A hardcore East Coast MC who’s been grinding for decades, Knowledge the Pirate seems to finally be putting together a discography that stacks up to his reputation and talent. Best known for his work with the legendary Roc Marciano, Knowledge is notable for his similarly pimpish, yet more crisp delivery, and street imagery so loyal to the classics. Coming off last year’s Hidden Treasures, a coming out party of sorts for him, this new album with Big Ghost LTD is just another stellar notch in his belt that will hopefully turn some heads.
The most immediate payoff when spinning Wolves Don’t Eat With Shepherd’s is Big Ghost’s production; We say it every time he drops (which is a lot, having already dropped projects with Jae Skeese and Conway in 2022), but he mixes up his dark, heavy formula just enough to match his collaborator perfectly. He takes it even farther on this album though, making greater use of vocal samples and guitar riffs which are exactly what Knowledge needs to shine. It’s a far cry from the suffocating beats of No One Mourns the Wicked, for example, but could go down as his best produced project ever.
Knowledge The Pirate & Big Ghost LTD – Wolves Eat
Ghost builds an atmosphere with Wolves Don’t Eat With Shepherd’s that’s appealing on its own, but leaves plenty of room for The Pirate’s bars to jump at you on first listen and for him to play with his voice. Plenty of his raps are your standard shit talk, coke references, and name drops but he does it with a smooth confidence like few others. He truly does send the message that we are but guests to a Don. There is versatility here, however; Knowledge, however; “Young N Dumb” stands out for some frank storytelling about coming up on the streets, and “Russian Sables” sees Knowledge softly crooning. Anytime a rapper decides to test their singing chops, you have to at least respect it and the emotion they bring out.
“The Tombs” and “Wolves Eat” are highlights given the borderline nautical, old timey sound Ghost brings, taking the name “Pirate” quite literally, while Knowledge flows more upbeat than usual. Flee Lord and Ty Farris, one of the absolute most underrated in the scene, both kill their verses and really leave us hoping Big Ghost links with them for their own collab albums soon. Overall, Knowledge is reaching the point where he is unavoidable for fans of this NY revival scene; As his discography and image grow, he should be getting far more shine. The cherry on top is just fresh Big Ghost production that’s up there with his very best.