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Scienz of Life

Making it a point to fight negativity and hatred through their uplifting rhymes, Scienz of Life is one of the lesser-known jazz/hip-hop fusion acts in the rap genre. Formed by MCs I D-4 Windz, Inspector Wilabee, and Lil Scienz, the crew first started to get a buzz in New York City, where their laid-back grooves and positive message were warmly received by the local underground hip-hop scene. Hooking up with Bobbito the Barber's Fondle 'Em Records, the "Powers of the Nine Ether" single dropped in the late '90s to an enthusiastic reception. Sub Verse Music was quick to catch onto their popularity, offering to release their full-length debut, Coming out by Day, in 2000. Based on an Egyptian-themed concept and filled with heady productions that combined a harsh set of beats to jazzy bass lines and horns, the record was well-received in the underground but made only a minor impression in the mainstream. Still, their sound was unique enough to warrant an invitation to the 2001 Montreux Jazz Festival, making them one of the few rap groups to receive such an honor from the organizers. A year later, Project Overground: The Scienz Experiment was released, a smooth sophomore album that added more live instrumentation and had a more varied production style overall. Bradley Torreano

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