Upon its release in 1995, Smif-n-Wessun
's Dah Shinin'
was unfortunately swept aside by the popular onslaught of the Notorious B.I.G.
and the Wu-Tang Clan
. That's too bad, because the group's album is a masterpiece of New York City crime rap. The stars of the album aren't really the two MCs, Tek
and Steele, but the Beatminerz
production team. They were responsible for the groundbreaking tracks on Black Moon
's Enta da Stage
, the album on which Smif-n-Wessun
made their debut, and they continue their strong track record on Dah Shinin'
. Da Beatminerz
craft their songs with deep, fluid basslines and moody jazz samples. On Smif-n-Wessun
's debut, they create a series of hazy soundscapes perfect for the group's brand of lyrical mayhem. Tek
and Steele don't break any new ground, but they bring enough joyful abandon to their tales of guns, drugs, and thugs to keep things interesting. Their smoked-out rhymes match the beats perfectly. Indeed, few hip-hop albums offer such a unified coherent effort. Dah Shinin'
is certainly Smif-n-Wessun
's strongest album to date, and it represents da Beatminerz
's high point as well.