For how hard I've been riding for Wiz, I'm suprised by myself having not delved deeper into his back catolog sooner. Shouts out to my Oregonian brother Sunn E.D. for hipping a kid! We've made it to 2007 and Wiz third project, Grow Season.
At this point he was signed to Warner Bros. and the major label hands are all over this project. You have a big name DJ (Green Lantern) and industry beats rocked over (Common's "Go", Snoop's "Vato" to name a couple) along with annoying drops and rewinds. No matter how you feel about these things this tape is still worth some listens and is far superior to his first offering, Prince of the City Vol. 1, yet leaves something to be desired after Show & Prove.
The weed references have been upped here, telling clubs flat out he doesn't care about the rules he will smoke when he wants on the anthem "Lifted." "Talk To Me" has a great auto tuned hook and it's probably a jacked commercial beat but I'm not hip to what it might be. Wiz sounds great on the bubbly synths and fully utilzes his smooth flow to spit about how he scoops the ladies. While it's certainly in rhyme/rap form here, somthing about him on this track clearly shows the start to where he is with the sing song form today.
Throughout this project Wiz never sounds bad, he owns these beats like they were purchased for him. Yet his trademark sound isn't present and you can't help but wish for just one or two in house productions. He and Kev the Hustler turn "Feds Taking Pictures" into "Fans Takin Pictures" to some hilarious results. This along with the other two Kev features go a long way to cementing their chemistry and make you wonder where his tape is?
Listening to this years removed and without any kind of credits makes knowing much difficult but I don't think Green Lantern contributed any beats here, making me scratch my head. The title track flipping "Go" into "Grow" is an awesome rework of the orignal and stands out as a defining track about Wiz career. Some may think he hasn't grown or isn't due to the weed raps he spits, but he is 22 - let's see where he takes us.
Grow Season is cool for documentation purposes and there are a few tracks every Wiz fan should have but overall I think this was a rushed tape scraped together by the label to captiolize on their latest investment. As usual with the majors they fucked it up and dropped the ball. Their loss, Wiz is independent and doing it his way just fine these days.
Download Grow Season.