I’m convinced that Johnny Madwreck is Wu Tang Clan’s more indie, more underground, and more white missing member. This North Carolina MC/Producer makes beats as grimey as anything GZA ever produced, and nearly as consistently creative. As a lyricist, he focuses less on violence and street wars and more on one-upsmanship, but the rhymes are always surprisingly creative. He’s incredibly versatile, too, starting with a here-we-come intro chant (“Make it Rugged”); swinging on upbeat club hooks (“Who’s Comin’ With Me”); doing the inspirational thing (“All of This Can End Today”); slowing down on the sad/love track (“Bloodshot”); and even doing the scary thing on “Zombies,” a vicious monster rap, complete with baseball bats to the skulls of the brain eaters.
It’s hip hop soul that you’ve probably never heard—or heard of—before today. Check out a track or two. You can thank me later.
Following the hip hop mode, here’s a shocker:
Gangsta’s Paradise-Coolio with Simply Red(!)