Waves is an 11 track album that feels like nothing short of a level up for a group of friends that have been making music together since they were 15-years-old. In the midst of a quarantine where everyone is consuming more digital content than ever before, KnowMads and Jester may have just dropped their best album to date. Which is saying something for a group that has over nine projects in their discography including their catalog with dozens of “unreleased” singles and projects.
Right off the bat, it’s clear that Jester is on another one with his beat selection. He serves up 10 beats so nice and easy Pepe and Cheef couldn’t miss. (Seth McDonald and 206 Derek produced “Abundance.”) While Pepe and Cheef continue globe-trotting, Jester is still in Seattle, keeping their sound rooted in the Pacific Northwest.
Front To Back, Fire
If Complex Animals and Rain On Your Parade were the KnowMads’ warm-ups than Waves is the personal record. You can hear the Dominican Republic’s Caribbean ambiance in “Playa.” “Bass” is an ode to the first time you felt hip-hop music in your soul. “Night off” pays respects to all the hustlers putting in overtime. “Waves” is a reminder that everything is going to be okay. “Shrimp Fried Rice” has one of the coldest things I’ve heard all year. The Blue Streak samples with Martin Lawrence and Dave Chappelle take you back to the ’90s in the best way.
“Just Had” is a trip down memory lane with a touching tribute to their 2011 4/20 show with the late and great Nipsey Hussle at Neumos.
“Flew out Nipsey and sold out the venue, keyed in the city and the marathon continues.”
In a way, this album is exactly what you’ve come to expect from a KnowMads album, but its executed on an S-tier level that deserves attention. Put some respect on the KnowMadFam.