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.
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:
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 Wise - Also known in the group by the moniker the Stetsa-Human Mix Machine, Wise provided beatboxing and other human percussion.
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" 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. Unusually, Wise was featured not as a human percussionist, but as a vocalist, sharing his verse with Daddy-O. 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, 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.
Wise resides in Norfolk, Virginia, with his family.