Remember when you used to play the “Wu-Tang” game? Essentially the “game” was a simple declaration regarding ones favorite Wu-Tang member, but, it usually turned into a debate fest regarding the merit of said favorite. I do not recall Masta Killa topping many of those discussions. Lack of fanfare aside, MK has stayed busy in typical Wu manners, appearing on more tracks than one can keep count of whilst simultaneously not dropping an album for the past 6 years. That will be changing soon, Masta Killa will be releasing his third studio album, Loyalty is Royalty, sometime this year. This video is the first promotional effort for its release, and was directed by one of my favorite underground music video cats, Jeff Pliskin, he recently shot the cult favorite Necro video for “Jewish Gangsters”, check out more of his work at Raised Fist Propaganda.
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.
The 8th solo effort post-36 Chambers features everyone’s favorite paranoid schizophrenic U-God. It’s 1999, he’s talking about Kobe Bryant and bangles that dangle. These beats though…it’s a headphone enthusiast’s dusty find of the day kind of good.
Got to give it up for anyone who is able to so lasciviously stick to a single aesthetic for the duration of the album for a reason other than lack of production, kind of like the opposite of folk music.
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.
People dig Ghostface for a number of reasons; some people think he’s simply the most lyrically-savvy member of the Wu-Tang, others dig his consistent flow of gastronomic metaphors and mafioso tales, while some listen to Ghost’s bizarre interpretations of the world with curiosity: Some Most of the time when Ghostface speaks, he’s always using lexicon which is way beyond my comprehension. And, on a logical level, I always feel like he’s beginning a story somewhere in the middle, and if I haven’t heard the beginning, I’m completely lost.
Nonetheless, Ghostface’s ghost-story from Jimmy Kimmel is enjoyable to scope.
When the Wu-Tang’s grimy New York tales first barged into rap music, it’s not exactly clear how interested–or how efficient–they were at getting girls; sure, they utilized a few soul samples, here and there, but even those were subverted to better deliver the Clan’s autonomous kung-fu metaphors. As time went on, Method Man remained very straight-forward about his love of comic books, wrestling and smoking pot while Raekwon concocted high-art but immensely violent, mafioso rap and RZA merely wanted to out-esoteric everyone else in hip-hop. However, Ghostface Killah laced every release he did with a plethora of cryptic references to pasta and soul music. Even when bragging about his efficiency in selling drugs, he somehow made it romantic. Ghostface liked the girls.
Havoc is a man on fire, usually part of the tandem inferno act Mobb Deep, Prodigy’s incarceration has left Havoc to warble solo. Usually the mastermind behind the majority of Mobb production, Havoc is by no means a stranger to spitting rhymes. Havoc dropped his first solo project a couple years ago, titled, The Kush. This month he’s dropping Hidden Files, his second Prodigy-less LP. Overall his first album was predictably a littler barer than your average Mobb Deep album, the listener is left hanging like a Floridian chad waiting for the other half of this legendary duo to put down his verses. But the solo project is a natural progression of all group acts, examples including: Big Boi & Andre 3000, Goodie Mobb, Duck Down Crew, Wu Tang, and UGK.
So if you feel inclined to hear some Mobb Deep-esque music, you may enjoy this album enough to bide you over till P is released from the big house. One thing to take note, I’m pretty sure that between focusing more on his rhymes, and the fact that he reserves his best beats for Mobb Deep albums, Havoc comes across as a little lackluster on this LP, unfortunately it effects both his lyrical and production game. Nevertheless, peep 3 tracks off the album, it’s still Havoc, still Mobb Deep, still real hip hop.
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.
Dorks think alike; I had actually hypothesized this very same list, of rap music-inspired video games, just a few days ago. However, it’s probably good that these kids did the list because there were apparently a good amount of games I’d never heard about, such as B.Rap Boys, which looks like a hip-hop version of Double Dragon.
Also note that this list is about putting garbage games on blast. For the most part I agree, the Wu-Tang fighting game was awful, as the gameplay was too stiff and all-around dull. However, Def Jam Vendetta was actually decent. Despite its dumb premise, it was fun to negate the pacifistic mantra of “let’s keep this beef on wax” and have Ludacris and Method Man duke it out. My personal favorite in that game was Joe Budden–he had this killer roundhouse kick that was basically the only defense against an ultra-cheap DMX, who had this lunge (emulating a pitbull, I assume), where he’d pounce on you and start punching your face rapidly.
I gotta say Raekwon, I’m a tad bit worried that if Only Built 4 Cuban Links II doesn’t live up to the hype, that the rap-world will curl up into a ball of disillusionment and the genre will cease to exist. I’m sure that the folks at Hawaiian streetwear brand In4mation share my worries, because if that happens, this exclusive shirt that they created to commemorate the chef’s recent performance at a Hawaiian titty bar is going to lose mad value.
These tees featuring tee tees, were only given to folks who watched Raekwon at the strip club but apparently there are a few swimming around e-bay and other streetwear hotbeds. Nab one now, and flip it for more, in case the album flops.