In 2012, Conway the Machine was shot in the neck and shoulder, leaving him with Bell’s Palsy and paralyzation in the right side of his face. The Griselda rapper has been an advocate for others with similar injuries, reaching out to an 11-year-old fan with facial paralysis in Buffalo earlier this year.
In a new interview with The Athletic, Conway opened up about the traumatic incident. Not only did he have to relearn how to eat and talk, but the rapper said his injuries also took a toll on his mental health.
“I don’t feel like I’m disfigured or none of that, but when you gotta look at yourself in the mirror and you know that you don’t look the same, or your kids gotta see you don’t look the same and your momma gotta see you like that — it definitely takes a toll... it’s like a war in your mind,” he told the outlet. “In my mind it was like, ‘Man, I don’t even want people to see me like this.’”
“The mental part of it was harder than the physical,” Conway added. “I had to re-calibrate. I had to strengthen my mind before I could strengthen my body. I lost it for a minute. Mentally I just wasn’t in a good space.”
The Buffalo native also acknowledged the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
“I’m opening up more and knowing that it’s okay if you need to talk to somebody,” he said. “Especially in the hood — in the Black community, period — it’s like this stigma of mental health issues is equal to weakness. Even I struggle with that.”
Last month, Conway’s Griselda teammate Benny the Butcher was also the victim of a shooting. The rapper was left with foot injuries and said the incident had impacted his mental state.
“I see myself as one thing and the world see me as a different thing,” he said at the time. “Ain’t no manual for this shit... It make you become somebody you don’t want to be.”