This album was released on February 22nd this year. I’ve listened to every project Smif-N-Wessun have released up to now, and I definitely consider myself a fan. The only project that I wasn’t really satisfied with was the album they did with Pete Rock, which may come as a surprise to some. I love Pete Rock, but the production was pretty underwhelming on that project in my opinion. A lot of people seemed to dislike their Reggae inspired 2013 EP, Born & Raised, but I thought it was pretty good personally. This album here is their first project in 6 years. From what I’ve seen, the reception seems pretty positive, so I’m expecting this to be dope.
1. Intro (The Education of Smif-N-Wessun) produced by E. Jones
The production from E. Jones on this track is pretty great honestly. I love the way it sounds when the percussion finally comes in. The first verse from Steele was dope. I’ve always considered Steele to be the standout MC in the group, but Tek isn’t bad. He did his thing on the second verse. It seemed like he went in longer than Steele. I think this is a pretty good way to start the project. I like the production a lot, and the two verses were nice. There’s no hook. I fuck with this song. It’s dope.
2. Testify produced by Khrysis
This track was released as the second single for this project. I haven’t heard it yet though. The beat on this track is amazing honestly. Khrysis put his ass in this track. This is better than any of the beats from that Jericho Jackson project. I probably would’ve liked that project a lot more if it sounded more like this. I really want to like this song more than I actually do. I think it’s really good, but it should’ve been great. I really only have one issue with it. It’s way too short. It’s just under a minute and a half long. The way Tek & Steele were trading bars on it was really cool, but it feels like it ended before it really got started. That beat is way too good for the song to be this short. I definitely enjoyed it. It left me wanting more though.
3. Dreamland featuring Raekwon & Heather Victoria produced by 9th Wonder
This beat is really great. The first verse from Steele was cool. This is a somewhat autobiographical track. They’re rapping about their younger days. Tek’s verse wasn’t bad. Heather Victoria pretty much just provides the background vocals. Raekwon’s verse was nice. This song feels pretty short for some reason. It’s over three and a half minutes long though. Maybe it has something to do with the structure; there’s no hook or bridge or anything like that. It’s just three verses one after another. I think this is a pretty good song, but it’s definitely my least favorite track on the album so far. Nothing about it is particularly bad though. I enjoyed it. It’s dope.
4. Ocean Drive featuring Rapsody & Musiq Soulchild produced by Khrysis
The production on this track is really good. The Soul Council really did a great job with this album so far. All the beats have been top notch. The first verse from Tek was cool. This is pretty much a love song. The hook from Musiq Soulchild is fantastic. He sounds smoother than a motherfucker. Steele’s verse was dope. Rapsody killed that last verse. She definitely has my favorite verse on the song. I don’t really have any issues with this track. I think it’s really good. The production from Khrysis is stellar, and Rapsody’s verse was great. Tek & Steele did a pretty good job too, and I love the hook. I fuck with this shit. It’s dope.
5. Let It Go produced by 9th Wonder
I’m pretty sure this is this album’s lead single. The production on this track is solid. It’s not as impressive to me as the previous few beats though. The first verse from Steele is dope. The second verse from Tek wasn’t as good in my opinion, but it wasn’t bad. The hook is alright. The way they keep saying “WOOOOO” is kind of annoying, but other than that I don’t really have any issues with this track. This is probably my least favorite song on the project so far. I like it, but nothing about it really stands out that much. The hook is nothing special, and the beat is just slightly above average in my opinion. It’s still an enjoyable song for me personally though. It’s dope.
6. Letter 4 U featuring SmittytheCAINSMITH produced by Khrysis
The beat on this song is awesome. I’m kind of surprised that I’ve been more impressed with Khrysis’ work on this project than 9th Wonder’s. Both of them are great producers, but I generally like 9th Wonder’s beats more. This is definitely the most personal song on the album so far. The first verse from Steele is a direct message to his mother. Tek’s verse is a message to his mother as well. His felt a bit more poignant just because his mother has passed away. I’m not familiar with this SmittytheCAINSMITH person. I was expecting it to be a guy for some reason. She did a pretty good job with the hook though. Steele’s second verse is a message to his firstborn child. Same goes for Tek’s second verse. Tek had one line about how black people are descendants of kings. I hate to admit it, but anytime a black person references shit like that I can’t help but think of the horribly offensive & racist “WE WUZ KANGZ” meme that white supremacists use to mock those who adhere to the Black Egyptian Hypothesis. Anyway, the song as a whole is pretty good. I really love the production, and the heartfelt verses were nice too. SmittytheCAINSMITH did a decent job with the hook. I fuck with this song. It’s dope.
7. Let Me Tell Ya featuring Rick Ross produced by Nottz
The beat on this track is dope as hell. The first verse from Steele was really nice. I like the way Tek comes in right behind him too. His verse was solid as well. The hook is nothing special, but it serves its purpose I guess. The second verses from Tek & Steele were cool. Steele definitely impressed me more than Tek on this song, but he did a decent job too. Rick Ross’ verse was a Rick Ross verse. It was average as hell. I did find it kind of interesting that he said he missed the old Kanye though. Overall I think this is another solid track. Nothing about it really stands out that much to me, but I enjoyed it. The production is the best aspect of the song to me, but Steele & Tek did their thing too. This is dope.
8. The A.L.L. produced by 9th Wonder
The beat on this track is dope as hell. Steele killed that first verse. None of the bars were super crazy or anything. He just had a really good flow and delivery. This shit is hard as hell honestly. Tek’s verse was nice too. This is one of the shortest songs on the album. It’s under three minutes long, but it doesn’t feel incomplete. This is honestly one of my favorite tracks on the album so far. The hook is super simplistic, but it works. I don’t have any issues with this track. It’s dope to me.
9. We Good featuring GQ & Heather Victoria produced by Khrysis
Hmm… I definitely like this beat, but I’m not really sure how I feel about the hook honestly. Tek & Steele’s voices sound kinda weird. It’s not that bad though. The background vocals from Heather Victoria sound really good. The first verse from Steele was cool. The second verse from Tek was decent. GQ definitely had my favorite verse honestly. He did a great job. This certainly isn’t one of my favorite tracks, but I enjoyed it to some extent. The production is my favorite aspect of the song. The features were really good too. I fuck with this track. It’s dope.
10. Stahfallah produced by Khrysis
This beat is dope as hell. The way they’re trading bars on the first verse is really cool. It was interesting to hear Steele namedrop Run the Jewels. The hook is nothing special, but it gets the job done. The more I listen to this beat the less I like it. It’s definitely not bad though. This is another one of the shorter songs on the album. Nothing about it really stands out that much. I enjoyed it to some extent though. I like the way they were trading bars on this track. It was a pretty good display of their chemistry. I think this is a good track. It’s dope.
11. Illusions produced by Khrysis
Damn. This is one of the best beats on the album honestly. I love this beat. The first verse from Tek was actually really good too. The hook is pretty solid. The second verse from Steele was nice. There are only two verses on this track. They’re both sufficient. Neither of them truly blew me away though. However, this is still one of my favorite tracks on the album so far, mainly due to the production. I really like this track. The beat’s great, and the verses were cool too. This shit is dope.
12. One Time produced by Eric G.
This beat from Eric G. is smooth as hell. The first verse from Tek is really great. Steele’s verse was nice as hell too. Honestly, this might actually be my favorite track on the whole album. They don’t really do anything that adventurous with this track; it’s just two verses over a really smooth beat. I think they executed it really well though. The production’s great, and both of the verses were super dope. I don’t have any issues with this track at all. I fuck with this song. This shit is dope.