As the world goes wound and wound,
metaphors of grandeur lose insight.
It’ll all be left behind in a souljah journal
Pages turn, labels paste, songs chime…
Twenty years later #RespectFAKE awards cluster under porcelain furniture,
all podiumed for a deteriorated simile
like muscled LeGoats that won’t feed on pressure pastures.
Damn, I got young waze disrespecting the latest craze
All clipped up in these magazines,
bullets are my byline,
#Skillastrator trigger the reader.
Willie Waze put a family heirloom into long song. It was prepared from the womb through adolescence. In 1995, Hip Hop for the VA brother became his linx to the clan of his thoughts. They are the daily musings of the uncared for still caring, a ruckus of motherfucking events that ain’t supposed to have good so he got ill. Sicknesses in service to a purge of verses that portrait the every brother. Da Lexicon of a Nova Souljah is an obsession with fitting Willie Waze’s every idea, insight and igniting experience, the cause and the effects to his reality into a Long Player. So now 2 Long Players later, we have an exceptional work that labors best if we still have listeners of the words. If they revel in the cadence of prepared attack and twang that puts him on the map before he shouts his concrete footing. If they do, they’ll hear some of this…
Waze is a mid tempo to slow tempo thriver who accentuates his accent and articulates every last syllable. No noise keeps him misheard for long and song crafting is advanced because the mixtapes really were college ball played as a student filling notebooks. So no song is merely battle rapping as nearly all are attached with a clear concept and/or concept to address. Still, Waze’s gift is that he respects his life as a Black man. It means he has complete confidence telling the hopes (“Better Man”), how the city inspires (“that’s how I know pedestrians’ voices be the melody” – “Rhythm Of Da City”) into a defined mentality (“Where I’m Coming From”) and empowered perspective (“For Goodness Sake,” “New Horizon”) that amplify the battle raps to declarations of a potent Black man (“Not A Movie”) and may be inspiring us as much as they were meant to for himself (“Step It Up”). The double LP allows the extension of crucial themes as the love of the Black women where the chase (“Name And Numba”) and find (“Me N U”) is real but the search (“AT8”) the true goal all into its epitome (“Riding With Shorty”).
Subjects and content mark this album but the jewels are in the lines of cleverness. The extreme talent to be woke and take tokes, that is conscious enough to be a complete thinker. Waze fills Nova Souljah with a wordplay that is built on near homonyms with artistic alterations and distinct word choices often mixed with conclusive declarations in the simplest language(“in the past God was seen as the Sun, no lie/Blacks got recharged from a battery called pi/vitamins perceived/less reasons to grief/people right now just need something to believe/How about the fact that the universe is in you/how about the fact that our souls are all kin too/melanated mentals/past life credentials…” – “Where’s Da Sunshine”) This balance of depth gives Waze a conversational tone that warms himself to us (“Don’t take the culture and be a mockery or poser/Marking the opposers, prosperity controllers/got to be a souljah/or they properly emoj ya” – “It Ain’t Ova”). When he knows more, you know he’ll let you see more (“Optimally I’m older cause visually I seen it/the power of our plight and the meaning of our zenith/the sourness of sight/the grass clean but a green cliff…” – It Ain’t Ova”). When he rocks smoother, his arm is around you doing it all for you (“Speaking of green/need me a serene spliff/I mean, if you from Nova then say you a soldier then, the whole VA say it loud: We supposed to win!” – “It Ain’t Ova”)
Musically diverse and cohesive, if the plotting isn’t noticed as precise lyrically it certainly is blatant on the beats. From the groovy love of slowly thickened 808s and ticked high hats on Beats Maravich’s “Me N U,” the wonderful twists to Phyllis and Anita, Drew Dave’s digital bass waves and sharp drums on “Sunshine?,” the stripped down bass drum and kick of Dublohskytzo’s “Step It Up,” the slow, broadly spaced slow motion snap drum work on Gene Skii’s “Yah!” to trappy clap slap slop put together by Phantom Beatz, Waze delivers his writings on a fluctuating musical backdrop. A bed of beats that battle each other for your attention keeping the double LP from running into repetition. The tracks are choiced dynamically as the peak of using the late great Kevlaar 7’s (#RememberedInPerfection) beautiful “I Call My Brother Sun” instrumental for “Better Man,” a powerful ode to his younger brother.
Willie Waze didn’t just get into Hip Hop. He found his culture, this expressive form is his and he just rapped as he learned. So these are more than tracks. They are songs that play in streets and rooms, porches and parks, a canteen of emergent verses for souljahs by a fellow young souljah.
Young Black male, I told you this world is #RespectFAKE.
Funny how challenges go.
To be the greatest you can you gots to beat the fakest.
They got them winning. On some shit, right?!
So all set to devour you but our earlier A-Alike elders set a stage here.
Now you’ll be selling your soul
but you’ll be crazy enough to be original,
giving it all the honor it needs.
A terror in totality to topple the tariff they put on the good in our life.
We can sell all our thoughts in crafts
but they’ll never ruin our Waze, mighty souljah.
There’s a nova there.
Will you see you?
#LOVEandLOYALTY A #LoLife
The organization of these principles around a counterculture, an expressive arts of creation that uplifts the ideas and thoughts of an oppressed people, is why I’m an honored builder amongst legends, knighted by heroes of Medina (Rakim Supreme Shabazz Allah/Rudy Lo, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, Bonz Malone) to further create in my element as a Hip Hop Writer of #ArtOnArt & #ScienceOnMusic. So the world may find love that locks in with the action of loyalty though they may never find another writer with my kind of grammar…
Representing the pillars of:
Peace, Sunez Allah