I was very hyped to see Smif-N-Wessun to release another album, but also a bit worried, as I always am when my “hip hop heroes” release a new album. Do they stay true to themselves or do they follow the music trend? Safe to say that Smif-N-Wessun stays true to themselves – they are grown men now, but hip hop is still hip hop. The “The All” album was released February 22nd and is their 7th studio LP on Bucktown USA/ Duck Down Records.
Tek & Steele flows over some high quality The Soul Council & 9th Wonder beats to create a nostalgic yet contemporary music experience. There is a strong contrast to the more rough beats at “Dah Shinin'” and these near-perfect sounding beats, where you can tell that 9th Wonder does not compromise with his production.
There is an impressive list of features, even though they do not need it. The neo-soul singer Musiq Soulchild, Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon and mr. Hustlin’ Rick Ross, just to name a few. I can not say that any of them make or break any track. They fit in nicely, but does not overshine Tek & Steele. I could do without some of the woman one tracks.
There are references to their debut album “Dah Shinin'” throughout, which I am a sucker for. Nostalgic-feeling is the best feeling to me. With being muslims they also rap about their belief in Allah, with praying 5 times a day etc. This album is pretty much about how their lives are now, Tek & Steele as grown ups without getting corny.
Tracklist for The All:
1. The Education of Smif-N-Wessun (Intro)
3. Dreamland (ft. Heather Victoria & Raekwon)
4. Ocean Drive (ft. Musiq Soulchild & Rapsody)
5. Let It Go
6. Letter 4 U (ft. SmittytheCAINSMITH)
7. Let Me Tell Ya (ft. Rick Ross)
8. The A.L.L.
9. We Good (ft. GQ & Heather Victoria)
12. One Time
Letter 4 U (ft. SmittytheCAINSMITH) is my favorite track on the album. It is a mellow track with a nice message for their loved ones. It is the track that is the closest to my favorite track by Smiff-N-Wessun called “P.N.C.”. I could do without SmittytheCAINSMITH on the hook, I think the track would be even better without her.
The Education Of Smif-N-Wessun (Intro), Testify, StahfAllah, Illusions, One Time
We Good (ft. GQ & Heather Victoria)
Overall, this is an early contender for album of the year. It is going to be tough to beat this one.
I give this album a
What do you think of the album? Which album do you want me to review next? Let me know in the comments below.