Tides Of War III

Tides of War III

Tides Of War III cover art
Tides Of War III cover art

An album by Cryptic Wisdom

Review presented by Warren Peace

Listen to Tides Of War III by Cryptic Wisdom.

Any artist(s) interested in having a review done should check out the offers provided by The Write Reviews or contact Warren Peace.


The Intro

The Write Reviews was introduced to Cryptic Wisdom, an artist from Arizona, through a couple features on previously reviewed albums like The Ten Day Theory by Idoleyes and Loosid Dreams 2.5 by Loose Logic. Being impressed by his style, delivery, and lyrical ability on those features was easy, and led to this review of Cryptic Wisdom’s latest album Tides Of War III. Will Cryptic Wisdom continue to impress after an entire album, or will he run out of gas long before the finish line? This breakdown of Tides Of War III will answer that question and more!


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1- Blackout feat. Merkules
The album opens with a head nodding, heavy thumping beat that is sure to get the audience moving along with it. Merkules is the first emcee to deliver on Tides Of War III. With solid mic presence and a smooth flow, Merkules brings punchlines like soldiers take ammunition to war. Cryptic Wisdom is on the chorus, which is easy to follow and likely to get stuck in the cranium of anyone listening. The second verse is Cryptic Wisdom as well, and he picks up exactly where Merkules left off by throwing punches like Riddick Bowe while maintaining a slick flow and making his presence felt on the microphone. Blackout is a solid opening track that will grab people’s attention.

2- The Moment feat. Token

Not quite as thumping as the instrumental on Blackout, but still more than enough to get a crowd to move with the music, The Moment kicks off with Cryptic Wisdom on the hook filled with lyrics that set the tone and mood for the track. Cryptic sets a hell of a lyrical bar with the first verse, blending wordplay, punchlines, and metaphors with perfection. Yes, perfection. If you don’t believe me, listen to it again. Token, an artist I’ve heard about several times but haven’t had the chance to hear yet, has the second verse and owns it. Multiple syllable rhymes combined with some inner rhyme schemes, punchlines, and metaphors, Token delivers a stellar verse. This song impressed the hell out of me. This is the moment where The Moment gets the first Featured Track of the album.

3- Hate On Me

Hate On Me has an instrumental with some bounce and it a good feeling beat overall. The third track in a row with only two verses, Cryptic Wisdom has his first solo song of the album so far. Im not a big fan of several shorter tracks (the typical hip hop song has three verses) in succession like we have here, but the structure seemed to fit the first two tracks well so I’m not bothered by it. Cryptic Wisdom’s first verse has a club/bounce style to it as he leaves his lyrical side to the previous two songs. The chorus fits the music really well and has a positive aura about it as Wisdom lets the audience know he doesn’t make music with concern about what other people think. His second verse is a lot like his first, leaving something to be desired with simple, yet direct, lyrics. A good addition to the album, my only complaint would be to step the bars up a little for the true hip hop fans on this one.

4- Automatic feat. Chaotik and Immaculate

I cannot lie, this is one of my favorite tracks of Tides Of War III, and a song I’ve heard remixed by Loose Logic (which made my Featured Tracks list for Logic’s Loosid Dreams 2.5 album).  The beat is intense, fast paced, and will get everyone’s head nodding AUTOMATICally.  Cryptic Wisdom kicks everything off with a rapid fire chorus that is catchy and sets the tone for the track. Cryptic Wisdom has a fantastic delivery, pairing his speed well with the beat, on his verse. While he gives the audience an interesting verse that keeps the entertainment level high, Cryptic is not quite as lyrical as we have heard him in previous tracks. Chaotik is on the second verse, and brings a unique sound to his delivery. Metaphors and in your face lyrics are the focal point of his lines. Immaculate comes in with more wordplay and punchlines in the final verse, pounding line after line onto the beat. Automatic is a great track with a fun beat and should be appealing to anyone within earshot, earning it a slot on the Featured Tracks list.

5- I’m A Boss feat. Optimiztiq

The instrumental is fast paced, energetic, and brings plenty of bounce to it. Cryptic Wisdom and Optimiztiq bring a nearly even level of in your face lyrics packed with punchlines that are mixed into a variety of speeds brought with their deliveries. The chorus is catchy and definitely assists with getting listeners to vibe with the music. I’m A Boss joins the Featured Tracks with ease.

6- Don’t Try feat. The Jokerr and Dubbs

One of my favorite songs on the album, I have heard all three emcees on other tracks before but never together in a collaboration. Believe me, Don’t Try is a treat for any hip hop fan. With knowledge of The Jokerr’s engineering skills, I notice immediately that he was the person behind the mix down on this track as he delivers the hook to a beat filled with chimes and piano keys, creating a fun and appealing sound to the ear drums. Cryptic Wisdom, Dubbs, and The Jokerr bring the same message in their verses: If you want respect as a hip hop artist you’re going to have to earn it because that is exactly what they’ve had to do. Cryptic has the first verse, and gives the audience lyrics that are meant to slap you in the face. Dubbs has the second verse and leans toward mocking wannabe hip hop artists. The Jokerr closes the track up by telling everything the struggles he fought through to earn respect in hip hop, and blends a few well-timed punchlines to boot. No doubt about it, Don’t Try is another song to hit the Featured Tracks list.

7- C.R.E.A.M. feat. Chaotik

I really enjoy this instrumental. It has commercial rock appeal and I like the rhythm in the drums a lot. A catchy chorus with lyrics that are sure to pull listeners into the song is heard first on the track. Chaotik opens up his verse by explaining to the audience how artists are looked over unless they have money, and speaks about how big name companies dominate the business and audiences need to open up to new artists and make their own choices in the music they listen to. Cryptic Wisdom handles the second verse with lines about struggling to survive and succeed as an artist in the music business today. This is another song that is shorter than the average hip hop track (although the bridge at the end helps to distract people from there only being two verses), and this is definitely a song I would’ve liked to hear a third verse on. Regardless, C.R.E.A.M. makes it in the Featured Tracks.

8- Up In Smoke (Crossworm remix)

Im not a fan of the robotic beat or the auto-tune done on the chorus for this track. On the chorus, it takes away from any emotion that could’ve been heard on the artist’s delivery, and on the beat it’s just constant and very repetitive. When it comes time for the verses, the instrumental is more tolerable for me. I do like the down to Earth lyrics of the verses, as the message is truth and relatable to most people. All in all, though, Up In Smoke is my least favorite song on the album so far.

9- Bad Man feat. Durte

Just like with C.R.E.A.M., I really enjoy the rock feeling brought forth on this instrumental. Cryptic Wisdom kicks the track off with more down to earth lyrics with a real feel delivery aimed toward the other artists in hip hop. Durte ripped the second verse, leaving me with a great impression of him since I’ve never heard him spit lyrics before now. His dark, gritty delivery grouped with punchlines and a quick flow stood out to me. Everything comes together with a catchy chorus that is bound to get listeners riled up and amped. Bad Man adds to the list of Featured Tracks, which is growing rather long already.

10- Understand Me

This is another beat I really like. There’s a lot going on with this instrumental, and it kind of takes breaks from time to time to keep things interesting. Cryptic Wisdom gives the audience another two verse song, this time loading his lyrics with punchlines and metaphors combined with an in your face delivery pointed toward anyone who has slept on his music or overlooked his talent. The chorus should be fun for audiences as it changes up from any previous style used on a hook in previous tracks. Another great addition to Tides Of War III, Understand Me is also an addition to the Featured Tracks.

11- Sell Out

Cryptic brings his lyrical edge to slaughter this track, and I am a sucker for these types of songs. The beat is easy to nod along with. There’s no chorus here, just line after line of annihilation. Cryptic Wisdom calls out several names throughout the track (Casey Anthony is the dubbed out name, I believe), adding to the appeal for Sell Out. Punchlines, metaphors, wordplay, and humorous bars are given back to back to back to the audience. Sell Out should be a song appreciated by any hip hop fan, thus putting it up on the list of Featured Tracks.

12- Get A Life

I like the brooding feel to the instrumental on Get A Life. This is another song on Tides Of War III with a great message for the audience. The chorus is a little on the repetitive side, not quite to the point of annoying but close. Cryptic Wisdom’s lines are geared more toward an in your face style that he delivers with an upfront approach that is fitting for the track. Get A Life is another solid addition to the album.

13- Throw It Away feat. Sean Strange of Goondox

The great instrumentals just keep coming with another beat that’s sure to keep listeners moving to the music. This is another song with only two verses on it, and it’s another song I would’ve loved to hear a third verse on. Sean Strange follows up a catchy chorus with a dark, rough delivery filled with witty lyrics that are bound to connect with the audience, or at least smack the audience in the face as they listen. Cryptic Wisdom takes the second verse, leaving the subtle stuff out of his lines and opting to go directly at the audience with his message. Throw It Away definitely has a place with the Featured Tracks.

14- Aim First

A slower style beat switches up the feeling of the music at an opportune time, still keeping the head nodding factor in the process. Cryptic Wisdom brings three real feel verses filled with a good message that a lot of the youth in our country should listen to and learn from. As it has been throughout the album, Cryptic’s flow and delivery are on point, and he gives us another catchy chorus that captures the essence of the track. The Featured Tracks will also be included by Aim First.

15- True Colors

I like the feel and rhythm of the beat. Its a nice mix of a memorable melody. Cryptic has two verses that are pretty predictable as far as the lyrics and the message is concerned. Cryptic Wisdom smashes the chorus, I really enjoy his sound over the beat as the hook is laid down. There’s a positive message that’s great for young teenagers, but there’s not much of a lyrical edge and, as stated before, the angle on the track could be predicted by many. A solid song for Tides Of War III overall.

16- Right Now feat. Playboy The Beast

Okay, Im listening to this in my headphones so that could be why, but I haven’t noticed this is any of the other tracks I have listened to thru the headphones so I dont know, but they second and third verse on this track sound like the timing on back vocals are slightly off or something because some of the lyrics are hard to understand with listening to this over and over and over. The chorus is fun and catchy, the beat has some bounce and hype value. Those things come together nicely. Cryptic has the first and second verse. On the first verse his vocals come through very clear but his lyrics shine on the second verse, if you are thrown off by the slight distortion (like I said, it could be me). Playboy the Beast has a smooth flow and bars that easily body the beat in the way only a beast could, but I would’ve really liked to have a clearer sound, especially at the end of the emcees’ bars. Right Now is a good track with some lyrical bodyslams on the beat, though, and is definitely worth a few listens.

17- So Cold feat. Kritikal

Other than the addition and subtraction of piano keys on the beat, there’s not much switching up going on, which kind of gives a redundant feeling. Cryptic Wisdom brings the first and third verses to the audience. His verses are hype, and aimed for the party crowd or anyone in the mood for some intensity. The chorus is catchy, but doesn’t seem to match up with the verses at all, in my opinion.Kritikal brings a smooth flow and an impressive vocabulary with the second verse. Neither emcee really comes with a lyrical angle, and this track feels perfect for lyrical stampede to me. Not one of my favorite tracks, So Cold isn’t a bad song and Im sure there will be many people who are feeling it more than I am.

18- Devil In Disguise feat. Seth Rock

I like the rhythm of the instrumental used for Devil In Disguise. It’s one of those beats that an artist could use any angle they wished to with their lyrics. Cryptic Wisdom rolls out the song with a verse aimed at wack rappers that put out wack music, using a multiple rhyme scheme that flows freely, imagery that’s well put together, and throws a few metaphors in the mix for fun. The chorus brings the entire song full circle for the audience. Seth Rock runs through the second verse with a similar rhyme scheme to Cryptic Wisdom’s, but somehow seems to flow his lines even more seamlessly than C.W. somehow. The rhythm Seth Rock brings with his delivery is bound to pull listeners into the track, if they somehow weren’t already pulled in. Devil In Disguise is only a two verse track, leaving anyone who listens to it wanting another verse, I’m sure. It also joins the other Featured Tracks on the Tides Of War III album.

19- Dying To Know Why

With a softer, chill rhythm embodied in the instrumental, Cryptic Wisdom shows a more emotional side of himself while speaking about personal issues and delivering heartfelt words. The chorus really reaches deep down and reveals the pain that formed from struggling. There’s no need to focus on the lyrical side of things with this track, as it’s clearly more about releasing personal demons and pushing past something going on within Cryptic Wisdom’s heart and soul. Listeners are going to feel this track, and most will be able to relate on one level or another. The total number of Featured Tracks just increased by one more.

20- Almost Over

Following Dying To Know Why with Almost Over was a really smart move by Cryptic Wisdom, as both tracks compliment each other and continue pushing out lines from the cellars of Cryptic’s mind and create one of the slickest transitions between two songs I have ever heard on a record. With a little bit of a lyrical edge this time, Cryptic Wisdom carries over every aspect from Dying To Know Why, except Almost Over isn’t quite as personal. Another two verse track, I can’t help but notice how Cryptic groups these shorter style songs together, which seems to rush things along in the overall scheme of the album. Almost Over is a solid addition to Tides Of War III despites any qualms I may have about the song.

21- Sun Going Down feat. Whitney Peyton, Dubbs, and Samson Samson

The beat is incredibly easy to move to, and anyone who listens to this song is bound to begin feeling the intensity within the first few seconds of the track. The chorus, catchy and put together beautifully, compliments the instrumental and opens When The Sun Goes Down in a way that will capture the attention of anyone within earshot. Dubbs nailed the hook. Cryptic Wisdom has the first verse of his last track for Tides Of War III and makes sure to swing for the fences with his metaphorical lines that pack a few punches along the way. He switched up the speed of his flow, increasing the entertainment value to another tier, as he progresses through his verse. Whitney Peyton comes onto the beat next, dropping some heavy hitting lines and a few that are a bit lackluster. Her flow is on point though, and I have to admit I am impressed with my first time hearing anything from Whitney Peyton. Samson Samson closes out the song, and the album, with a verse that ranks somewhere between Cryptic Wisdom and Whitney Peyton. I feel like the closing track of this album could’ve been a little harder, and Cryptic would’ve been better off closing everything out, but I can’t deny When The Sun Goes Down a spot on the Featured Tracks. Overall, it’s just too damn good.


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Featured Tracks

The Moment, Automatic, I’m A Boss, Don’t Try, C.R.E.A.M., Bad Man, Understand Me, Sell Out, Throw It Away, Aim First, Devil In Disguise, Dying To Know Why, and Sun Going Down.


The Write Up

I really liked how Cryptic Wisdom grouped tracks with the same type of sound and similar messages together, making the transitions from song to song pretty fluid for the audience. I wish I owned a physical copy of this album so I could bump it in the ride. I’m sure it’s needless to say, this album will be in constant rotation any time I’m around my computer. I like how Cryptic Wisdom switches up his styles from lyrical to poetically straight-forward to in-your-face lines of substance. He’s incorporated great hooks with banging beats, for the most part, and nearly all of his features were great additions that proved to be significant collaborations. If there was anything this album was missing, it would be a true game-changing song or something shedding light on a taboo subject. This album has real life situations, positive messages of self-improvement, fighting the odds, songs the audience can relate to, and showcases of skill that are nothing less than impressive. Cryptic Wisdom gets my nod as an artist on the come up, and there’s no doubt on my mind that he will prove to be very popular in the years to come.


Star Status

★★★★

(4 out of 5 stars)

Cryptic Wisdom was selected to be one of our Featured Emcees!

Check out more great stuff at The Write Reviews by clicking the links below!

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Cryptic Wisdom can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Warren Peace welcomes all comments, concerns, and questions on Facebook and Twitter!

Warren Peace writes...
Warren Peace writes…
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