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Across the five tracks on B Wise’s Elefant Traks release, the EP Semi Pro there’s a distinct feeling of raw honesty and with a tour coming up next month, this record feels like it’s just what the African-Australian rapper needed to put out to take his artistry to the next level.
The first track on the EP is the previously released No Questions and it sets up the record nicely with a strong melodic piano presence (something that is common across the record), with a kind of introductory and reflective lyrical content. B Wise raps honestly about his childhood, teenage hood and movement into his adult life, generally conveying relatable themes and situations.
The production and mixing on Semi Pro is all done by Dopamine, and on No Questions he shows from the very start that he knows how to compliment his rapper’s vocals. He creates two very distinct moods on the track; using up-beat electro to compliment B Wise’s harder hitting verses, and minimal, piano-based production behind the more laid-back lyrical material.
Smile is another track that is set up melodically with a piano-driven introduction; and on this track we get to see B Wise get much more melodic with his rhymes, especially in the chorus where he follows the piano chords with aplomb.
Semi Pro feels like quite a varied EP, with a more melodically driven tune like Smile followed up by the bass driven tune Risk It. This track definitely has the glitchiest production on the whole record – and shows off some excellent layering of B Wise’s vocals; demonstrating his versatility as a vocal artist.
Perhaps the most powerful lyrics on the whole record come in the form of the slow-burning track Drugs & Drama; another reflective effort where B Wise reveals some of the temptations that come with being a musician, as he raps; “we know temptation, but we never know peace,” and “I just want to make music but we so far from it.”
B Wise wraps up this super-impressive EP with Roll Call; which features Dopamine’s most impressive production of the whole record. Some of the beauty of his production throughout the record, and particularly on this final track, is that for the most part it could stand on its own as music, but that it also still treads a fine-enough line that it still perfectly complements B Wise’s rapping and occasionally singing.