Thursday, June 28, 2012


The aptly named Wordsmith has released another dope album, King Noah.  I've been aware of his lyrical prowess for quite a while now.  He is one of those hidden gems from Harm City that is under the radar within the 92 square miles of this city, yet is known outside its radius.  Who else can claim recording a FULL-LENGTH LP with the likes of legendary Chubb Rock?  All I can say is support this positive cat.  Go to Sound Garden in Fells Point, go to iTunes, go to  Wherever you go, seek out this album.  You won't be disappointed if you're a fan of beats and rhymes.

Here is the first video release for King Noah, "Music For The Masses", directed by Paul Adams.  The song was produced by Strada, and is just a sampling (no pun intended) of the musical range this dope collection contains.  Visit for more music and videos from Wordsmith.  You can also connect with Wordsmith via Twitter:  @Wordsmithmusic.



Written By: WISDOM

NOTE:  This interview was conducted earlier in 2012 and was slated for print via On The Rise Magazine.  I am now including this interview for my WISDOM SEEKER readers to view and enjoy.  Special thanks goes to Doc Ice and Mocca Styles for allowing me access into the musical life of a hip hop legend.

Iconic. Legendary. Trendsetter. These are just a few words that aptly describe Doctor Ice, from UTFO fame. Now going by the shortened moniker Doc Ice, he is making his presence felt again in this constantly fickle hip hop landscape. He has never truly disappeared from the music scene, still recording and performing for the customary old school hip hop heads, all the while gaining newer fans. Most know him for his contributions with UTFO, some recognize him as a prior dancer with Whodini (whose group member Jalil is the older brother of Doc Ice). Doc Ice is blazing a new trail here in the 21st Century, reacquainting himself with the hip hop realm. Because he is such a busy individual with recording and performing, it took a good while before we were able to connect for this interview. I extend special thanks to Mocca Styles with 4 Diamonds Productions for granting access and providing excellent PR with Doc Ice.

WISDOM:  It's a pleasure and honor having this opportunity to interview a hip hop icon. Thanks to your PR rep Mocca Styles, I've had the chance to listen to the new song "They'll Never Be" featuring Full Force. Tell the readers what you are currently working on music-wise.

DOC ICE:  Thank you for this interview. I am blessed that somebody wants to interview me (Laughter). Much appreciated. Currently I'm working on a new album called The Doctor Will See You Now. I have two singles circulating, one titled “The Comeback” and the other “They'll Neva B” (Valentine’s Day). “The Comeback” video is done; getting some great feedback and continuing to climb in numbers.

WISDOM:  Being a part of both UTFO and Whodini as an MC and dancer, is there a possibility of recording any new music or going on tour in the upcoming future?

DOC ICE:  I'm actually on the Royalty Of Hip Hop tour with Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, Rakim, DJ Kool. As far as UTFO is concerned I don't see anything happening right now.

WISDOM:  How do you see your position as an elder statesman in the hip hop realm?

DOC ICE:  I see my position as grounded, and I hope that I can get the fans from our era to continue to buy our new CD's and download songs because they are just as knowledgeable as the kids nowadays, and that would really make me feel more rooted and grounded in the realm of hip hop.

WISDOM:  I had the opportunity to see you come onstage with Whodini when they performed last year in Baltimore for an old school hip hop show. How does it feel to still get on stage to perform?

DOC ICE:  It's one of the best feelings in the world to get on stage and party with the people. It's a blessing to still be rapping and dancing in 2012.

WISDOM:  Name three hip hop artists that you are currently listening to.

DOC ICE:  Jay-Z, Ludacris, Rick Ross, etc.

WISDOM:  When "Roxanne, Roxanne" first exploded on the scene, did you expect so many response records?

DOC ICE:  Not at all, it was a total surprise! We couldn't believe that we created the soap opera of hip hop with “Roxanne, Roxanne”.

WISDOM:  Are there any artists you would love to record with at the moment?

DOC ICE:  The real question is, are there any artists that would want to record with me (LOL). But if I had to choose I would say Busta Rhymes, maybe Chris Brown, maybe Nicki Minaj.

WISDOM:  What pieces of advice would you give an aspiring artist looking to enter the music business?

DOC ICE:  Do not let anybody tell you that you can't do it, stay focused, and never give up on your dream. Even if you have to work to make a living stay on the path.

WISDOM:  Since WISDOM SEEKER is designed to illuminate those that are reaching new artistic heights, how does it feel to still be recognized within the hip hop world?

DOC ICE:  Like Kanye said, "it's amazing, so amazing".

WISDOM:  What is allowing Doc Ice to still be "on the rise"?

DOC ICE:  Just knowing that there are people around the world still looking for something from me, and I don't wanna leave the fans that we gained empty and without a choice. Whether people like it or not hip hop is not for the youth; it's a music that keeps you young, but we all enjoy it, so what keeps me "on the rise" is the people.

WISDOM:  Let the WISDOM SEEKER family know how to reach out to you with social media or websites.

DOC ICE:  I can be reached @therealdocice on Twitter, at, or Doc Ice on Facebook.

WISDOM:  Thank you very much Doc Ice for being gracious enough to give WISDOM SEEKER access to your professional life. Again, it is an honor to speak with someone who has been an influential figure within hip hop.

DOC ICE:  Thank you again for this privilege,  keep on rising! Peace… Doc Ice.

Doc Ice is a hip hop pioneer, both as an MC with UTFO and breakdancer with Whodini, emerging on the hip hop scene in ’83-’84. As part of UTFO (which stood for Untouchable Force Organization), he unknowingly became part of hip hop lore with the classic “Roxanne, Roxanne”, a song which spun a long thread of response records during the 1980’s. Not one to rest on his laurels, you can still find Doc Ice pursuing his musical passion, still recording quality music and performing. Stay tuned for more from the artist known as Doc Ice!


Written By:  Wisdom

NOTE:  This interview was originally conducted via e-mail February-March 2012 as part of On The Rise Magazine.  Unfortunately it was never published, so I am bringing it to the masses via WISDOM SEEKER.  Thank you to S1, Vohn Beatz, and Theresa Griffin for the professionalism and a dope interview opportunity.

Waco, Texas native Larry Griffin, Jr., also known as Symbolyc One (or S1), has been on my hip hop radar since I first discovered Strange Fruit Project around 2004, with the release of their album Soul Travelin’. I loved the positive lyricism and imagery that was presented by the three-man group, comprised of S1, Myth, and Myone. Their musical concoctions were similar in nature and stance to other left-of-center groups such as Little Brother, Tanya Morgan, Slum Village, and the like. Years later, S1 would garner acclaim as co-producer of Kanye West’s “Power”. He now can add “Grammy Award Winner” to the list of accolades, winning the coveted award for Best Rap Album Category with Mr. West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Along the way, his very talented son, known to the hip hop world as Vohn Beatz, is a budding producer/artist in his own right, following in his father’s blessed footsteps. After reaching out to the powers that be for S1 and Vohn Beatz, I was able to secure a dope interview (via e-mail) for both individuals. What you have here is a closer look into the musical and familial connection with S1 and Vohn Beatz.

S1 Interview---

Wisdom:  It is a pleasure and honor to have this interview opportunity with a blessed producer/artist such as yourself. My first exposure to your music was with Strange Fruit Project. How did Strange Fruit Project come into being?

S1:  SFP (Strange Fruit Project). My cousin Myth and I formed a group back in the day named Symbolyc Elementz (‘94 The Source Unsigned Hype). I met Myone at a job I was working at. I invited him to our session one day and after that he stayed at all our sessions we had. The music we were creating was great so we decided to form a group. We also had a female vocalist by the name of Lysoul in the group at the time.

Wisdom:  Is the group name a reference to the song that Billie Holiday made famous, "Strange Fruit"?

S1:  Yes. It represents the struggle and pain we go through and we feel our music represents the same thing.

Wisdom:  Even though you have created some very high profile joints with Kanye West and Jay-Z, you've been able to maintain an almost enigmatic image. Is that by choice?

S1:  I don't get caught up in all the Hollywood stuff. I love creating my music and hanging with my family…that keeps me humble.

Wisdom:  Your son is Vohn Beatz, and he seems to be following in your production footsteps. When did you first notice his interest in music?

S1:  Vohn showed signs of wanting to play piano and drums at a young age. He would always be in my sessions when he was 2 years old and up so he picked it up really fast.

Wisdom:  How are you guiding your son through this musical path he is walking?

S1:  Just by being a father/parent and teaching him was right from wrong and letting him know that God has to be the foundation.

Wisdom:  I unfortunately didn't have the opportunity to see Erykah Badu perform recently with her electronic band The Cannabinoids here in Baltimore. Did you perform with the band, and how is that experience?

S1:  Yes, I'm in the ‘Noids group. Yes, I performed and we had a great show! Erykah is a great performer and great person, along with all the other members in the group. We all love what we do and we show that on stage.

Wisdom:  If you can, talk about some upcoming projects on deck for Symbolyc One.

S1:  Working on a lot of Kanye things right now. I’m also working on Willow Smith, 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, and Rodney Jerkins and a lot of his artists like Ace Primo, Young Steff and Alex.

Wisdom:  Who are some of your musical influences?

S1:  I have so many, but I will say a few: Justus League, J Dilla, Hi-Tek, Timbaland, Darkchild, Kanye, DJ Khalil, No ID, Dr Dre and many more.

Wisdom:  How do you balance your musical career with your strong faith foundation?

S1:  Just by surrounding myself around great people like my family and closest friends. And staying in God's word. That all keeps me level headed and humble, but yet confident enough to excel me in my music.

Wisdom:  What does being "on the rise" mean to Symbolyc One as a producer, emcee, and performer?

S1:  It means me progressing and evolving as a producer, artist, and performer.

Wisdom:  What would you like to say in closing to the  readers?

S1:  Love each and every one of you and thanks for the love. ---S1

Vohn Beatz Interview---

Wisdom:  Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you. It is rare to be able to speak with a father and son that are both forging a path down the road with hip hop. How did you become interested in music and hip hop?

VB:  I have always wanted to make music and hear artists sing/rap over my music. I used to just hang out in the studio with my dad all the time. And I still do because I am still learning.

Wisdom:  How long have you been producing?

VB:  I have been producing since I was 10 years old, which would be 4 years now.

Wisdom:  Your presence is strong online with some of your videos on YouTube. Do you plan to utilize social media to expand what you're creating?

VB:  I do use the social media when I can. I am in the 8th grade and with homework, sports, band, and family it can be hard to log in and do videos or chat on Twitter or Facebook.

Wisdom:  How is your father helping to guide you with music?

VB: My dad allows me to learn from him. He is my mentor and teacher.

Wisdom:  Who are some of your influences with music?

VB: My dad S1, J Dilla, Pete Rock, Darkchild, M-Phazes, Hi-Tek, Nottz, Needlez, Illmind, DJ Khalil, T-Minus, Tha Business, Justus League, and so many more.

Wisdom:  Do you feel any pressure because your father has been a part of the industry?

VB: No, not at all. He has taught me how to make it fun. No pressure at all.

Wisdom:  What do you have on the horizon musically for 2012?

VB: I have been building my catalog and continuing to learn and collaborate with my dad. I plan to join the drumline as I start high school. I did co-produce on a record for Talib Kweli that should come out this summer. And there are some other things that I cannot speak about.

Wisdom:  What are some other things outside of music that you have a passion for?

VB: I love playing basketball with my school, hanging out with my big brother and friends, playing video games, and also just having family time.

Wisdom:  What would you like to say to the readers?

VB: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview with you. I thank you for the support as I grow in this industry.

You can visit for more insight into the artist and producer known as S1. You can also follow him on Twitter: @SymbolycOne. His son Vohn Beatz can also be found on Twitter: @VohnBeatz. Together, these two will be creating music, collectively and individually, that will touch the ears and souls of many. Special thanks goes to Team S.K.P. for the opportunity to discuss music with both entities.

Why Is Hip Hop On Trial...Again???

It's been almost a month since I've written something, anything for WISDOM SEEKER.  My apologies blogosphere.  The ideas have been there, but the utilization of said blog tool has suffered.  Between treks to North Cakalak and reorganizing my life, it has been a different June to say the least.  It is quite fitting for me to hit you at the end of June, the beginning of Summer 2012, with this post.  Once again, good ol' Hip Hop, or should I say "rap music", was on trial by the supposed powers that be.  June 26th saw Google + Hangout and Intelligence Squared construct a mock trial at the Barbican Center in London.  Mock is an understatement, because it did nothing more than mock an already maligned musical entity.  Of course I attempted to view the live stream via my Android, but to no avail, so I had to watch after the fact (and of course get updates via my good friend Twitter).

Familiar, and not so familiar, names were a part of this "groundbreaking" event that was streamed live for the world to see.  The obligatory players in Hip Hop, such as KRS-One, ?uestlove, Q-Tip, dream hampton, and others were present, either live or via stream.  On the periphery entities such as Michael Eric Dyson, Professor Tricia Rose, and Toure' participated, lending their experiences and insight into the ills that Hip Hop has given to society.  Then, of course, there were those voices that indeed did no justice to the culture, such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, sports columnist Jason Whitlock, and Eamon Courtenay, a Belize-based attorney who served as advocate for the motion.  What was the motion, I ask?  "Hip Hop Doesn't Enhance Society, It Degrades It".  To the casual outsider, this so-called "motion" may seem accurate, because time and time again, the images that are presented and sounds that are pumped into ear canals are negative ones.  The problem that I have, at least one of the problems, is that Hip Hop is not the real issue.  Hip Hop, by all accounts, is a CULTURE.  Rap music is a different animal.  There is a line of demarcation between the two.  What you hear on the radio constantly via Clear Channel and Radio One, that is rap music.  What you find on independent, unrestricted avenues such as college radio can be considered as Hip Hop.  I don't want to sound like that ol', misinformed, out of touch cat that doesn't understand what is going on, but much of what is being played and marketed has little value to me.  Freedom of speech still gives that little-valued music its place, it's just not a place I like to inhabit. 

Off the soapbox, and back to the topic at hand.  This debate, that last for a couple of hours, featured Jemima Khan as online host.  Even that first name of the host brought a sense of set-up to me.  This seemed like another ploy by media to accentuate the negative and COMPLETELY downplay the value of Hip Hop as a whole.  From BBC Newsnight host Emily Maitlis to Shaun Bailey, there were many that just did not belong in this conversation.  I say this because their information and involvement within Hip Hop is EXTREMELY limited, to say the least.  I felt that this debate, debacle, media debutant ball was constructed as another vehicle to lend creedance to the notion that this cultural phenomenon created by Black and Latino youth on the hardened streets of New York was bringing the lily-white values down a few notches.  Hip Hop was created as a vehicle to escape societal ills, by either providing verbal discourse or being celebratory in nature.  Hip Hop didn't created racial divide, unemployment woes, misogyny, homophobia, or a laundry list of ills.  Time and time again, this culture, MY CULTURE, has been at the forefront of discussing things that existed BEFORE it came about.  I say to you, where is the celebratory debate for all things positive about and within the culture itself?  Do you see these same "powers that be" discussing the positive, creative, and uplifting merits of a Public Enemy, Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), The Roots, Common, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Brand Nubian, Ice Cube (that's right, I said it), Queen Latifah, Poor Righteous Teachers...I can go on and on.  You may say that most, if not all, of the names are not relevant in today's hostile climate.  I beg to differ.  Even on a local level, Gods'illa, OOH of BROWN F.I.S.H., The Last Born Child and many others, are they being marketed and pushed as champions of a so-called
"conscious" music.  No.  Plain and simple.  The media, be it radio, print, television, and now online, is in a constant state of portraying negativity when it comes to Hip Hop.  This debate has been as long as the music called rap has been a cash cow for those corporate entities that have prospered from the blood, sweat, and tears of creative people of color.  Where there's money, there's controversy, and this trite, banal debate is no different. 

I can go on and on, and I will touch bases on this subject in an upcoming post.  The bottom line is that we, those that consider themselves a part of Hip Hop culture, should take a stand and not allow those that do not have a vested interest in the culture to try and dictate to it.  We should also take stock in what the real issues are, because Hip Hop, rap, urban music, whatever you want to call it, is not the real enemy.  There is a bigger picture here.  Like Dead Prez said, "it's bigger than HIP HOP".  Below you can watch, in its entirety, this debacle, I mean debate, and judge for yourself.