The perspective of Seattle hip-hop seems to change every few years, or for the mainstream as a whole, maybe every twenty years. Ask anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest, and they’ll tell you Seattle hip-hop is Sir Mix-A-Lot and Macklemore, and nothing more. Ask anyone who has been in tap with the music, and they’ll tell you about everyone from Kid Sensation to Turntable Lab, Byrdie to Blue Scholars. Wizdom has always been there but you might not have been aware of it but like fellow 206 gents Jake Uno and Vitamin D, you should be, for he has been making music for almost ten years. As he says in “My City’s Filthy” (which brings in fellow Seattleites Grynch and Fearce Vill), “strength in numbers, homie”, and that’s a reference to not only Seattle’s hip-hop scene, but the sports community, restaurateurs, and anyone who is in the 206 to win. Where to go next? Wizdom let’s everyone know about the plan in the appropriately titled The Next Step (self-released).
While anyone can rap about the mission of rapping, Wizdom has always been someone who has rapped about life and how he wants to live it. It’s not about “this is the right thing to do”, it is about what he wants to do in the best way he knows how, one of the more admirable elements of his rapping style. He has no problem in telling everyone how he is a pro at what he does (“N64”) but there’s more to his lyrics and flow than just ego and presentation, you want to be impressed by someone who has the skills and knows it. He goes beyond that and says “I have you listening, let me lay a few things on you, I have a story to tell”, which is why you want to keep listening to Wizdom and buy one of his T-shirts. The Next Step is not only about the next, but what his mission has been about all this time, consider this a continuation of the path he started.
You can call this an EP or a short album, but The Next Step is eight songs of solid goodness from someone who has worked to make sure he is heard, giving you a reason to put his music on repeat. If you want some love hip-hop, you have “Forever”. You want something that could get a lot of airplay, listen to “No Good”. You just want some quality hip-hop, Wizdom is your man. The next step could be anything and anywhere, whether it’s finding himself in other tracks or having his career take off in a manner that will be a continuation of Seattle’s hip-hop diversity, to let people know the scene doesn’t begin and end with anyone specific. As he refers to The Roots in the title track, there is so much more and if that’s what you want, he’s more than happy to guide you in his direction.
(You may stream the album in full by heading to DJBooth.net.)