For years now, Sydney-based rapper B Wise has been embedded in the Southwestern Sydney hip hop scene, churning out incisive bars and hot beats long before people had eyes on Sydney's hip hop scene.
A respected, hardworking rapper and an avid collaborator, B Wise has always championed The Area and brought his fellow artists up with him, so it's no surprise that B Wise's second album, jamie (named for his childhood nickname), is full of team-ups with names he's traipsed the scene with - Manu Crooks, BLESSED and Sampa The Great, all three similarly prolific, all feature on the 13-track record, as well as Becca Hatch, JessB, Milan Ring, ONEFOUR and even UK's Kojey Radical. It's an all-star affair of Antipodean hip hop.
He explains, "From start to finish this project shows every element to my personality. It feels like a re-introduction and a new chapter in my journey. I set out to also bring together and celebrate community, which I think we executed. Sonically anyone listening will hear the growth and I’m just personally proud of what we put together with the obstacles 2020 and 2021 put in front of us. But it ain’t about that, the music on here is the escape. With love, jamie the record is everything that I hoped it would be and more. It belongs to the people now.”
jamie is such a poised, personal sophomore record that we had B Wise himself talk us through each song, offering up a fact that you didn't know about each cut. Spoiler alert: there's a song on the record that B Wise worked on for either G-Eazy or Cardi B to use that B Wise happily kept instead.
Even though it's the opening song, APEX was the last song to be made, I often struggle with how I’m gonna break open a body of work so I compose the body and end, then come back to the intro.
2. Won’t Stop w/ ONEFOUR
J-Emz opening melodic lines, “See me wearing Moncler tell 'em don’t stare…” almost didn’t make the final song. He wanted to cut it but with much encouragement and pleading from me and his crew it stayed. So glad it did.
3. On My Soul w/ Juvé
The original title of the song was called Ragz 2 Riches and was so all the way up till the final mastering. At the very last minute I changed it as the title didn’t speak to me like On My Soul did.
I originally pitched this song to OneFour to jump on. They passed on it cause they wanted to start something new together, so I went this one alone and happy with how it sounded in the end.
5. Think Twice w/ Kojey Radical
Me and Kojey had to really work the visual treatment of this one because at the time London was one of the worst locked down cities in the world, while in Aus we still had most of our freedoms. He was a real trooper about it and we shot his scenes off his phone! With some creative editing by Sonder Films we made it work!
6. Jamie Overstreet
Me and Juvé were almost passed out on the couch while beats were playing from his iTunes. Half way in a trance I heard the drums and synths from a demo he started and immediately grabbed the mic and started the topline, “we catch flights, never catch feelings”.
7. B The One w/ Becca Hatch
I believe this song took the longest to make. I did multiple versions of my verse to nail the delivery I wanted to hear. Then I thought It was still missing something from a production stand point, and then Willstah came into a session and laid the chords down on the end creating the alternate drop. We got it there in the end though.
8. U Say
I wrote a topline that IMO was so fire and didn’t wanna lose the energy of the chorus and pre-chorus. It took me a bunch of attempts and reworking of lines to get it right.
9. Dus Ya Feet Off w/ JessB
This song almost didn't make the final cut of jamie. I was thinking of releasing it on a mixtape kinda project or Soundcloud until I sent it to JessB who I’ve always been keen to work with. When she sent her verse back I put it right back on the album.
10. Summer Fr3aks w/ Manu Crooks
This song was originally a song started between i.amsolo and Manu. While Manu and I were trying to find a song elsewhere but couldn’t get the right one, Solo showed me this idea. I did my thing on it to feel it out then we all revisited its potential together and the rest is history.
I originally wrote this song as part of a writing camp for G-Eazy and Cardi B who were looking for hook ideas and concepts. The song didn’t end up getting picked up in the end but I always dug the grit of it so bagged it for myself in the end
12. Black Visionary w/ BLESSED
Nothing secretive really about this song that hasn’t already been said. I personally enjoyed the making of this one the most. The song writing process was balanced with good conversation, bonding and good wine. We did put our hearts into this one.
13. Ezinna w/ Sampa The Great & Milan Ring
When growing up being biracial it’s common to have issues with identity. But everyone (some sooner than most) have that pivotal moment that gives them their base or ground root understanding of their culture. Mine came early with a long grandfather to grandson conversation when I was in Nigeria on a family holiday when I was about 10ish. That’s why the song title is dedicated to my grand pops.