True craftsmanship is in the details. That’s what DJ/producer Propo’88 and emcee Wildelux show on their Certified Craftsmen LP. Under the duo’s moniker of Certified Craftsmen, they carefully craft no-bullshit boom bap. From Propo’88’s choice of samples and scratch hooks, to Wildelux’s buttery rhymes and straight-talking.
(Header photo: Propo’88 by Apostolos Koukis)
“For me, a ‘craftsman’ means a person who has honed his/her craft over the years, without the pressure of being down with the latest fad or wave,” says emcee Wildelux (who is originally from the Bronx, New York, but lives in Kyoto, Japan since 2008). “Taking their time to create the best version of themselves for the world to see. Being comfortable in one’s own skin. By being one’s self without any filters to hide behind, the world will see how genuine the person is in his or her craft and therefore they are certified by the people.”
Propo’88 lives on the opposite side of the world: in the Dutch city of Utrecht. But it’s that philosophy on hip-hop craftsmanship that makes them closely connected. “A craftsman, to me, also knows his strengths and weaknesses, but at the same time understands how to serve the crowd based on his or her skills,” adds Propo’88. “Someone who knows how to remain humble when needed. A craftsman works in timeless ways and does his thing for the right reasons.”
This album is their first full-length collaboration since Wildelux appeared on Propo’88’s Astronomic Delight LP back in 2017. In that era of the 2010s, Propo’88 was also an active member of hip-hop crew Da Shogunz, producing with and for the likes of BlabberMouf (including co-producing Da BlabberMouf LP) and Kick Back (‘Cosmic Trippin’ on Blunted Astronaut Records).