Donson the Wise

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, that grimy, dark, street rap was iconic and made memorable by groups like Mobb Deep and artists like DMX. Well if that kind of golden era hip hop is your thing, then strap in and get ready for this review of Donson The Wise x Thanos Beats – Sword of the Nine. This album is a well-crafted, hard hitting, street banger that evokes all those feelings and emotions of Havoc, P, X and all those other artists who had the game on LOCK back in the days. But, it’s not a dated sound either, the production on this has been meticulously modified to also have that modern, Griselda kind of feel without sounding generic.

After a dark and sombre intro, ‘Almighty’ give us the first real taste of what to expect and it’s fantastic. The keys are triumphant yet eerie, and the drums are full and heavy which get that head nodding. Then Donson the Wise gets on the mic and just dominates the track with his verbal authority to set the tone. It gets better with ‘DMT Smoke Freestyle’ which is in the same vain as the first joint, but adds some killer bass strings to round out the sound, while Don spits venom with bravado and just enough arrogance. “You don’t want to spar with the champ” he spits with meaning.

Purple Heart’ is a more uplifting track featuring Aaqil Ali who adds a really nice polish to the rugged flow Don brings to the music. This joint is still hard, but with a softer side and message portrayed through the verses, but still gives that street gospel. Up next is ‘Poles & Polarity’ and this track really has that more understated flow that brings back BIG TIME Prodigy vibes the way Don is able to curate the tale and deliver the bars. Thanos plays the ‘Hav’ role to perfection as well, crafting the dusty, moody banger.

Forgive Me, Lord’ is a pensive track and Don has the ability to harness his lyrics and craft a story while spitting with an authentic, emotive flow which gives you goosebumps as you think of the first time you heard DMX (trust me, it’s a fitting comparison, just without the gruff / growl). Spit Gemz, one of the games illest lyricists joins Donson for ‘Toxic Spit’ and, as you can imagine, this track is chock full of meaningful and intellectual bars. Over muffled basslines and hauntingly subtle bells, this is an anthem!

The last track ‘La Sombra’ was actually co-produced by Thanos Beats and Donson the Wise and is a fitting way to finalise this opus. The track also features Thavid Ruffin who delivers on the vocal highlights and ends the album the same way we started – sharp, dark and edgy – and wanting more.

Bangers: Toxic Spit, Poles & Polarity, La Sombra, Almighty

Score: 9.5 / 10. The only reason this doesn’t get full marks is the length of the album (under 22 mins). The music that is on this release is perfect, and the limited number of features means they are used well, but also so sporadic that there is no mistake this is Donson the Wise’s album. Thanos Beats created an epic soundtrack here which is dark and rich with feeling, which suits the impassioned flow and delivery of Don. Get this into rotation NOW. I’m already waiting for more.

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!