To say the Wu-Tang Clan have had their ups and down since the ’93 east coast hip-hop masterpiece, Enter the 36 Chambers, would be kind. The truth is, just a couple years ago it was doubtful these guys would put out anything worth listening to (as a group).
Ol’ Dirty Bastard died, there was inner-struggles over money, pride and just plain ol’ bullshit! The albums they did put out as a group couldn’t come close to their debut or even to solo releases by Method Man (Tical), GZA (Liquid Swords), Raekwon (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…) and Ghostface (Supreme Clientele). It seemed The Wu as a Clan were over.
Eventually even the solo output from these guys started to suffer. In my opinion the only one putting out anything worth listening to was Ghostface, with every album from Iron Man to Fishscale being worth it’s weight in the product he was pushin’. Sure, he put out a few duds after that, but you’ve got to give him props for carrying the sword and the flag for The Wu for most of the past decade.
But then a funny thing happened. GZA toured Liquid Swords and built his following back up. Method teamed up with Redman to create the Blackout 2 and it didn’t suck. And then Raekwon finally released Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Part 2 and it was the most critically acclaimed hip-hop album last year. So, are The Wu back? Well, sorta.
This album can’t be called Wu-Tang Clan because of the lack of RZA and GZA…but I would say it’s the best thing I’ve heard from these guys in a long time. It’s got gangsta stories, it got sex ryhmes, it’s gotta ‘your mama’ jokes and not one of these superstars try to steal the limelight from the other. It’s just pure east coast hip-hop…it’s what you would’ve expected these guys to be doing after 36 Chambers. It’s too bad it took them this long, but I believe it was worth the wait!