Sole
No Wising Up No Settling Down


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nu Metal USER (27 Reviews)
April 26th, 2013 | 16 replies | 1,864 views


Release Date: 05/01/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Does Sole’s brand of so-called “insurgent rap” stand up to his credentials? The answer is a resounding yes.

People seem to only think the good white emcees out there right now are Machine Gun Kelly and Mac Miller. In a genre and musical culture almost exclusively dominated by African Americans, it’s hard for a white man make a name for themselves in the world of Hip Hop. If they do make a name, there is a good chance they won’t be taken seriously. You only have to ask Asher Roth that, or examine Eminem’s spiraling career. However member of rap collective Anticon’s Sole (real name Tim Holland) argues otherwise and has some real talk for you at the same time. The Maine born juggernaut has been tirelessly putting out Hip Hop since he was 15. Now, at 35 years old, he has had a career that has spanned longer than many of these new “swag” rappers (ahem, Earl Sweatshirt, Chief Keef) have been alive. But does Sole’s brand of so-called “insurgent rap” stand up to his credentials? Not only does it surpass that, it might succeed in being one of the most conscious and aware Hip Hop albums since P.O.S.’s Never Better was released in 2009.

Sole makes a case for a statement like that within the first few minutes of the highly dynamic introductory track called Introfukyall. Tim Holland’s relentless and spitfire lyrics are delivered over a minimalistic, dissonant beat. One element of criticism that Holland receives from his detractors comes from what they perceive as an awkward flow and delivery. This track, however, throws all criticism like that out the window. The track’s lyrical content spends time briefly covering everything from Anonymous to Holland’s own personal criticism of blubbering conspiracy wingnut Alex Jones. Introfukyall serves, for all intents and purposes, as a condensed version of everything that will be brought to light by Sole lyrically.

What else can you expect when it comes to the subjects that No Wising Up addresses? Well, imagine if Noam Chomsky stopped eating meat and started rapping. Sole is either skeptical or militantly against almost any kind of contemporary social, political, or economic construct that you can imagine. However, Sole is not as pretentious as you would imagine him to be in this capacity. He is able to intelligently ask questions on social matters and get his point across, even if you do not agree with him. This is best exemplified in the song My Veganism where he asks the listener, “I don’t get how pro-lifers wanna save a fetus, but will bash a cows skull in and milk it till it bleeds?” highlighting the logical fallacies of pro-lifers and at the same time questioning the virtue of animal consumption. Other intelligent quips can be found on tracks like I Think I’m Emma Goldman and Prole that clearly highlight that Sole is an intelligent and educated individual whose rhymes are based on hours of reading books and not minutes of skimming Wikipedia articles.

Focusing on the instrumentals, many of these are produced by DJ Pain 1 and Man Mantis. From the bombastic orchestral samplings used in I Think I’m Emma Goldman to synth centric Gangster of Love, the huge mixture of influence gives No Wising Up an unbelievable amount of variety. My Veganism’s mellow acoustic guitar sampling with a deep and dirty base tone is in enthralling while The Trap’s beat is so reminiscent of one you’d find on a Death Grips mixtape that you’d expect MC Ride to pop in at any second for a few verses. Instrumentally, No Wising Up encompasses everything that is special and unique about Hip Hop without sounding too grandiose and over the top at the same time.

One highly impressive track is Civil War. With its beat reminiscent of more traditional contemporary hip hop tracks, Sole uses it to deliver a surprise to the listener in the form of Folk Punker’s Sean Bonnette of Andrew Jackson Jihad. While he most certainly isn’t the voice of God as he proclaims in his part of the song, Bonette uses the natural tone of desperation in his voice to create an atmosphere of urgency and puts the listener in the now, insisting that all these problems are in the now and we are experiencing them firsthand. Civil War clearly takes the cake as the best track for being able to take an enormous risk of taking a person from an almost alien genre and making him feel at home in the track.

Overall, No Rising Up is a mother of a Hip Hop album filled to the brim with innovation and quality. With an almost unreal display of influences and a huge amount of criticism on almost anything imaginable, it might be jarring for a listener at first hand. However, a few more spins of this album will help put any criticism one may have of Sole to rest. Holland’s true talents are displayed from the start, all the way to the finish.



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user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.5
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
WeepingBanana
April 26th 2013



9897 Comments


hmm i should check this out probably

Dummit
April 26th 2013



333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

will be getting on this.


Sole left Anticon a while ago.


kitsch
April 26th 2013



5105 Comments


sole sounds kinda black at least

best rapper on anticon but thats not saying much



Veldin
April 26th 2013



911 Comments


Loved Sole in Deep Puddle Dynamics and his "Bottle of Humans" LP, so I may give this a listen. Good review.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

EyeForAnEye
April 27th 2013



1677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys. It's been a while since I wrote a review (October) and it was difficult this time around to write about a genre I don't write often about.

I'll fix some grammatical errors and consistency errors (like him not being in Anticon) when I come home later tonight.

EyeForAnEye
April 28th 2013



1677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"is this better than his awful skyrider shit?"

I thought DIY was a pretty good song though.

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2013



5923 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

tryna upload breh?

EyeForAnEye
May 2nd 2013



1677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://sole.bandcamp.com/album/no-wising-up-no-settling-down
links here

kingsoby1
Emeritus
May 2nd 2013



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"by far one of the worst but you're completely retarded so i understand where you're coming from "


i dont understand why you always have to be so negative man. it's really childish.

anyway, i really like sole with the skyrider band, but haven't been into his solo stuff. plastique and his other record with them were incredible. if you dig him at all, totally check those out. i still need to listen to this.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

kingsoby1
Emeritus
May 2nd 2013



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@kitsch - yeah ive never been terribly impressed by anticon. i love alias's production, but never got into clouddead or much of anything on that label for that matter.

Spare
May 2nd 2013



5223 Comments


selling live water and the first two skyrider band albums were great. hello cruel world is pretty bad though

kingsoby1
Emeritus
May 2nd 2013



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah cruel world is dumb

kingsoby1
Emeritus
May 2nd 2013



4830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

also i think the first paragraph and discussion on race is completely unnecessary especially in 2013. didn't realize man mantis was producing a lot of this. he's really tight.

@ analysis on the trap. dont see the death grips comparison at all dude. this is actually coherent and doesn't suck shit

EyeForAnEye
May 2nd 2013



1677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just felt like it was still a relevant point to make. Like, I see a lot of dudes still get shit for
being white and trying to rap, ironically enough, from white people mostly. I just think that it
shouldn't be something that be considered when determining who is and isn't a good rapper. And yeah,
Man Mantis is tight. Cities Without Houses is pretty good.

mrgeppetto
May 7th 2013



13 Comments


"sole sounds kinda black at least
best rapper on anticon but thats not saying much"

lil' gem from kitsch...just sayin.


yep123
May 14th 2013



10 Comments


Bottle of Humans and Selling Live Water were great. Deep Puddle Dynamics, cLOUDDEAD, Them, Sage Francis's Personal Journals, Buck 65's Man Overboard, Alias's The Other Side of the Looking Glass. Anticon had some good stuff.



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