Wise Intelligent is a 50 year old MC from Trenton, New Jersey coming up as a frontman of the Poor Righteous Teachers, who put out 4 albums together before disbanding in the mid-90’s. Since then, the man has kept himself busy by putting out a number of solo projects. The latest being this new 4-track EP produced entirely by the Snowgoons.
The EP kicks off with the title track, where Wise Intelligent talks about a number of things from Jeffrey Epstein to Trump originally planning to hold a rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth over a woodwind-infused beat. The next song “Possibly?” ponders a number of things over an instrumental with a relaying, high-pitched vocal sample & an organ while the penultimate track “Before I Wake” talks about fighting the power over a shadowy beat. The EP then finishes with “His-Story”, where Wise Intelligent talks about the things people have said to him throughout his life over a symphonic instrumental.
Overall, this is a solid EP. I wish we got like 3 more joints, but the Snowgoons never disappoint behind the boards & everything that Wise Intelligent does a good job of tackling the issues that we face in the world today.
Onyx is a revered hip hop duo from Queens, New York consisting of Sticky Fingaz & Fredro Starr. Their first 3 albums Bacdafucup, All We Got Iz Us & Shut ‘Em Down are rightfully considered by many to be East Coast classics. They went on to release 2 mediocre albums in the early 2000s before going AWOL, returning in 2014 with the Snowgoons produced #WAKEDAFUCUP. This was followed up early last year with the long-lost Black Rock but with Thanksgiving around the corner, they’re getting back with the Snowgoons to deliver a follow-up to the album that returned them to form.
After the intro, the first song “Who da Fuc?” finds Sticky & Fredro challenging their opponents over a boom bap beat with some suspenseful string sections. The next track “Robbing Hip Hop” with Bumpy Knuckles & NEMS sees the 4 comparing taking the game back to a burglary over a frightening instrumental while the song “Monsters Gorillas” with V Knuckles sees the 3 talking about being stone-cold killers over a suspenseful boom bap beat. The track “Rat Tat Tat” of course talks about guns which is cool, but the Quadro & UFO Fev features don’t do anything for me.
The song “Hoodies Down” finds Sticky & Fredro talking shit over an adrenaline pumping beat while the track “Kill da Mic” shows that their lyricism is still grittier than ever over mafiosi-like instrumental. The song “Street Art” with SickFlo sees the 3 showing y’all how hardcore hip hop should be done over a boom bap beat with a fantastic organ lead while the track “Trolling” with V Knuckles is an actually decent diss track towards Charlamagne tha God & 6ix9ine. The song “Ringolevio” flawlessly goes back & forth over a bloodcurdling instrumental while the track “Built Like That” talks from the heart about their courage & strength over an upbeat instrumental.
The song “Mad Shoot Outs” with Flee Lord lyrically needs no further explanation & the lugubrious instrumental fits very well whereas the track “I Got the Tec-9” continues the themes of the previous joint over a boom bap beat with some keyboards. The standard edition closer “Ain’t No Time to Rest” feels like a leftover from Onyx’s Shotgunz in Hell collab album with Dope D.O.D. & then the album finishes with the bonus cut “Good Fight”, which is an energetic crowd mover.
I’ve been wanting a #WAKEDAFUCUP follow-up for a while now & I’m finally glad they did it. Some of the features I could do without, but the Snowgoons‘ raw production yet again fits the duo’s cutthroat lyricism like a glove.
9 is a 48 year old MC from the Bronx, New York who came through in 1995 with a highly slept-on debut 9 Livez. He then followed it up the following year with Cloud 9, but then he fell out of love with music shortly after However, he returned 13 years later with Quinine & it was almost completely ignored. But 9 years later fittingly, he’s delivering his 4th full length album & he has enlisted the Snowgoons to produce it in it’s entirety.
The album opens with “The Revenant”, where 9 talks about his return over a eerie boom bap beat. The next song “Pull Up” gets confrontational over a gloomy boom bap beat while the track “Killmongor” talks about his place in hip hop over a menacing beat with some horns. The song “Hilfiger” makes references to a number of hip hop artists over a boom bap beat with strings while the track “Tremendous” vividly talks about life in the streets over a sinister beat. The song “Belafonte” with Conway sees the 2 getting murderous over a gritty beat while the track “Medusa” sees 9 speaking facts to an unnamed person over an orchestral boom bap beat.
The song “Breathe” with Kool G Rap & Smoothe da Hustler sees the 3 getting romantic over an Alchemist-type beat while the track “I Am” is an ode to the culture over an uplifting beat. The song “Pita Roll” is filled with battle bars over punchy drums & a heavy guitar while the track “Jump ‘Em” with Ruste Juxx talks about running up on people over a haunting beat. The song “Champion” with Chris Rivers sees the 2 talking about winning over a boom bap beat with a triumphant horn & then the album finishes with the title track, where 9 refers to himself to just that over a celebratory beat.
To be honest, this may be 9’s best work yet. There are a couple tracks that I wish were fully fleshed out but it’s mostly focused, he sounds hungrier than ever & the Snowgoons production enhances the hardcore vibe near perfectly.