I ran across today’s subject at one of my favorite used music shops a few years ago (what up Cheapos?). When I saw the dollar price coupled with the name Professor Griff, it was an easy decision to pick it up. It’s not that I’m a huge Professor Griff fan. Matter of fact, I don’t recall ever hearing him spit one verse. My interest was more so sparked by his affiliation with the legendary Public Enemy in which he served as the “minister of information” and leader of PE’s security/dancers (or steppers?) the S1Ws.
Griff was the source of some controversial comments which would eventually lead to PE dismissing him from the group during their prime years (you know you’ve gone to far If PE cuts you off for making controversial comments). After getting the boot from PE Griff decided to spark his solo career, and ironically the black militant inked a deal with hip-hop’s Hugh Hefner, Luke Skywalker’s vanity label Luke on Atlantic, releasing his debut album Pawns in the Game in 1990. Pawns in the Game didn’t move a ton of units but it gave Luke enough faith in Griff to release two more albums on his imprint included the sophomore effort and today topic Kaos II Wiz 7 Dome.
I’ve never listened to a song off of Kaos II Wiz 7 Dome. I don’t even recall hearing one of his singles back in the day. But anyone linked to PE has to be legit, right?
Assassination Attempt – The album opens with an interlude that has Griff at a public event signing autographs when shots suddenly ring out that were apparently intended for him. If somebody did take Griff out it wouldn’t be considered an assassination. As Chris Rock once said: “MLK was assassinated. Malcolm X was assassinated. Rappers get shot.”
Kao’s II Wiz*7*Dome – Griff gets the title song out of the way early on. Too bad its hot garbage.
Mental Genocide – Griff’s instrumental, content, and song title would have made for the perfect duet with Paris (the militant west coast rapper). The hook is terrible but the song overall is horrendous.
Joey Hate Rap Calls The Cops – What was this? Something going by the name of “Joey Hate Raps” spits a short speech/spoken word about what, I’m not quite sure of. I just heard “interracial” and “surviving the black holocaust” mixed in with a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Basically, Joey aint saying shit.
Fugitive – Griff explains why his skin color and theology make him a fugitive. Being a black man myself, I can relate to some of his theories but the song still needs to be executed well in order to grab the listener’s attention. This wasn’t.
Jail Sale – Clever play on words for the song title and some interesting lyrics to go along with it as Griff shares his theory that America is targeting black males to shuffle in to the prison system. Griff’s delivery is more effective over slower tempo songs like this. This was decent.
Crucified (Prologue) – Nonsensical interlude to set up the next song…
Crucified – Griff calls out Christianity and it’s often overly Eurocentric view in North America (i.e. its blue-eyed blonde haired messiah). Interesting lyrics. Too bad the instrumental sucked.
Rev 2:26 – Reads: To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. Not sure how that ties into this song as Griff uses this one to share his pride of the black nation while sending shoutouts to different blacks for being originators and innovators in several different areas of civilization. Love the intent but the song is boring and poorly executed.
Attention Please (Prologue) Verbal Intercourse – To make sure he gains your attention Griff opens this one up with a pretty cleverly intro. Then he starts back up with more black militant rhetoric.
My Ideology – Griff invites a couple of his Soul Society crew members (Tone Control and Society) to the party as they each spit a verse on this posse joint. That’s all I got.
The Late Great Black Man – Over a laid back instrumental and drum Griff shares a spoken word piece which is an ode to the black man. I actually found this mildly entertaining. Griff is a much more effective spoken word artist than rapper.
In-Cog-Negrow – Griff’s version of Ice Cube’s “True To The Game”. Only 100 times less entertaining.
Grandma Vanilla Don’t Like Loud Rap Music – Interlude.
Bro-Kemit Splitting Atom’s In The Corporate War Zone – That title was mouthful; and I’m still not sure what it means, exactly. Griff invites a few more of his Soul Society crew members to the booth for this cypher session. Society introduces the song and drops the first verse, Queen Nefertiti (who did have a brief solo career in the nineties before moving into acting (i.e. Panther)) bats second, followed by BU Shabazz, Queen IAsia, Brother Kemit, and finally Professor Griff. I’m not sure why Brother Kemit’s name got put in the title and the rest of the participants were not mentioned. Doesn’t matter. The song is mediocre at best.
Blax Thanx Pt II – Griff closes the album by taking a few minutes to give thanks to all the brothers and sisters who helped in the struggle to gain freedom, justice, and equality for the black man universally.
On the Gang Starr song “The Voice” Guru contest that an emcee’s voice is his most important attribute, and went on to suggested if your voice isn’t dope then you need to chill, meaning call it quits. Griff should heed to Guru’s sage advice. It may not be Griff’s voice that is terrible but more so the ineffectiveness of his delivery. Some of his lyrics are actually decent but they get lost in the music, his forgettable delivery, and at times his sloppy flow. Speaking of the music, the production on Kaos II Wiz 7 Dome is not easy on the ears either. There are a few decent instrumentals but they are the exception. I think I’ve heard enough from Griff on Kaos II Wiz 7 Dome to know I wouldn’t be interested in hearing the rest of his catalog.