Abstract Mindstate – “A Wise Tale” (Prod. Kanye West)
Don’t feel bad if you never heard of Abstract Mindstate, a Chicago conscious rap duo who were active during the late ’90s and early ’00s. The group never made a huge impact when they were first around, but early collaborator Kanye West always loved them. West is about to release his own album Donda this week, and he’s also spearheaded the reunion of Abstract Mindstate, and he’s produced an entire album for the duo. It’ll come out in a couple of weeks.
Abstract Mindstate members EP Da Hellcat and Olskool Ice-Gre are both Chicago natives, and they met when both were students at Jackson State University. The duo’s one album, 2001’s We Paid Let Us In!, had production from Kanye West, who wasn’t yet a superstar but who was definitely on the rise. West also produced tracks for the group’s sophomore LP Still Paying, but the album never came out, and the group broke up.
In 2018, Kanye West told the two members of Abstract Mindstate that he wanted the group to get back together, and he went to work with them. Abstract Mindstate’s reunion album Dreams Still Inspire will be the first release on West’s new label YZY SND, and it’s the first time that West has fully produced another artist’s album since he made Be with Common in 2005. (That’s what PR says, anyway. I guess they’re considering all those Wyoming records to be EPs now.) West also appears on the album track “The Brenda Song.”
First single “A Wise Tale” recalls the playful backpack rap of Kanye West’s early years, and you can definitely hear the effect that these two rappers had on West. Below, listen to “A Wise Tale” and watch a trailer for a new documentary about the full Abstract Mindstate story.
Dreams Still Inspire is out 8/6 on YZY SND.