20 Watts

20 Watts Reviews Wu-Tang Clan’s “Chamber Music” by zegoldst
wu tang

Wu-Tang Clan is back with hits from RZA and others

PREVIEW: Download Wu-Tang Clan, “Radiant Jewels” MP3
PREVIOUS WU-TANG COVERAGE: GZA at Cornell, GZA’s Pro Tools, Ghostface Killah’s Chinatown Wars

Wu-Tang Clan never cared about their stake in popular culture. Nor have they ever changed their style or sound, unlike many other hip-hop groups just trying to get to the top of the charts. Aside from RZA’s bizarre love for kung fu flicks, Wu Tang’s sound continues to impress with distorted drums and unique instruments.

The supporting cast on this album stands tall, and the fact that GZA, Method Man and Masta Killa don’t make an appearance doesn’t change a thing.  This is Wu-Tang, the largest hip-hop family of all time coming back, swinging hard and taking no prisoners. There are new guests on this album and this group of “young bloods” fascinates me to no end. The rappers and the beats mesh perfectly for a mix of old and new.

RZA, the genius behind this album, doesn’t shy away from the spotlight and every other track he talks about kung fu flicks and his philosophies on life. He discusses how he (“The Abbot”) must “keep his fire burning to spark another fire” and train a student to fight the villain. This is exactly what this album does. He comes back with some old (Ghostface Killah, U-God, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck) and some new rappers to take down the rap “corporation.”

RZA locks in hard with the best track on the album “Radiant Jewels.” The beat is bumping hard with a string section and an army-like snare hit with a riding bass line. Raekwon teams up with non-Wu-Tang Clan members, Cormega and Sean Price. Their flows are both biting and soothing, both fluid and solid at the same time.

Overall, this album proves that Wu-Tang hasn’t gone anywhere.  Even though I think hip-hop is on its way out, Wu-Tang is an everlasting flame.

Best Track: “Radiant Jewels” feat. Raekwon, Cormega and Sean Price

–Zach Goldstein

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