The dynamic duo of Tek and Steele known as, Smif N Wessun, are survivors of the game of hip-hop. Their street slick rhymes, personal chemistry, and ability to trade the mic smoother than a Hennie and Coke, are a testament to team work. With a fast break into success, legal trouble that forced a brief name change, and moving into the drive’s seat, from emcees to entrepreneurs, Tek and Steele have stood tall in the face of adversity as an impenetrable force.
Natives of Brooklyn, New York, Tek and Steele made their first appearance to the world of hip-hop on Black Moon’s 1993 debut, Enta Da Stage. The tracks, “Black Smif N Wessun” and “U Da Man” showcased their fierce and unrestricted lyrics.
In 2011 Smif N Wessun teamed up with arguably the greatest hip-hop producer of all time Pete Rock to create a full length LP, ‘Monumental.’ One thing missing from their 2007 release was a consistent flow. Tek and Steele thought the best way to capture a consistent and complete album would be to have only one producer. What better producer to do so than Pete Rock. It was a match made in hip-hop heaven. As soon as announcements were made of the collab anticipation from fans grew tremendously.
Pete Rock, known for being a perfectionist, noted that he just didn’t 14 beats and give them to Smif N Wessun instead he went in the studio with Tek and Steele and tailored beats specific to them.
The album feauted a Styles P & Sean Price on the hard hitting ‘That’s Hard,’ Freeway on the beauitfully sampled and well thought out ‘Roses’, Hurricane G, Bun B, Rock, Buckshot, Black Rob, Memphis Bleek, Tyler Woods and even Pete Rock makes a few vocal appearances.
The album is best explained in HipHopDX’s review: “Sixteen years later, the magic of Dah Shinin’ still unravels some of its street wisdom in every play. Tek and Steele have had some solid works since, where they tried new things, while also tried to retain their core. Monumental comes at just the right time, and certainly presents an album that has more excitement and punch than any work since. It is crowded with guests, but Tek and Steele still hold court at their own party. With Pete Rock providing an album’s worth of detailed sounds, the group has the foundation that they’ve lacked since the ’90s. Moreover, Smif-n-Wessun reclaim a place at their own family table. As Black Moon and Heltah Skeltah’s brands remain focused on solo works, this pair stomps the Boot back into 2011’s cement in reminding us all who, along with Jay and Biggie, made Brooklyn so audio cinematic throughout the 1990s.”
Monumental was released in June 2011 and serves as Smif N Wessun’s 5th album making them one of the most consistent groups in the game. The duo has shown themselves to be more than emcees. Hitting hip-hop music with a raw and un-duplicable style, business sense and survival skills, the name, Smif N’ Wessun, shines above the rest.