Although I’m a fan and sometimes-student of music, I’m quick to leap at the chance to explore genres I’m not familiar with. When I heard about hip-hop artist WiseProof, I was so intrigued by his mix of tribal rhythm, R&B, trap, and more, I just had to know more. The best thing about WiseProof is his creative use of lyrics, creating tongue-twisters and sprinkling in a little bit of humor into his work. (If, like me, you’re a bit put off by hip-hop artists who take themselves too seriously, you’ll like this, I promise.)

WiseProof has rapidly been carving out a place for himself in this competitive scene, opening for massive artists like Kanye West and Massive Attack. He recently released his newest music video for “More More More More” (see below) and is plotting the release of his new EP later this year.

With someone whose sound has been profiled as “trapadelic” (best. word. ever.), we had to know where his inspiration came from. Here are five artists that influenced his musical stylings.

1. Jaz & Jay Z

Way back before I ever heard of Twista, these two formidable wordsmiths blew my mind with the ease with which they wielded this wizardrous skill of syntax, semantics, and overall mastery of the English language, while at the same time playing their vocal faculties as instruments. A highly revered and sacred rite on the spiritual side of word power.

2. Twista

Since I was very young, I internalized all music and mastered many styles, but speed rap is only one of them, and a few key MCs helped develop this feature in my arsenal. Twista, to me, is the grandmaster of this style and a prominent influence.

3. Slick Rick

Every song in my catalog sounds like a different artist because I allow amalgams of multiple influences to grow into whole personalities and characters for music and film. The swag and accent of this song comes from the legendary Slick Rick. His storytelling prowess is unmatched, but my psychedelic evolution of storytelling is more of a subliminal program.

4. Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes was always a futuristic MC to me as a youngster. I always looked up to him as an artist, in the fact that he never cared what popular music sounded like. He gave you fresh isms.

5. Rob Base

Rob Base taught me how to ride a fast beat. I love fast rhythms solely because this video of his is one of the first verses that gave me the “Rap-HolyGhost” as a kid. Legendary and historical turn-up shit.

Check out WiseProof’s video for “More More More More” below!