A film about Northwest hip-hop from 1997
Where Ya Goin Wo?
Local Seattle music video director and rap fan Deven Morgan produced a short but informative interview series in 2014 called Do The Math Podcast. One guest on the show was legendary Seattle rap figure Samson S, who shares many of his favorite 206 rap projects, including his thoughts on Where Ya Goin Wo? by Tacoma’s Wojack. Samson explains how Wojack always wants to give him new stuff, but Samson only wants to talk about how dope Where Ya Goin Wo? is. You can find it on Youtube at the one hour and thirty-two minute mark.
Wojack had released albums in ’90 and ’92 as a member of the group Criminal Nation, but instead he teamed with producer M.A.S. who created all the beats for this solo 1997 side project. As Wojack puts it, “I made a subtraction, and got rid of all that wack scratching.” After the intro, the first cut is the spooky-sounding “To The Brain,” which turns out to be the answer to the question posed in the album title. “To The Brain” is one of the strongest tracks on the album, it creates a sinister mood which matches Wojack’s lyrics perfectly, and the chorus is a ready-made call and response. It’s one of those times when rapper and producer find a real synergy. Another hit is “206,” a fun, all-purpose, g-funk jam, equally appropriate for bumping in the ride, dancing in the club, or just chilling at home on the couch smoking a blunt.
Parts of Where Ya Goin Wo? devolve into misanthropic themes that don’t seem to go anywhere, for instance, the gloomy “No Escape” shows a man trapped in his own madness like the Steppenwolf. “Shootin Up Your Crew” is full of desperate nihilism, “Unloading clips off in your face, I guess I’ll be crucified by these demons trying to keep me in my place.” But when the album is at its best, it showcases a very talented wordsmith not only trying to expand his brand, but also taking risks by experimenting with his style and content. One year after Where Ya Goin Wo? there was a Criminal Nation album titled Resurrection which came out on Ocean Records, but according to the credits, Wojack is only featured on one track. Written by Novocaine132