July 12, 2007

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Wise Intelligent, The Talented Timothy Taylor
Shaman Works Recordings, 2007

New Jersey’s Wise Intelligent was the go-to MC for Poor Righteous Teachers’ black-Islamist hip-hop assault of the 90s (the harmless single “Rock Dis Funky Joint” was the apex of their fame), and they almost became the next Chuck D., a fact that won’t amount to a hill of bupkis if you didn’t come aboard until rap was all WalMart-approved call-outs and white chicks wearing stupid fedoras. Even for you, though, Wise has hope – actually, scratch that, he probably doesn’t, but he’s once again ready to preach to the choir and stragglers alike, roping in the latter by dealing references to glocks and hos from the bottom of the deck. To some degree, TTTT is a case of Wise evicting his inner Shady; if he had “Another Chance @ Life,” he’d buy back all his people’s souls and not water down his rhymes to make the play lists (and even, evidently, resort to adding Alvin Chipmunk on catchy refrains if it’d get people to listen). It’s always the ones who never really did anything wrong who end up blaming themselves for everything, isn’t it? Many cool metal/reggae/old-school things to be discovered here, Wise’s trademark speed-rinse-syncopated flow beating at the doors incessantly. AEric W. Saeger