Review: Regular Juno customers will no doubt have noticed the recent spate of Smif-N-Wessun reissues from Wreck Records. This is the fourth "45" pressing in an ongoing series that also includes similarly must-have golden-era hip-hop gems as "Bucktown" and "Sound Bwoy Bureill". "Wontime" was first released in 1995 and sees the NYC duo spit typical thoughtful, on-point rhymes over a beat crafted from little more than the James Brown "Funky President" drum break, some deep and drowsy chords and occasional snatches of Spoonie G's early hip-hop classic "Spoonie Rap". That deep, head-nodding beat can be heard in full on the accompanying flipside instrumental mix.
Review: Given the recent upsurge in interest in '90s "golden era" hip-hop, we're not all that surprised to see a new pressing of this lesser-celebrated NYC gem - an early highlight from the now long-serving Smif-N-Wessun crew. It first landed in 1994 on house imprint Nervous' relatively short-lived rap offshoot Wreck. "Bucktown" is reminiscent of A Tribe Called Quest cuts from the period, with on-point raps rising above suitably dusty beats and prominent samples from Jack Bruce's 1970 jazz-rock classic "Born To Be Blue". This seven-inch single version boasts both vocal and instrumental versions with the latter naturally allowing the smoky jazz samples a little more room to breathe.