Brooklyn, 1988, Sunset Park
In the lettered lung of Medina, booked into the spell of sazoned sunfalls. That summer the mighty Mets failed and the robbery of the finest fabrics forged a medallion. Brownsville had the Ls and the heart of Medina had the universals. And Skillastrator here, donde todos son Boricuas, where chancletas fly and coquis come to die, quietly learning the letters that make word bond. Understanding cipher years later, crests and crowns honor the God’s love and loyalty wardrobe. A life of martial treasures, schooling lectures using SWords, not the lies that vex, and pubbing breakbeat scoops with those same Sacred Words, another element for Sedgwick.
You ever wonder about that fight?!
I tell you brother, it’s been undeniable…
The history of things are only highlights that fulfill the lack of scripture to the redundancy of demise, the horror of oppression’s success. Seemingly? See, how the question in the scroll wrinkles the text of the timeline. So questions will not be asked and answers are the best of explanations. We will be assimilated to our violent mundanity, the greatest generation scripted. The riots of rebellion will become parades for charming villains and the slow sewers of dilution that swallow science and the arts will be the libraries of the captured waste, rather renewable recyclables.
Some of us won’t accept it and we write our own history. You’re scared of the glass ceilings and closed doors but every war needs a drummer and a flag bearer. Stopped looking up for a mysterious savior and the ceilings became observatories. Filled the home with the wealth of self, shelves of bounded knowledge, stoves of the best fuels and the hills, mountains and valleys of the deepest Earth all to see the hinges of every doorway crumble into a carpet to our own world. These things happen once knuckles served some meals and the scores were evened by the talented A-Alikes.
Omnipotent and Sinnagi are warriors, experts at the performance of nuanced excellence. They live hells all us Black and Brown live but they somehow bless others as the drummers to our sounds, drowning out the spoilage in the airwaves. These are real brothers I know as family and when they MC I hear personal gifts of their smooth tones, stylistic tempos and anthemic insight being streamed outside of my own home they better. These skillastrator notes are saddled with selflessness cause this break barrened world deserves none of the seasoned illness they spread. It is maybe that daring fight to preserve the best part and share the greatest of Art that makes Knuckle Sandwich a treasure. Let me show you the chest of this…
Extremely diverse musically, the warrior ethos of Knuckle Sandwich isn’t just battle bars with 5% references (that only 85 niggas say) over muscle breaks with rock riffs and goth tinged vocal slashes. Musically, it ranges from Funk vroom basslines (“So Easy”), Donny made to quiver on “Giving Up,” the sinister organ and ticking time track always near explosion on “Strap Up,” unique snare work from the hand claps on the soul of “Balls,” the heartbeat pump breaks of “Fight Club,” the whirling sirens on “Food For the Pot,” the wonderful melodies through crisp bass drums, a distant backdrop buzzline and an addictive drum snap on “Take Notice,” or the incredible bass guitar crescendo that lets the rollicking drums fall in with some digi organ melodics tempering it through on “Push.”
And it fights verbatim. When O7 swings, he hits, “Been moving through the concrete jungle on a humble/been a little while since I was in a good scuffle/felt teeth on my knuckles, blood splashing on my skin/never seen that kind of action, they scared to get it in…” (“Be Easy”) And Sinnagi brawls, “Clash kamikaze style while screaming ‘Fuck em all!’/Want to go to war/always an open door/no time for double dutch/punk, jump if you’re sure/jack up the courage that got you punch drunk on the floor/sober up, plumped up with your mouth feeling sore, head feeling swole/eyes shut closed, tooth missing, blood running from your nose/jab hooked up quick, watch the combo…” (“Fight Club”).
Through the brawls, the hustle through the struggle is addressed (“Food For The Pot”), the swivel sight explored on “Take Notice,” the solutions in the calculus of anthemics on “Push,” the poetics on the off hours (“In the Night”), fake niggas (“Friends Pt 2”) or the macro-portraits of hell (“Hammers And Nails”) that all go back to some strong fighting (“First Off,” “Hold Up,” “Rep”). The synergy of Omnipotent and Sinnagi is the bond on every record, a duo that has such differing techniques that simultaneously attain some of the greatest attributes MCs can have. Omnipotent, with a smooth, extremely tempered and enunciated raspiness whilst Sinnagi inflects and bops his words with the subtlest variations in his pacing. All of this performed as MCs speaking to us and never at us as these records are extensions of serious words to us, face to face, comforting hand on the shoulder or flying fist to the face. When Sinn & O7 are aided, it’s often by superheroes as Kasim Allah’s spoken word gem sparkling “In the Night,” Merc the Big Body Benz’ dynamically cryptic charisma on “Friends Pt. 2″ or Napoleon Da Legend on the classic warrior lyric cipher on “Strap Up” I’ve burnt on speakers for years (Knowledge that build HERE).
Ultimately the Undeniable theme permeates Knuckle Sandwich, which is beyond mere fighting but the composition of a warrior nature peaking on “Push” drives through. Sinnagi builds on the legacy they will spread to all with powerful commentary, (“Refuse to escape the truth/they can’t remove my chapter…Accomplishment instead of empty promises from public speaking/they say we’re all lost, the youth so hard to reach/if we turn our backs on them the streets’ll teach them still/ this life’s real..”) as Omnipotent confirms it as the daily soldiering (“Lived so that everything we record honors their memory with legacy instead of folklore for sure..When you gotta family you gotta provide for, shit is long days and long nights, Love, Hell or Right/doing what you gotta do instead of what you like, it’s the fight in the man and man, I love a good fight!”).
The best MCs of this era are not coddled by wonderful deals and niche markets that blossom with every niggery treat for wiggery delight. They are sometimes, as here, Black men that really have the Knowledge Of Self the other target marketeers profess, who prevail with wonderful families applying the progressive ideas that are so counter-cultural yet beneficial and fight so hard to record and release their greatest creations, their latest LP is always years off the excellence they are now on. Knuckle Sandwich is an primer to a duo with limitless talent, ever increasing insight and every limitation the warrior would have who actually lived these lyrics. Knowledge the God, that truth is certainly Undeniable.
PURCHASE UNDENIABLE – KNUCKLE SANDWICH LP HERE
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 (creative author/principled journalist/honoring historian) 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…
Living and sharing the pillars of:
Peace, Sunez Allah