In 2018 Arizona rap artist Wisecrvcker released an album titled “Supreme Paradigm: The Grand Scheme.” The project featured guest appearances from a who’s who of underground Hip-Hop, and production by Canadian beat-maker, Moka Only. Wisecrvcker used the same formula for the album’s follow-up “The Nth Degree: Act II of the Supreme Paradigm.”
The Nth Degree is produced entirely by French producer, Kyo Itachi, and features appearances by Conway the Machine, Nems, Cappadonna, Killah Priest, Planet Asia, Supreme Sniper, Andre Nickatina, Guilty Simpson, Rockness Monsta, Ruste Juxx, Madchild, Moka Only, Young Kazh, Diabolic, Coal Cash, King Magnetic, Tragedy Khadafi, Myka 9, Ren Thomas, Ciphurphace, New Classic, Fjer, Grim Moses, Joe Baggs, Sunsere F, and Sadat X.
The Real Hip-Hop spoke to Wisecrvcker about his new album, The Nth Degree: Act II of the Supreme Paradigm, working with Kyo Itachi, and why the golden era style of Hip-Hop never left.
TRHH: Why’d you title the new album “The Nth Degree”?
Wisecrvcker: Absolutely. With each installment of Supreme Paradigm, I tried to go with an idiom or a figure of speech. With the first one, The Grand Scheme, it was something I found myself saying a lot when I was young, “in the grand scheme” this or that. After I titled the first one I wanted to come up with similar idioms or figures of speech that started with “the” but something that you would say on kind of a common basis. One of the things my mom used to say was “to the nth degree.” When somebody did the absolute maximum that could be done, they did it to the nth degree. That was why I titled the second one “The Nth Degree.” The third one, I actually kind of dug around for a real long time trying to name the third one. It’s going to be called “The Herculean Task” which is like a really hard task that takes a lot of complexity and skill to get through, like the labors of Hercules.
TRHH: How did you link up with Kyo Itachi?
Wisecrvcker:Definitely. In 2015 I was cruising around on Instagram and I didn’t have any idea who he was. I just stumbled across a video of this dude in this crazy mask chopping these samples that I’d never heard before. It was crazy samples of music that was obviously from another country. I went to his page and started looking and thought, “This Kyo Itachi dude looks crazy, I gotta do something with him.” So, I hit him up on Instagram and at first, he was a little leery. He was only trying to work with big name cats. He already had a pretty big following. He worked with Sean Price and Ruste Juxx, some pretty big names. At first, he was a little leery and was like, “I don’t just do music with anybody, bro. You’re going to have to give me a deposit before I even show you the beats.” I said, “Man, that’s different. I’ve never even heard of nothing like that, but we can work and figure something out.”
It took a few months to get comfortable with each other. He was kind of leery to even send me mp3’s to even listen to because he didn’t want me grabbing them and doing some below the belt shit with them. Eventually we came to an agreement, I threw him some cash, he sent me some beats, and from there we started building. I think I listened to 400 or 500 of his beats to pick the 22 that I ended up buying and I only used 19 on the album.
TRHH: That’s a crazy way to start a project, man.
Wisecrvcker: [Laughs] Right.
TRHH: How difficult and expensive is it to put together an album with so many features?
Wisecrvcker:You know, difficulty wise it’s a learning process. I learned a lot with the first one that I did with Moka Only. I had a good relationship with Moka Only and we were just going to do a 4 or 5 track EP. I learned a lot with that one about the complexity of kind of juggling a lot of features and working with a lot of people. With the first one I made the mistake of hitting up way too many people. I hit up 20 or 30 people and I immediately got a bunch of people saying, “Yeah, let’s do something.” When that happened, I learned that hitting up that many people at once can be a mistake, because you can’t really put your full attention into things.
So, on the second one I tried to go a little slower and hit up 2 or 3 potential features at a time. Luckily, because of my success with the first one and getting some pretty big names, I didn’t have to put too much money into the second one. In the grand scheme of things, I had a producer the other day say that they thought it must have cost me 100 g’s or something to do the album. It’s less than 10 percent of that. I didn’t expel a ridiculous amount of money, but it’s definitely not an easy undertaking. I’m not like GZA or MF Doom, I can’t just go out and knock on doors and say, “Gimme the shit.” I don’t have that kind of notoriety or certified dopeness. I definitely had to put some money upfront.
TRHH: How is this album different from the first Supreme Paradigm?
Wisecrvcker:What I tried to do with the first one was go with a heavily west coast influenced theme. I went to a bunch of emcees that have been known to work together – Living Legends, 2mex of Visionaries, Moka of Swollen Members. It’s very west coast heavy. Obviously, there’s some east coast cats on the first one too, but I definitely centered most of the features and a lot of the vibe on the first one around that west coast, California, cool, underground style that you hear from a lot of cats that were on that album and people that worked with Dilated Peoples and Evidence.
With “The Nth Degree” I went way more east coast on the focus and went way more hardbody with that Sean Price, Ruste Juxx, Rockness Monsta type of feel. I went a little more darker and more with my gangsta roots of growing up on the border with the second one. The first one was more lighthearted. It started off an as EP that was going to be released in the summer, so, we tried to make some summertime, feel good music. Obviously, it got bigger than we expected. We didn’t end up releasing it in the summer. It kind of went with that real cool, chillin’ smoking vibe on the first one. With the second one I tried to bring it harder and make it more raw and put up the hardest bars we could put up, rather than that chill feel.
TRHH: My favorite song is “Elon Musk” with Coal Cash and Diabolic. Diabolic is always going back and forth with Talib Kweli on Twitter. I didn’t know that dude was so conservative. What’s your take on his issues with Kweli and the politics?
Wisecrvcker:You know, there’s a lot of layers to that and I’m in that know on some of it. I wouldn’t necessarily say Diabolic is conservative. I would say just watching him over a number of years and listening to him and Technique, I think he’s very anti-establishment and he’s always playing the devil’s advocate and looking for the hole in people’s story. When it comes to Kweli, it’s hard to stay cool with everybody and even answer the question. I think Kweli tends to blow things out of proportion and I don’t think he necessarily listens to all sides of the story. I know when it comes down to it with Kweli, at one point Poison Pen and Immortal Technique went to Kweli’s spot and tried to squash the beef on behalf of Diabolic. Diabolic didn’t really care for that. He wanted to take care of his own issues. They pretty much tried to say a lot of the things that I say about ‘bolic – he’s not necessarily conservative.
If you look back to when Bush dropped the towers as Technique put it, they were definitely anti-conservative and anti-Republican. At this point there’s a lot of evidence to the left’s side being the antagonists and swaying the media in ways. A lot of people got brainwashed into thinking things back in the days when Bush was running stuff that they’re still thinking. I think people just don’t stay current with ‘bolic. I think ‘bolic does a lot of research and he stays up on who’s telling the truth, who’s lying, and who’s pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Unfortunately, in my opinion, as good of an emcee as Kweli is I think Kweli kind of gets stuck in biases that were painted 15 and 20 years ago doesn’t really look at the facts of what’s really going on today.
TRHH: What do you mean exactly by the biases that are going on today?
Wisecrvcker:I’m not a Trump supporter myself. I would say the dude is kind of a clown. A lot of people are taking the opportunity to say Trump and the current administration are to blame for everything. It’s never that cut and dry and never that simple, especially in our government. If you look through history, a lot of the same Senators and same House of Representatives have been around in the positions they are now for the last 35-40 years. If you look at all the things that have been done to us as the American people over that time, I would say there’s a lot of people to blame and it’s real easy for the media and everybody else to say, “blame the orange Cheeto” and the orange Cheeto is a problem, but if you look at everything else that’s going on Biden and Sanders have been installed in that whole problem that exists in our government for 35-plus years. They’re as big of a problem as anybody else. Pelosi’s a problem, Feinstein’s a problem.
The deeper you dig the more you realize that the people that were signing off on the bullshit in 2001 and 2004 are the same motherfucker’s that are signing off on the bullshit now. They’re using it to conveniently sweep it under the rug and say, “Oh, you should blame this dude” or “You should blame that.” When it comes to ‘bolic, he tries to dig deeper and say, “Well, who’s been going for the same shit for the longest time? Who’s been guilty and culpable for this bullshit going all the way back to the 80s? Let’s not blame Clinton, let’s not blame Obama, let’s not blame Trump. Why do we keep having these same problems in the government, even though we get a new figure head every 4-to-8 years?”
TRHH: [Laughs] I kind of want to move on and I kind of want to dig deeper, so let me move on. What’s your favorite guest verse on Nth Degree?
Wisecrvcker:That’s a hard one to pick. I would probably say Nems’ verse. I like Nems’ verse a lot. He and I have similar stories. We both went to prison, got out, both went legit, both started making all our money clean, and both got ourselves on the right track. I got a lot in common with Nems, I like that verse a lot, and I like that beat a lot. Obviously, the Conway verse is dope. I would say Conway has doper verses, so it’s maybe not my favorite verse on the album. Killah Priest really brought it, so I would say Killah Priest is up there.
Tragedy really brought it on that “Handoshēku” track. I feel like out of all of the tracks that I sent out I give people a theme, and people pretty much stick to the theme. But of all the tracks on the album, that Dap track really stuck to the theme of what it’s supposed to be about. It was supposed to be about motherfucker’s that got that handshake that you can’t trust – that sloppy, I don’t like this dude, handshake. I told him that was the theme and he really ran with it. Sometimes you give people a theme and they’re pretty much on it, but that track felt like we were standing in the studio together when we wrote it and we weren’t. I definitely commemorate Tragedy for being able to do that them and carrying it all the way through.
TRHH: What do you hope to achieve with The Nth Degree?
Wisecrvcker: Just kind of get the word out there. In the last 2 or 3 years there’s definitely a resurgence of my type of Hip-Hop – the hardcore 90s shit. What everybody got into Hip-Hop for in the first place. That’s what I was trying to do. Ironically enough, when I started the first one that really wasn’t what was in the limelight. Griselda hadn’t really caught the traction they had caught when I did the first Supreme Paradigm album. I was trying to grab a bunch of golden era type features and bring it into the spotlight again. Like, “These guys are still around, these guys are still putting out music.” Hip-Hop has an unfortunate theme to it. I’m not talking about cats like us that dig, I’m talking about cats you run into on the street and they’re like, “I like Hip-Hop, but I like that golden era shit.” They’ll name a bunch of people that are still putting out music, but they have no idea that they’re still putting out music.
So, with the first one I was trying to go back and get Lord Jamar, Sadat X, El Da Sensei, and all these people that I was listening to back in the golden era, and all these people that I run into were listening to, and show that we can still put out music – it’s still happening. The golden era isn’t necessarily over. Just because the media, the radio, and the Billboard charts have moved away from it, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist anymore. That was kind of the idea for Supreme Paradigm was to bring a prime example of what’s really still going on. Coincidentally, in the midst of me putting together these albums, the more gutter street shit has come back some more. You see Drake tweeting out to Griselda trying to get features. It’s kind of hilarious. I kind of reveled in the fact that you’ve got Drake trying to get features, and I’m over here sitting on a feature from Conway. I was laughing at the fact that here I am trying to bring that golden era, gutter shit back into the limelight, and the limelight is over here reaching out to us. It’s kind of interesting to see the way things are going.