Wise (Stetsasonic)

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Genres Hip Hop
Years active 1981–1991
Members Wise
Prince Paul
MC Delite
Bobby Simmons

Leonardo Roman (born August 20, 1965), better known by his stage name Wise, is a hip hop record producer and member of hip hop group Stetsasonic, commonly hailed as hip hop's first live band.

Early life[edit]

Born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Wise moved to the Bronx, New York, where his parents resided with his two older brothers Juan & Jose. At the age of 4, his family moved to E.N.Y. Brooklyn, New York.

Hip hop career[edit]

Daddy O and MC Delite were the founding members of the group Stetsasonic, then known as the Stetson Brothers, in 1981. Joining the group in 1983, the group had another level of creativity and talent with the presence of the PRINCE OF SOUND himself, who is also known in the group by the moniker the Stetsa-Human Mix Machine provided beatboxing[1] and other human percussion. Also, what many didn't know was that he was the very first latino human beat box to hit the hip hop scene.

Wise debuted his Human Turntable technique of beatboxing on the band's first single called "Just Say Stet" b/w "Rock de la Stet," which was released in 1985. There was also another single from the album in which Wise and Daddy-O collaborated. While Daddy-O performs the vocals, Wise gives his version of "Impeach the President," which happens to be the very first time that a human beatbox was heard adding a song-like rhythm to the beat that was coming out of his mouth on the song "Faye"[citation needed] which was on the group's first album, On Fire (1986). With Stetsasonic, Wise toured the world with rap acts like Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Whodini, Eric B. & Rakim, EPMD and Public Enemy.

In 1989, Wise (with fellow Stetsasonic members Delite, Daddy-O and Frukwan) participated in KRS-ONE's Stop the Violence Movement, an assembly of hip hop artists including Kool Moe Dee, Heavy D, MC Lyte, Public Enemy, and Doug E. Fresh. This artistic collaboration yielded the posse cut "Self Destruction", a protest song decrying black-on-black violence and media stigmatisation of all hip hop as violent.[2] Unusually, Wise was featured not as a human percussionist, but as a vocalist, sharing his verse with Daddy-O.[2] Released in 1989, the single reached #75 in the US Top 40.

Wise has also participated in a few commercials in which he lends his beatbox sounds. One was for Campbell's Soup in which a cartoon of a B-boy bear kicks a ferocious beat. This commercial was aired amidst Saturday morning cartoons.

Wise was also featured in a documentary on the art of the human beatbox, Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat Box,[3] which was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and also featured fellow human percussionists such as Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, Ready Rock C and Emanon.

Personal life[edit]

These days Wise resides in Norfolk, Virginia with his wife and six children.

In January of 2012 he made a life altering decision to give his life to the Lord and has partaken in a partnership with the Lamb and Lion Worship Center (LLWC), which is located in the downtown area of Norfolk.

On April 14, 2013 his ministry has come into light as he was ordained Deacon and within two years became the Chair of the Board of Deacons, which carry great responsibilities and prestige.

Within the Lamb and Lion Worship Center or LLWC, Wise sings in both, the LLWC Men’s Choir and the LLWC Worship and Praise Team Choir. There are times that he sings lead with certain songs. As his spirit is being touched by God, you can’t help but see him perform to his new audience while lifting the name of the Lord. His Pastor has given him the title of GOD’S HYPE MAN.

If you think that the beatbox days are behind him……NOT. From time to time he would do the beatbox to add a new sound to the choir as well as rap. He has written and performed a Christian Hip Hop song entitled WHO, in which the congregation took to well.

At this time he has thoughts for the near future of putting together a Christian Hip Hop album. To capitalize off the Stetsasonic image, he decided to keep the original look of wearing white, and the title of his future album, GOD’S KNIGHT IN WHITE.


  1. ^ Saer, Kid (January 2004). "Reminiscing with... Prince Paul". Archived from the original on 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Stop the Violence All-Stars - "Self Destruction"". Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  3. ^ "Breath Control: The History of the Human Beat Box". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 

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