Griselda gathers some of the best in hip-hop for their soundtrack to “Conflicted.”
Ransom’s performance on “Pride” is phenomenal.
Ransom lets us know about his most shaky, most important, most gangsta, and most dangerous years of his life in “Pride.” He also spits game on how to move smartly, live legendarily, and get respect in the streets. What I find impressive about his raps is that they are delivered using effortless punchlines and flows (Dude doesn’t even sound like he’s trying).
For some odd reason, I got Ransom mixed up with Reason from TDE… (See what happens when you mix bourbon, Peach Cobbler, and stress before you write?)
4. WELCOME HOME
Unfortunately, “Welcome Home DMX” does not feature DMX (Weird, right?)…
Dave East and Jonezy do some serious work on “Welcome Home DMX.” Throughout the song, the two rappers remind folks about their mob ties, their playa ways, their rugged pasts, their hate for ops, their hate for snakes, and their hate for rats. What they don’t remind us is that DMX is home (Weird, right?)…
The beat, Dave East and Jonezy aren’t on the same page on this song at all… While the beat is gentle as s**t, East and Jonezy’s verses are as rugged as Nancy Pelosi’s office after it got ram shacked by those white terrorists.
3. 3:30 IN HOUSTON
I’ma be real with you, if I got shot like Benny The Butcher got shot, I would probably disappear from the spotlight for a few years. Well, only a few weeks after his shooting, Benny dropped “3:30 In Houston.”
To call Benny The Butcher “resilient” would be a major understatement. In “3:30 In Houston,” he welcomes smoke, he calls out his shooters, and he practically lets us know that he is charging his shooting to the game. While Benny doesn’t quite hit us with tons of clever punchlines, he does hit us with bars that are realer than your uncle’s man boobs.
2. THE HURT BUSINESS
Westside Gunn, Wale & Smoke DZA sound like cold-hearted mic killers on “The Hurt Business.”
“The Hurt Business” is mean. For starters, I absolutely love the song’s beat (It sounds like a beat that would fit nicely on Ice Cube’s classic The Predator album). From there, I f**k with Westside Gunn, Smoke DZA, and Wale’s grungy, witty, and explosive verses. Below are a few lines from the latter that will tickle your fancy:
Alhamdulillah, most valuable like Hassan Assad
Got enhancements to them hammers, they’ll do their job
On my side, Cullinan with the windows down
Play whatever hand I get, but never ever show my card
Lay down, niggas ain’t thug, don’t think we can’t tell
It ring out, coughin’ up blood, look like your gang red
Folarin poppin’, fiends coppin’, ask my young one
A lot of shoppers don’t look like rockers because they young bucks
Damn, I haven’t heard bars this hard since 2020.
1. ELEMENT OF SURPRISE
Holy s**t, there’s been a Lloyd Banks sighting, y’all!
If you ask me, there would be no Griselda if there was no G-Unit. With that being said, I’m glad that the Griselda folks put a song featuring Lloyd Banks on this soundtrack.
Lloyd Banks absolutely shines on “Element Of Surprise.” Not only does he hit us with his signature clever punchlines, but he also slides over the song’s old school street instrumental like the sly rapper that I remember him being in his prime.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. INTRO (N/A)
2. MOBBIN (4/5)
3. ELEMENT OF SURPRISE (5/5)
4. AIN’T HIT NOBODY (3/5)
5. PRIDE WITH RANSOM (4/5)
6. WELCOME HOME (4/5)
7. SQUAAAAAD (4/5)
8. 3:30 IN HOUSTON (5/5)
9. VOICES (4/5)
10. RANK (3/5)
11. I’M NOT THE ENEMY (N/A)
12. NERVE OF YOU (3/5)
13. CONFLICTED (3/5)
14. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (4/5)
15. THE HURT BUSINESS (4/5)
You have to love hood movies to want to watch Conflicted. You have to love street hip-hop albums to love this soundtrack.
You don’t get many songs from Griselda’s head honchos on this soundtrack; matter of fact, Conway isn’t even on it. However, the group’s unapologetic approach to covering eyewitness hood news still permeates through it.
From the moment that you press play on the soundtrack, you hear nothing but cold-hearted street anthems that are powered by blood-curdling beats, riveting street lyrics, and rough rap deliveries. While you may not know names such as Chase Feti, Heem, Billy V, Flee Lord, Eto, Rick Hyde, Jonezy, Smoke DZA, and YN Billy, at the end of the day, they are the reason this soundtrack has an aura attached to it that feels enjoyably raw, mysterious, and foreign. While you may know names such as Westside Gunn, Benny The Butcher, Wale, Dave East, Ransom, and Boldy James, at the end of the day, they almost sound unrecognizable when you blend their verses in with everyone else’s on the soundtrack.
While this soundtrack to Conflicted may not have a long shelf life, it will at least serve as a worthy reminder of the type of music that helped mold street rap.