Flipping through the FM dial these days, it’s difficult to recall a time when integrity was pervasive in hip-hop, when lyricism and “commercial viability” were neither conflicting nor mutually exclusive. In 2004, with crunk music aspiring to airwave dominance, a movement was brewing in Detroit amongst a collective of disenfranchised, yet impassioned emcees. Ardent followers of early original hip-hop such as the Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim, Nas, Ice Cube & the inimitable Kool G. Rap, The Wisemen was born equally from necessity as well as to an underlying purpose: a revival of the enlightened aesthetic of the so-called “golden era” of hip-hop. Spearheaded by Bronze Nazareth, a Detroit producer/emcee with deep ties to the RZA of the seminal Wu-Tang Clan, the group was rounded out by Detroit stalwarts Kevlaar 7, Phillie and Salute (the Kid).
The name ‘Wisemen’ refers to the individual member’s commitment to prudence in the face of adversity, an ideology spawned from each emcee’s proven perseverance in the face of hardships. Like most inner city youth, for years the members of the Wisemen subsisted by any means necessary.
Originally planned as a 7 man collective entitled ‘The 7 Wisemen’ led Bronze and Kevlaar 7 to search for worthy constituents…..