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Chief Wigz - Never Speak Ill Of The Dead (Vol. 1) CD [9lives]
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Written by Nino   
Saturday, 26 January 2008
Chief Wigz - Never Speak Ill Of The Dead (Vol. 1) CD [Brutal Artistry]Yeaaah. That's good. Really. Bliss. Chief Wigz creates an implausible dimension. With lightly caressed snare drums and hi-hat beats that seem to characterize the lyrics and personify the thoughts within them. Something that is so rare, I thought it was pure fantasy.
'Never Speak Ill Of The Dead' is a fantastic demonstration of an artist who looks at the song from all angles. All sides. Inside and out. And the result is some truly solid work. There is a clear understanding and respect for approaching each song as a whole. As something which needs attention in every sense of the word. From the smoothly flowing lyrics, to the guitars, the drums, the collabs, the other cleverly placed instruments and sound effects that make me physically check that my ancient Deutsch stacker stereo can handle the integrity…

Wigz shows true fire. If anyone wants to spit on him and put him out they’ll have no luck. Because I'm talking 'visible from space' forest fire.

Sadly though. I ain't near no flaming forests. And I ain't in fucking space. So from where I'm listening, it seems as though he is following the mindset of Gravities Rainbow - "Just hum the nitwit little tune they taught you and try not to fuck up".

Talent without passion is piteous. Wigz is far from piteous. As the passion is within him, and parts of it are visible. But, talent with controlled, inhibited passion and soul is just painful.

Maybe it's cos I'm so unfulfilled, surrounded by all this modern bullshit they call music that seems inescapable these days; that I need to get something rowdier and core fracturing from tracks.

But I do. To me, hip hop is an everyday saviour. A universal ultimator. Wigz has the potential to be that, to do that, he hasn't stepped back. He's lowered his head, the visor of his cap hiding half his face. So we hear the words, the beats, but we don't really feel all of the man behind them.

Chief Wiggum - Never Speak Ill Of The DeadPerhaps that’s a good thing. It makes him more accessible, relatable… but limited in the initial effect the tracks have. With my lifelong Bruce Lee attitude - I can't accept this idea. There are no limits. Only plateaus, but you've got to go beyond them, or you'll be stuck within a flat, placid comfort zone. A set of lines and circles that take several listens in order to really satisfy and affect me. But when they do. It feels so good.

You can never have too much personality, too many colours, too much soul. Wigz is at the bowling alley, but instead of picking up balls of every weight and colour and launching them all over the place; he's got one of those fucking mini wall things up at each side of his lane. And yes, the ball has gone right down the middle and he's got a full strike. But it's not like he can't go further. His soul is dying to be exposed. Fully. Brutally.

He's 'good enough'. For the average speng maybe. But he's not an average speng. So he needs to smash down all sidelines. And let it all out.

This guy is capable of an explosion. Not just a song.

I won't deny the fact that this album is proper dapper. With unforgettable highlights including the grimey and unexpected 'Moves' and the almost hauntingly deep track 'Hours'. And my personal favourite - 'Occupations' featuring Skuf, a track that's so chilled it's almost sensual.

I guess what it all comes down to is I love his shiz. So much in fact. That I want more. And I want it to be stronger, harder, heavier and harsher. To get through the layers of anger and confusion this world has galvanised me with. And fill up another orifice of my soul, waiting to be touched in a way only hip hop can.

By Nino


Chief Wiggum



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