Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Wade Waters

Off the Radar
Wandering Soul Records
Columbia, MD
January 2007

Wade Waters had a lofty goal in mind when they decided to revitalize old school Hip-Hop with their debut album, Dark Water. So lofty, in fact, that they called upon some of rap’s greatest raconteurs as their inspiration. “When we made the album, we looked at it like, “What if Nas and AZ made an album together?” says Jason “Haysoos” Nickels, who, with his partner, Ashley “SoulStice” Llorens, decided that if they were going to do this project together, they might as well channel the best in the business.

But if you think this sounds overwhelming, you should hear what they do at their day jobs. “I’m an electrical engineer for the military,” SoulStice says. Haysoos’ job isn’t too shabby either—he teaches African-American studies at the University of Maryland. “Being a teacher, I find that I can actually incorporate rap into my lectures,” he says.

Heady stuff, but if the notion of a rapping electrical engineer and teacher conjures up images of pocket protectors and braces, then you don’t know Wade Waters. “We don’t want to say we’re not street, because you tend to alienate the audience when you say that,” SoulStice says. “But when you think about it, the opposite of conscious is unconscious, and we’re definitely not that either.”

While Nas and AZ never did make an album together, Haysoos and SoulStice are doing their best to come as close as possible to that dream collaboration.

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