Do you understand how incredible the Wu-Tang Clan is? Do you really? Think about it. What are the odds that eight of the illest emcees in hip-hop history grew up in the same place, became friends and decided to form a group? That’s like Kobe, Wade and Lebron (plus Howard, Paul, etc.) all growing up together and playing on the same high school basketball team. I’m not saying that god is a hip-hop fan, but without divine intervention, I’m not sure how you explain Wu-Tang’s existence. Thankfully, the good lord has deemed us worthy of …
DJBooth Album Review
Thankfully, the good lord has deemed us worthy of more blessing and has brought together three of the Clan’s most successful solo rappers - Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon – for their new collabo album Wu Massacre. To be clear, especially since all three have individually gotten angry when asked, Meth, Ghost & Rae by no means constitute a new “group.” The way they see it, they’re simply a new iteration of the Wu-Tang Clan; kind of like Saved by the Bell and Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Ok, so maybe not the best analogy, but you get the point. Anyway, here’s what you really need to know: The Wu-Massacre is closer to the album we were all hoping 8 Diagrams was going to be than 8 Diagrams was, and while it’s not quite a classic on the order of 36 Chambers (or for that matter OB4CL2), it’s still nothing to f**k wit. See what I did there? Moving on…
While Meth, Ghost and Rae work together seamlessly throughout Wu-Massacre, like any team, different players have to step up when their specific skills are needed, so let’s take a look at the album on a rapper by rapper basis.
Ghost isn’t only the best storyteller in the Wu, he’s the best storyteller in hip-hop (as I explained in detail in my Wizard of Poetry review), so I guess it’s only right that he’s the only member of the trio to get a track all to his lonesome. Just as its name would suggest, on Pimpin' Chip Ghost tells the tale of a pimp on the come up, a tale that comes complete with hos who take karate lessons and an explosively instrumental beat courtesy of producer Emile. It’s a similar story on Youngstown Heist, an almost impossibly banging cut that also brings on Trife da God and Sheek Louch, though frankly they’re supporting actors to Ghost’s leading role. These aren’t songs, they’re novels, and they nearly make Wu-Massacre worth it by themselves.
Speaking of Ghost, I completely expected him to dominate the album’s lead single Miranda (you know, cause it’s about a woman) but instead Mr. Meth flips the smoothly paced beat like none other. I really shouldn’t be surprised; Meth is always the heart of the party, and Miranda is a celebration…of vagina, but still. I don’t know if it’s because it’s hard to take a man who starred in a movie called How High seriously, but I seem to consistently underrate Meth as an emcee, which is why I frankly didn’t expect him to outduel Raekwon on the head-to-head Meth vs. Chef 2, but that’s exactly what happened. Plus, he gets bonus points for the yo momma jokes: “Your moms so short she models for trophies.” Tical!
Last but certainly not least is The Chef. While Rae appears on fewer tracks than his running mates, the tracks he does touch proves once again that he’s the Wu’s real muscle; just take Dangerous. While long time production affiliate DJ Mathematics drops a heavily percussive beat, Rae leads off Dangerous with the kind of dangerously blunted flow that’s made him a solo legend in his own right. And on second thought, I’m not so sure Meth really did best him on Meth vs. Chef 2. After all, he does start off the track by saying “Yo, blow my nose for me man.” Making someone else blow your nose? How badass is that? I mean seriously: Out of all the Wu members, who do you least want beef with? Exactly.
In the end, everything that’s right about Wu-Massacre is what was wrong with 8 Diagrams. Instead of becoming bogged down in individual calculations, all three work together seamlessly. By letting each other shine, the complete product only becomes that much brighter. Sure it’s a little short, and sometimes feels thrown together, but while the execution may not always be there, the spirit of the those young Staten Island boys dreaming of rap stardom lives again in the Wu-Massacre. Wu Tang forever.
DJBooth Rating - 4 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 03/31/10
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