Every time I writ in the dark, all my lyrics were sharp
like a harpoon, I could kill a shark"
- Conway the Machine on "Overdose" (2019) produced by The Alchemist
Griselda’s story is one of authenticity, critical appreciation and humble beginnings. A true grassroots movement emerging from the trenches that can be traced back to the gritty realism of dusty Buffalo, NY. Founded by siblings Westside Gunn and Conway the Machine (also known as Hall & Nash), the duo and their strong team have built their success on a combination of organically cranking out raw uncut music, while connecting with a growing legion of devotees in desperate need of that new era boom bap street rap to balance out a lopsided hip-hop diet.
In the nihilistic world of Conway the Machine, one of Griselda's grimiest flagship artists, the output is less an aesthetic choice and more a statement of biography, that gutter music for the soul. Life is not a grind, life is the grind. And the facts is in the streets, documented through Conway’s music. There hasn’t been a movement cold like this in hip-hop since the ‘90s, and Conway is one of those rare and exceptional artists who managed to establish something special and meaningful for the culture and generations to come.
There are many parallels to be found between Conway’s story and the way Patta was built: That raw necessity, the organic growth, the genuine support from the community. The similarities are no mere coincidences. Fashion and music have been inextricably connected ever since music became a method of showing individuality, (political) beliefs and ideas, rather than just homogenised entertainment.
If it wasn't for music, there would be no Patta, simple as that. For the pre-internet hip-hop generation record covers and music videos were the fashion magazines. They were the link between dope sounds and fly looks. It's what you relied on to get your information and inspiration, even more so outside the United States. This prompted a group of like-minded individuals from The Netherlands to express themselves creatively through music, sneakers, art and fashion, which would eventually lead to Patta coming into existence in the ‘00s.
It's only logical that an artist like Conway the Machine and movements like Griselda resonates in full with Patta: It's for the culture. It's that raw authenticity and creativity, it's that grimy fly shit that anchors the ethos. The Alchemist is no stranger to grimy fly shit either. He's also a frequent collaborator of both Conway the Machine and Patta, and needs little introduction: Widely recognised as one of the greatest producers of our generation, ALC has created some of the most memorable productions since the late ‘90s all the way up to present day, connecting with a broad spectrum of heavyweight artists and countless classic records padding his resume. What separates the good from the great though, is the ability to transcend categories and evolve with the times, and The Alchemist hasn't lost a step when it comes to excellence behind the boards.
Through past collaborations with Conway the Machine, Alchemist's hypnotic productions have revealed themselves as perfectly fitting backdrops for La Máquina's authoritative raps, paving the way for a full collaborative project between the prolific producer and one of the grittiest MCs on the microphone today. ALC Records, Drumwork Music Group, Griselda Records and Patta Soundsystem have teamed up to present LULU by Conway the Machine & The Alchemist, a 7-track EP that features ScHoolboy Q and Cormega. LULU comes to all streaming platforms on March 30th, fully loaded with menacing concoctions of gritty raps, cinematic soundscapes and vivid intensity, plunging the listener from light into dark.
Patta has worked with Conway and Alchemist on a LULU capsule collection consisting of a Security Jacket, Vinyl EP and a Snapback Sports Cap. The LULU Security Jacket features a velcro Patta chest patch, a large cover art patch on the back and comes with the Patta-exclusive LULU Vinyl EP. The Sports Cap features a snapback closure, cover art patch in the front and Conway & Alchemist branding as well as Patta embroidery.
The Patta x Conway & Alchemist capsule collection was available online only at Patta on March 30th but has since sold out.