There was a group called The Three Wise Men (really XTC) whose single Thanks For Christmas surfaces around the festive season in blogland, but today’s offering is not from them. The other Three Wise (or occasionally Wize) Men were a rap aggregation who throughout their rather brief career were signed to the noble Rhythm King label, and released a small but treasurable amount of singles borrowing heavily from the likes of Run DMC but with a Sarf London flavour. Their songs talk of street life as it more or less was in those turbulent post-Falkland days, with beatbox to the fore and signet rings well on display. The members were Alex Angol (he of Renegade Soundwave), Jemski Jah and Wild Danny D, and our interest in them lies in the sole Peel session they laid down in November 1986. Here, they were joined by Cybotron on the de rigueur scratching and DJ effects, and Phil Chil on programming.
The recordings below include what was later to be issued as a single, Urban Hell: Refresh was another stab at the singles market that failed to crack the top 40. This rather basic rap sound would be embellished and refined in years to come, but already we have a sample of Humphrey Bogart (from The Petrified Forest) to underline the street cred, and it’s all very much of its time. And none the less enjoyable for all that.
Three Wise Men, Peel Session 1986-11-13
Hard Bop/Refresh/Cruising For A Bruising/Urban Hell