Smif-N-Wessun released one of my favorite hip hop records of all time in Da Shinin' , which became popular enough to draw the ire from Smith & Wesson firearms to issue a cease and desist. The group changed its name to Cocoa Brovaz and was never as raw as its debut.
I still do not understand why all Boot Camp Clique related records are not produced by Da Beatminerz, but learning that Pete Rock is producing a majority, if not all of, Smif-N-Wessun's Monumental is a reason to give this record a chance at redeeming the careers of Tek and Steele. Then again, I don't understand why Tek and Steele no longer flex the Jamaican Patois in their style – was Bucktown gentrified after '95?
If I can gripe a little more, it would be ill if Pete Rock recognized that the champion sound, dub influence of Da Shinin' gave Smif-N-Wessun its identity. Perhaps its not of everyone's opinion, but I always considered the Sound Beagle sound bwoy shouts and the Patwa slang to be synonymous with Smif-N-Wessun. Hip hop has still yet to truly pillage the dub catalog to exhaustion. Pete Rock delivers with “Prevail,” especially after the switch up for Raekwon's verse, but he's also operating in his comfort zone, instead of delving into the essence of what makes songs like “Sound Bwoy Buriell” and “Cession at da Doghillee” classics.