In the early Spring of 1995, Northern Virginia’s burgeoning hip hop crew known as the DLDemolition Circle, descended upon the campus of Howard University for the legendary annual Howard Hip Hop Conference. The crew, made up of artists and musical collaborators: Lower Life Forms, Kreative Natives, Chaz the Natural and Props the Optical, swarmed through the event passing out hundreds of free copies of what would later be simply known as, “The Orange Tape.” The compilation cassette featured just seven songs, but served as the promotional springboard for what would soon become the Depth Charge Recordings label. Cassette and 12 inch singles from the Lower Life Forms and Optical would follow in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, the crew released their first 12 inch together as a crew under the moniker, Team Demolition, and began laying significant building blocks for what would become the DMV Hip Hop scene.
Recently, Depth Charge and Demolition founder, Zechariah Wise, transferred the original four track analog recordings into the digital realm and re-mastered the entire tape as well as original answer greetings from the Demolition Hotline and two never released bonus tracks from the Lower Life Forms, Optical and Chaz the Natural. The Orange Tape is now streaming on major music platforms.
Depth Charge Studios in collaboration with Back 2 Da Source Records, is proud to announce the release of the Lower Life Forms “The Whole Universe Ours” album on limited edition vinyl and compact disc.
After the release of the Lower Life Forms debut 12 inch single, “Open Invitation/ Independence Day” in March of 1997 on Depth Charge Recordings, the Lower Life Forms planned to release the full album in August of that year, but the project was tabled to push singles with their crew, Team Demolition, as well as other Team Demo produced projects. The 12 inch single became a collector’s item but the album never made it outside the crew’s inner circle. Now this limited pressing is available to 90s underground hip hop enthusiasts. The album can also be streamed on all major platforms.
Here, Mister Wise (aka Zechariah Wise) unboxes his personal copies and holds the physical vinyl album for the first time.
We have been notified by the label that this album is completely sold out. Depth Charge does not offer physical copies in our store, but the album is available for digital download and can be streamed on all major platforms.
When Donald Trump won the presidential election this past November, one of the few things people found solace in was that it would lead to some seriously great art. Enter rapper-producer Mister Wise’s “The Man of Orange,” a wonderfully biting and potent wrap up of everything that makes its target so infuriating.
If you’ve been following the Alexandria, VA-based artist on Twitter (do it, @iammisterwise), you likely picked up on his disdain of Trump and were likely expecting a musical protest of some sort. It arrives today in the form of “The Man of Orange,” which throws relentless verbal darts at the president-elect over his spewing of hatred and misinformation.
And it does so from a unique angle, because Wise uses a (clearly tongue-in-cheek) first-person perspective on the track. The approach allows the listener to really hear just how callous Trump’s words have been over Wise’s own menacing instrumental. If his work sounds at all familiar, chances are you’ve heard his music as a member of Team Demo—they have worked with the likes of 50 Cent, Sean Price, Illa Ghee, and Kurious, among others.
“The Man of Orange” becomes available this Friday, inauguration day, through all major digital retailers and streaming platforms, but can be streamed right now in its entirety, courtesy of SoundCloud. Hit that play button, and pray for our country.
When he isn’t producing head knodding hip hop with his crew Team Demo (50 Cent, Sean Price, Obie Trice etc.,) or recording, mixing and mastering for countless artists at Depth Charge Studios, Mister Wise is busy making uniquely creative records as a soloist. His latest single, “If They Don’t Hear Us Now,” fuses rock, reggae and hip hop into a call to arms against the greed and corruption of the rich and powerful.