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ISSUE 22 | Reviews: Meth, Ghost & Rae’s Wu-Massacre by 20watts

Meth, Ghost and Rae's Wu-Massacre: ""

Part of our Issue 22 coverage!
WE GIVE IT: 14/20 Watts
PREVIEW: CLICK here to visit Meth, Ghost & Rae‘s Myspace

The Wu-Tang Clan are one of the most respected, critically acclaimed hip-hop groups of all time. Debuting in 1993 with the classic album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the Clan has provided hip-hop purists with a gritty, boom-bap sound. Since then, the nine members of the Wu have dispersed throughout the entertainment industry, delivering a multitude of solo albums and coming back together for various collaborations and a handful of satisfactory albums.

Raekwon, Method Man and Ghostface have reunited in 2010 to create Wu-Massacre. With fabulous album artwork, Wu-Massacre is designed to bring fans back to the old school Wu sound, something that not seen on 2007’s 8 Diagrams. The album succeeds in its attempt to resurrect a sound that is now two decades old.

However, that very factor is detrimental to the album. Most of the production work sounds very dated. That’s not to say the album’s unlistenable, although most of the beats on Wu-Massacre sound like they are from 2003. While the sample chops and melodies on the album are undoubtedly catchy (“Gunshowers”), the drums and kits come off as sounding rather amateurish in their cadences. Original Clan member RZA, who recently acted in the movie Repo-Men, produces “Our Dreams” — the album’s strongest track in terms of reconciling old school sensibility with popular appeal. “Dangerous” is also competently produced, despite the fact that the attempts at drum-rolls detract from the track’s vibe. “Criminology 2.5” uses the same sample as the original song from Only Built for Cuban Linx to partial effectiveness, although the sloppiness of production and flow on tracks like “It’s That Wu Sh*t” aren’t exactly redeemed by the sheer novelty of sounding outdated.

Method Man, who is well-known because of his Hollywood endeavors, still has the best flow. Ghostface, who has been the most musically active over the last few years, brings great track presence. Raekwon, the most monotone of the trio, is still sharp with his wordplay and clever with his storytelling. Many of the lyrics tell of gritty narratives set in New York City. But despite the talents of each respective member, there is a clear lack of fluidity between the songs. In some cases, the verses themselves lack continuity. Wu-Massacre plays more like a group of guys simply in the studio trading verses rather than a complete album.

On the whole this album has limited audience appeal. A handful of fans will certainly adore the novelty of its throwback sensibilities. But in terms of crossover appeal and general musicality, Wu-Massacre lacks the technical competency that Meth, Ghost and Rae have demonstrated in the past.

BY Greg Fitton

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