WILLIE THE KID & BRONZE NAZARETH – THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS Review

By SUNEZ

Many waiting for the one to push the envelope send for the coon clowns of the Black market.  The Herc unsanctioned shit that only breaks banks as gimmicked fakes.  But what burns waynes and hails blows on earth’s drakes?!  Them, the men of real letters filling the insides of boomboxes while crate orchestrators seal it for travel.  Rapidly requested and grandly delivered Bronzed envelopes will the living daylights out of the kids.  Another exquisite traveling show that flips the circus sellers dead in the limelights.  The Living Daylights is the pinnacle of perfected purist beat making with a blend of technically progressive and subtly insightful MCing. 

 The more rap music the folk masses hear the less they know about Black.  The history of it is as officially accepted wrong as the foundations of all civilization.  So there is little surprise at the dismissal of Bronze Nazareth’s beat excellence and Willie the Kid’s rhyming prowess.  A dismissal that demands rewind for the rebuttal…

 A Master of Controlled tempo….Willie’s older brother, La the Darkman, displays an extreme intensity on “Ice Cold Guinness.”  If you ain’t know these best Hip Hop songs are for sparking the mind, soothing the soul and absolutely training the body to fight.  So La powers every last rhyming word, “move on a slow creep/first class flights no longer a coach seat/Feds wanna rope me/I’ll escape hopefully/retire on an island surrounded by potpourri…” and layers the rhyme with fluctuation on the like vowels (i.e. ‘ire’ in retire & ‘i’ in island with ‘i’ in potpourri).  This is the analyzing of flows that MCs do naturally off the energy of their talents.  And Willie progresses the lessons learned with superior layering and punctuates his bars phrase by phrase.  He is especially gifted with word coupling and consonance (“My abnormal rapport/my normal nomenclature/rare form for the art form” – “The Blitz”).  So well, that his riches talk may be all that the weaker listener hears.  And if that was all they heard then verses as “Delirium” they received the savage excellence of cleverness and wit (“Never too busy to get fresh, I’m boisterous/I keep the bitch moist/I’m poison/anoint the clit”) but still missed the jewels (“I’m an artist ,regardless all my nigaz hood tho/charming young man, I could bag Lisa Kudrow/Least we ain’t fools, sell our souls or sell each other out/And that’s more than I can say about most of you/Doubt is all mental…).  Throughout, Willie’s speeds are controlled despite the driving nature of “Sweet Sorrow” causing him to chop his phrasing more or the track’s break stutters as “Coming From” lets Willie still toss in shrewd lines (“see my innuendo’s continuing…”).

The insightful playa reaching his prime…A persona of dynamically real contradiction, fighting hypocrisy.  One where the Black man’s success may lotion his loins but never remove the sting of scabs from old chains.  So “Breakfast In France,” Bronze has Kyss declare their roots while Willie details “pasta pillows” noting his quest as “a thinking man’s rapper” who pops champagne but thinks about that ol’ stairway.  There is a retrospection for the past every minute of indulgence.  There is the lack of hypocrisy in keeping to commentary on the hells that his own still suffer through.  It’s a realness that lets Bronze throw the “Sweet Sorrow” of gorgeous lady soul wailing with stuttering drums that reloop the chop for our ears.  Here Willie can delve into the fails and repercussions in relationships (“ironically you hate that I’m a dreamer/but love the lifestyle that we afford that came from it…”) but he also incredibly portraits the downtrodden mentality and ensuing pitfalls (“The Guilt”) as well as unleash the MC fury (“..very similar to few/specialize in blood spewing…” – “Fucking Blades”).  Willie’s persona is only amplified by the guests that complement his many facets from Sean P’s ruggedness to Boldy James effortless tones to Bronze’s rhythmic prose.

A poet of layered consonance and crafty word choices…Willie the Kid is a poet.  Too many, even his own featured guests on other projects, are guilty of just throwing odd words together and using arcane details to magnify the visuals.  But Willie’s versed truth is as the ideal of abstract concepts holding fluidity while he offers insights to his ideas and understanding that is developing.  The proof is from the first full length dare as he poeticizes prose over the “Good Morning” instrumental [off Bronze’s classic debut LP, The Great Migration] for “Avalon.”  The rhyme is filled with cliffhangers of abstraction (“A fallen soldier in Avalon/The hidden meaning/Trained in the shadow palm…) offering temperament for insights (“…ways deep…) that are held together by shifting details (“…baptized in a shallow pond/Upon a chariot…”) and clever quips (“…chop it like shallots/could’ve said salad…).  But the depth is farther in after he pictures the fruits of his wealth (“My chick bad lay/black swan, grip a chalice/Full of fine wine, full flavored…”) and builds on his mentality through it all (“…layered in tradition, values, customs/must grow apart, and let the world grow accustomed/Let ‘em think he won/see the truth that might crush ‘em/Flustered, I plant seeds, let the wings grow/Trying to sand down my horns/I hand down a warm welcome/a heaping helping/ feasts with my niggas belching…”).  Only a starring stylist of verbal dexterity, a writer who is thinking his trials and outcomes on the page, writes this well.  And on this classic verse over Bronze’s beautifully fluted bass drum introspection sound is a daring feat accomplished.  The lines continue through all the said techniques to an immense ending (“…Two bitches from Belgium never heard of/Belgian waffles you woefully mistaken/You lawfully wedded to this paper that I’m making/Baking/I’m brave enough to be creative/But I acclimate like a native/Trying to blend in with the cadence/abide by the rules, fuck the latest trend/I just came for the accolades/Spend more time on important shit/self-improvement, this money, this sort of shit”) only the elder stylist great of today, Roc Marciano could follow.


What is the score for all this?! Who laces the Soul of wailing swords at enemies, the Blues of fallen men, the funk of the toughest sort to let a Black man, oppressed at birth and revived in talent’s wealth, to express himself?  Bronze Nazareth is as surprising as the excellence of the Sun.  The Sun just is and so are his tracks for over a decade.  His drums pound by thud (“The Guilt”), by distant smack (“Avalon”) or by rolling engines (“The Blitz”) that chorus his MC’s verses with contemplative sirens (“Breakfast in France”), banged pianos (“Delirium”) or mean horn riffs (“Ain’t Nothing”).  Some use the pop of the sample (i.e. Kanye West), others classically use the griminess (i.e. DJ Premier).  Bronze out of the school of The RZA champions the grains of pain in the dirtiness.  Willie the Kid has been an excellent beat selector over his career of EPs and original mixtapes and these Bronze selections separate the purity of Hip Hop’s best sounds from today’s rap pop hybrids. 

Now under The Living Daylights is an old envelope too heavy for rappers to push that Willie and Bronze have kept in perpetual motion.