December 13, 2014

Total Pack (Cestyle & Kamal B Wise) "Unsigned Hype" (12/92)

"Hollis, Queens is a legendary spot for hip-hop thanks, of course, to Run DMC, but there's a whole new generation out there waiting to blow up the spot. For about a year now, one new Hollis crew that has been catching wreck throughout the five boroughs of NYC is Total Package. The two MCs, Kamal B Wise, 21, and Cestyle, 22, got their start back in '88 battling each other in Jamaica Park, Hollis. From there they formed a group and began to represent with back-up from their people - Mark Premium, Rick B, and Tonka True Divine. Underground rap radio has been Total Pack's main vehicle for recognition. After performing at the King Fest '91 in Harlem, they met Lamel, host of CCNY's radio station, who "broke" them on New York's airwaves. Bobbito The Barber met Kamal in a downtown nightclub, heard a taste of the skills, and has had them on WKCR's Stretch Armstrong Show four times since. Bobbito then took the initiative to get them on Wildman Steve's show at WBAU. "We just like the kids next door who was real nice but never got on," claims Kamal. Their style is like hardcore hip-hop without the guns and the curses; strictly verbal assault. "We make music for kids that know and understand hip-hop," he adds, "just bringing the cipher to your living room." Cestyle, the one with the puffy afro and eyeglass frames, hooks up the "raw fruit loops" (i.e. beats) in the crib... With an exceptionally positive attitude, mad skills, and raw fruit loops, Kamal B Wise and Cestyle definitely deliver a Total Package." - Unsigned Hype (The Source), December 1992. For a more comprehensive breakdown of Total Pack's trials and tribulations in the industry, via Columbia Records and Wild Pitch Records, and even their dealings with MC Serch, check out this in-depth feature, "Survival of the Fittest" with Total Pack in Rap Pages in October, 1995. Some audio will follow soon.