I’ve been making my way through The Wire one Netflix disc at a time over the last few weeks. I’m stunned at how much I’ve forgotten, as this is my first revisit to the streets of Baltimore since my initial run through years ago. While everyone remembers Clay Davis or Stringer’s final demise, the series bursts with moments of greatness. The basketball game between Eastside and Westside. Avon escaping past a chasing Daniels in his SUV while giving him the Dikemebe Mutumbo wag. Omar’s amazing one-liners as he terrorizes Barksdale’s territory: “Y’all better come out before a huff and I puff.” Herc and Carver tapping into Poot’s pay phone sex leading to the following gem from Baltimore’s dumbest cop: “Maybe three holes is code name for the stash houses.”
The most incredible thing? All those moments come from the same episode. Of course I could have picked pretty much any hour from the show’s history and come up with similar gems. That’s why the show’s regarded by many as easily the best ever: the sheer depth of characters, plot and dialogue remain unparalleled.
If you don’t feel like putting in the 65 hours or so it takes to go through the show again, then Kil, a producer out of Philadelphia, has the next best thing. Through The Wire is an instrumental album that splices together many of your favorite scenes from the show with Kil’s own instrumentals. Musically, the tracks focus on the kind of grimey, dramatic beats you’d expect from the eminent show about life on the streets. Kil does an excellent job of mixing in appropriate rhymes from rap’s Cocaine era to set the atmospheric tone without overdoing it. For fans of the show and Hip-Hop, it’s an excellent remembrance of things past.
Grab it now and see if it doesn’t spurn you to pick up the DVDs and start over from the first episode with McNulty, Bunk, Bodie and the rest. And if you haven’t seen the show, slap yourself and start begging to borrow someone’s collection. Me, I’m going to go emotionally prepare for watching them kill Wallace.
Download Through the Wire at Kil889.Bandcamp.com or stream it in full below. Also, watch the promo sampler video, titled “Omar Coming” to get a sense of the project’s sounds.