“You can’t have it, you don’t have enough teeth to chew it.”
I had dental surgery last week and whenever I try to eat something that line from this Psyche Origami track starts sounding off in my mind.
Back in college, in the mid-2000s (ancient, I know), I spent many Friday nights in my apartment playing video games, posting cringey Facebook statuses to get the girl I was crushing on to notice me (didn’t work), and trawling message boards for underground hip-hop. A staple of the soundtrack at the time was Psyche Origami.
The Atlanta crew of MC Wyzsztyk (pronounced ‘Wiz Stick”) and deejays Dainja and Synthesis (TWO deejays?! 21 year old Jeff was blown away!) were energetic, fun, and very much inspired by the party vibes of old school hip-hop and the youthful exuberance of the Native Tongues. I held up their records, 2003’s Is Ellipsis and 2005’s The Standard, as the antidote to the doldrums of mainstream rap of the era, along with some Little Brother and Jurassic 5. I always threw a track or two from ’em onto mix CDs for friends.
Psyche O was definitely underrated and underappreciated back then. It was the ‘aughts: Social media was still just Myspace and some blogs, streaming was a pipe dream and Youtube was barely on the radar, and you cherished your musical discoveries since they were hard to come by. The group went into stasis after The Standard and resurfaced in the next decade with 2014’s Flagship, and believe me, stumbling across that record on release was like a visit from old friends.
I haven’t heard this listen in years, but I plainly remember that vocal sample of the kid saying you ain’t got enough teeth. Listening to it now, I still enjoy the curious, elemental feel of the beat, and the slick brags and boasts from Wyzsztyk. The deejays don’t slouch either, and I love the call and response samples layered on the song’s intro. It’s still a fun little listen, and the nostalgia is heavy as I rediscover the crew.