don’t know this for a fact, but he was blackballed. It was a risk signing him and investing in him. So I’m thinking about that, I’m about to have Em, I’m about to have [Dr.] Dre holding me down… It’s a no-brainer. I know Slaughterhouse was going through, they wasn’t putting out music; I know [Joe] Budden fell back. So I’m like, “Hey, nobody’s over there”. Because at the time, Roc Nation wanted us too. But for some reason, we just like, “Fuck it, let’s go over there. Let’s do the deal over there”.

Looking back, Conway thinks that he could have done without any deal at all and built his success independently. But still, this collaboration with Shady is a chapter in his book that he is proud of:

I got to be able to learn, I got the lesson out of this shit. Eminem, for me, is one of my favourite rappers of all time, he’s my son’s favourite rapper. That’s some bucket list shit. I did songs with Em. I could say I worked with Eminem, and I’m part of that chapter. I got a chapter in that book over there. But I wish I would have just stayed and done it myself like I’ve been doing. Without having to be tied down to no paperwork. Without saying anything bad about nobody, but looking back at it like, shit, I did a lot of this shit by myself. All the relationships I built, I built myself being a real nigga and just hustling.

Listen to Conway the Machine — “God Don’t Make Mistakes” below:

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