Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Word to the Wise Intelligent

Wise Intelligent - UndergroundSpiritualGame (2011)

I'm doing my damnedest to try and parse the concept behind the Wise Intelligent Iz The Unconkable Djezuz Djonez album after copping it off Amazon a couple of evenings ago (thanks for the tip-off CritiQ) but I can't help feeling like Nas did the time he hung up on Krs One as the T-Cha was trying to persuade him to talk to astronauts at NASA. Maybe it's less impenetrable for black ppl than a peckerwood like me, and, yeah, I've deduced that Wise is presenting himself as a demigod delivering gospels to the needy, but wtf does ‘unconkable’ mean and would a true divine being really use the poor man's EMF as his namesake?

A delusional martyr-complex, cliched political sloganeering, erroneous theories bordering on sheer codswallop, and displaying seemingly conflicting viewpoints within the same bar are the bread & butter of such personal bete noire rappers as Immortal Technique and Saigon (or, at least, 90% of Saigon's output), but Wise has always managed to deploy the same tactics successfully without tumbling into into the po-faced conscious-rapper trap. This is because Wise was borne out of the era which gave us Brand Nubian's One For All as the blueprint for what the next wave of Five Percenter conscious-rappers should adhere to : you can be a great righteous rapper, you just have to teach the lessons of The Nation of Gods and Earths with eccentric panache in a variety of acrobatic voices which range from your own dulcet tones to cod-Jamaican rudeboy to Dickensian chimney-sweep, and spray a little arrogance like Rick "The Model" Martel as you're doing so.

Wise Intelligent - Water Walker (2010)

After four front-to-back plays I'm still at a loss whether I even like the album, let alone if it's a worthy follow up to his underrated 2006 sophomore effort The Talented Timothy Taylor. For now, the only definite conclusions I can draw are that it's his most brash work to date in every department with the production ranging from bombastic to almost trunk-rattling, and that I'm happy to finally have an MP3 of last year's viral video single Water Walker so I no longer have to watch its promo clip with dudes spraypainting walls in it any time I wanna jam it and marvel that Wise is making the exact sort of rap he should be in 2011, that's thankfully closer to recent Witchdoctor than the Nas & Damian Marley album of Glastonbury dance tent fare. What's the point in graffiti anyway if it's not by Kase 2 or it's not obscene toilet wall scrawlings about the barmaid from your local pub?


The CritIQ said...

Well I like the album but (and not for the first time in Wise Intelligent's solo career) the production is mad patchy (both in terms of composition and mixing/mastering). And yeh, if today's rap audience aren't checking for your name as is, it's marketting suicide to start releasing under new, unspellable/unpronounceable aliases. Datz djuzt ztoopid. Wise has definitely outlived most/all of his contemporaries (Boots Riley is currently doing rock-rap with the guitarist from RATM and Paris keeps releasing reworkings of '94's Guerilla Funk).Anyway, it's good to see you cover a rapper I actually know/care about. I have yet to be bitten by the generic gangsta rap bug - but then again, I also can't stand the "real hiphop/four elements" brigade (I fall in that that too-old-for1xtra-but-too-young-for-Radio 2 bracket).Oh! Kool Kim (UMCs) is now NY Oil and his output is sparse but good.... Anyhoos, thanks for the shout and the post.

David said...

but without the promo video you dont get to see those awesome pants

The Great Gats, B said...

Very true, David.

CritIQ - you know, I quite like the shoddy mixing/mastering because it makes it sound even more bombastic.

done said...

while im a umcs fan and i like how he made grumpy whiney old man rap not irritating, i dont get nyoils appeal for the most part.

wise you mad cunt, im gonna have to check this out. perfect breakdown of wise's appeal and politorap in general.