You already know that I have a compulsion towards bumping L.E.P Bogus Boys music. Nothing like a feature from my favorite Clansmen to solidify the deal. Southside Chicago emcees,Count and Moonie, make up the group, and apparently they know a little thing or too about cocaine. Question is, is there room for more Coke Rap in 2012? This is the year that “art rap” slash “indie rappers” who don’t want to be called “hipster rappers” really made their push into the vanguard. It’s one those terribly ironic situations, there’s no room for halfway crooks, or full time coke rappers. Note to Count and Moonie: selling music is like pushing ‘product’, diversify, keep your custees wondering.
Remember when you used to rock Wu-Wear and Rap City was littered with Raekwon, Method Man, and Ghost’s music videos? Yeah, maybe not, twas a while back. Nevertheless the Wu-Tang Clan has cemented its spot as the most substantial rap super group of all time, effectively trailblazing branding schemes that defined hip hop’s growth over the last decade.
DJ Mathematic, of the larger Wu family, has compiled some tracks, remixed a few, and added some new content for an upcoming compilation CD titled Mathematics presents: Return of The Wu and Friends. Scope the press release and new track available for exclusive download.
Wu Tang - Return of the Wu & Friends
Since their debut album, 1993′s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang has become synonymous with gritty, direct lyrics and beats that draw from classic soul, horn-blasted funk, cinematic curios, and dirty guitar licks (among many others.) With each successive album, the group solidifies their hold on hip-hop, watching over the years as rappers, trends and ephemeral styles come and go and become musical footnotes in the game. As devoted fans clamor and salivate for anything Wu-related, Gold Dust & Nature Sounds are proud to announce the release of Return of the Wu& Friends, produced and compiled by Wu-Tang Clan producer/DJ Mathematics and including some exclusive tracks, lost gems and old time favorites featuring all nine emcees.
The 16 tracks featured on Return of the Wu & Friends were compiled from songs recorded during the group’s critically acclaimed 2000 album The W through 2008, including exclusive tracks like “Steppin 2 Me” featuring GZA, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa. The producer also offers a slew of new remixes, including “Respect Mine” and “Clap”. On the former, featuring Raekwon, Method Man and Cappadonna, the sprightly piano loop found on the original (from Mathematics’ 2003 solo album Love, Hell or Right) gets flipped into a slower, more ominous track anchored by a funky slap bass line. On Return of the Wu & Friends, every member gets their chance to shine, backed by Mathematics’ acute ability to perfectly match each member’s cadence and tone to the respective beat. Slower, more soulful tracks like “Da Way We Were” and “Strawberries & Cream” are balanced with classic Wu funk like “Iron God Chamber” and “It’s What It Is” (the latter the new superhero anthem for the 21st century.) For anyone fiending for more Wu classics, Return of the Wu & Friends offers up an album’s worth of tracks sure to fill the need for Wu bangers.
Having known the Clan since the mid-80s and produced for them since 1996, Mathematics is no stranger to the group. Starting off as GZA’s DJ during the emcee’s Cold Chillin’ days, the producer has since gone on to create a diverse and memorable production catalog with the group, contributing tracks to The Wand 8 Diagrams, as well as Ghostface Killah’s Supreme Clientele, GZA’s Beneath The Surface, Method Man’s Tical 2000: Judgement Dayand Method Man & Redman’s Blackout!.
Wu-Tang- The Return of The Wu-Friends will be released on 2-16-10 on Gold Dust Records
When I first saw the trailer for this film I thought of Wu-Tang, and how they would make a great addition to the movie soundtrack and/or video game. I figure the inclusion of Murs and Xzibit is a product of their geographic location, and their propensity for networking with movie heads. Give them credit, it appears to be the only rap track on the soundtrack. The track is a little fluffy, cheesy, or whatever relatively harmless diss you’d like to insert. But the movie looks off the hook, peep the soundtrack preview, tell me ninja’s aren’t bad ass. Shinobi stand up!
When the IRS scopes this trailer from the forthcoming Method Man/Raekwon /Ghostface project, they’re going to be very upset. First of all, they’re going to be irked because the budget on this little preview looks to be on the steeper side and–as you may know–Method Man was recently indicted for owing a hefty chunk of back-taxes.
The second reason they’re going to be annoyed–and this reason also annoys me and should annoy you–is that this is three-plus wasted minutes all for a pointless and empty bite-off of Seven.
Nonetheless, I am looking forward to this project from the Wu-Tang “in-crowd.” Hey, that’s a good name for your trio. You guys should call yourselves that to mock RZA’s excessive-esoteric-ness, GZA’s age and U-God, Inspectah Deck & Masta Killa’s unpopularity. Just a thought.
Nahright’s showcase at next week’s CMJ event should make the rap kids’ iced mouths water. I think this event will be ill for several reasons: for starters, as awesome as CMJ is, dudes like Styles P and Curren$y often get shafted at these sort of events; rap music is primarily repped solely by dudes like Mos Def and Common and other dudes that would have you believe they spend every free minute they have at freedom rallies and open-mics.
Aside from being an ill and versatile showing, it’s also significant that a blog–that is, a DIY-fueled news site–has been able to mobilize to throw such an influential shindig.
Keeping it a little simpler than Diddy, Raekwon takes us to back to the 90′s music video steez. This video reminds me of the video for “Hypnotize“, course that’s where Diddy does make a positive difference, in the size of the boat. Peep the Biggie classic after the jump.
Raekwon is my favorite Wu member, let me throw that disclaimer out there, preface for the haters. Hence, even though his new album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt II, has nearly a decade of hype behind it, I will not post it up on ZIF for free download. Frankly, I had a CBII listening session last night with Sammy G and I had to wake him up by track 11, and he left before the outro, Yikes! I have a feeling this will be a common phenomenon among hip hop fans and Wu faithful alike. Simply put, there was way too much hype behind this album for there to be any other type of reaction, Dre’s Detox is sure to have a similar outcome. The fact that production on this album includes the likes of J Dilla, Dr Dre, Scram Jones, Necro, and RZA surely do not help temper any expectations regarding this album.
For all intensive purposes this album was finished in January of 2006. Rae came out and told some cats including XXL magazine that it was pretty much done, waiting to be “dropped on a major” and it appeared as though that was going to be with Dre and Aftermath Entertainment. After a quick Christmas break, Dr. Dre got obsessed once again with Detox and told heads he was no longer creatively interested in the project. This turned Rae off, and its been flopping around like a fish out of water ever since. So forgive the Chef if the soup is a little cold.
Ah, let’s wrap this pseudo-review up. Rap purists will go out on a proverbial limb and say something to the effect of “Cuban Linx 2 has great production, but lackluster rhymes.” Wu-Tang fans will already be looking to the next Wu affiliated project. However, Raekwon fans will mollify their critique, listen to the album a couple times, and give Raekwon the decency of devoting a couple hours to what this man took 8 years to put out in the universe.
I remember something like 5 years ago when Mos Def and Beyonce made a MTV made for TV film that they were pawning off as something new, a “hip-hopera”. That piece of junk was called “Carmen: A Hip Hopera“, and it stands in comparison to a Tasmanian Devil’s diarrhea more so than it resembled opera or hip hop. For the most part it was a musical featuring a love story between Beyonce and Mekhi Phifer, with the former taking opportunities to hit high notes often and overbearingly so. Mos Def? Well, he fit right into that film, because he’s Mos Def and he’s intellectual like that!
So you can imagine my horror when I came upon this flyer for City of God’s Son:Cinema for the blind, yet another “hip hopera”. My repugnance was amplified when I further examined the flyer. Somehow this hip hopera featured Nas, Jay-Z, and Biggie Smalls, the three kings of hip hop basically. Added inspection of this project led to supplementary befuddlement; this hip hopera features weathered actors Samuel L. Jackson, Delroy Lindo, and Laurence Fishburne! WTF is a “hip hopera?”
Do you get it now? No? Well yeah, neither do most people who have yet to listen to it. Yeah, that’s right, I said listen to it. City of God’s Son is in fact not a film or show or anything visual, it’s something called a “beat cinematic”. Beat cinematic is a term that makes much more immediate sense to me. Somewhat like a throwback to the radio days when entertainment in America consisted of a family of four sitting around a fire and their radio. This is what a hip hopera should be, a beat cinematic. Is City of God’s Son a beat cinematic? Is it a hip hopera? Is it good? Download link is below, listen to it and tell me.
(peep another video about this project and contrast it with that horrible “Carmen” flick after the jump)
Most often, blend tapes (existing beats + existing acapellas) serve to frustrate me more than bring me utility. They’re typically assembled by some kid in their basement with an internet connection, Fruity Loops, no sense of rhythm, and plenty of time. The NastraDOOMus mixes (Nas + (MF) Doom) from earlier this decade were stellar, but the blend tapes circulating the internet since then have been mediocre at best. I had pretty much given up on this genre of mixtape until several credible sources on my blog aggregator raved about Memory Man’s Wu-Tang Clan Vs. D.I.T.C. The concept is simple, but the result is better than I had imagined.
The real star here, surprise, is Big L (R.I.P.), who IMO, rounds out the triumvirate of the greatest emcees who, incidentally, left this world before their time. Wu-Tang Clan Vs. D.I.T.C. is the next best thing to brand new verses from the deceased rapper, and it’s surprising how fresh his punchlines sound over Wu beats. You can bet that on my trip up to San Francisco next week, 1/6 of that drive will be spent bumping this tape.