April 7, 2010

Test Spin: Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon

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Die-hard Wu-Tang-ers rejoice; Wu-Massacre is here! Wu-Massacre features Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, three of the most prominent individual members of the original Wu-Tang Clan still rapping, and the delicate producing hand of RZA. The album features various combinations of the three along with fellow Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck, a cast of other featured artists and a surprise comedic skit by Tracy Morgan.Wu-Massacre is another fine example of how Wu-Tang members are evolving with the rap world since their initial success 17 years ago. The dynamic lyrics and smooth flow are still there, but they have moved past the simple laid-back beats that the Wu-Tang was founded upon. Wu-Massacre’s beats are intricate and, for the most part, fast-paced. Many tracks contain various elaborate accents and samples, including one from Michael Jackson’s “We’re Almost There” on “Our Dreams.” Although the album is short (just under 30 minutes), the innovation and chemistry between the artists is felt on every track.The album also marks momentous strides for each artist’s individual work. Raekwon’s work especially builds upon the progress he made with his last album Only Built for Cuban Linx PT II. His verses are the most laid back of the three, featuring a cleaner, more polished flow, backed by two strong lyricists in Ghostface and Method. Ghostface likewise produces some of his finest verses to date, albeit in a more intense style that meshes well with Method and Raekwon’s flows.Surprisingly, the album’s biggest flaw is that it tries to do too much. Despite being a short album, it’s apparent that the Wu-Tang’s bag of tricks was ransacked for certain tracks, making them lose the simple elegance that highlights each artist’s unique style. “Our Dreams” is so loaded with bells and whistles that each of the rapper’s flows seem far less rhythmic than their verses actually are.


Original Author: Adam Lerner