Monday, February 19, 2007

Saying the Wu-Tang Clan was an undeniable force in hip-hop back in the 1990s would be an understatement! These katz changed the game with their style, production, concepts and business savvy. I still remember when me and my boy Marv were living in Tokyo, back when we used to hit up the music stores pretty hard. We would go on what I called "music runs" where we would take large amounts of money and try to put a serious dent store's CD stock? Normally, music comes out faster overseas compared to stateside releases, so we had no clue who the Wu-Tang Clan was when we stumbled up on the Return of the 36 Chambers album. The cover looked pretty dope, so I took a chance and bought it! Remember those days?? When I finally listened to the album, I quickly realized that I had found something special. I enjoyed the originality and complexity of the lyrics, but what really caught my attention was RZA's production. The use of the martial arts movie samples was pure genius, and it worked well with the whole concept of the group and the album. It was groundbreaking! Since, I was a big kung-fu buff (still am today), I really appreciated the use of the cheezy english karate movie dubs. He used them to set up the theme of the different songs. After listening to the album a couple of times, I quickly realized who the standout MCs were amongst the group (in my opinion): ODB, Method Man, Ghostface & Raekwon. Not to imply that the others were not dope, but these four personalities shined the most.

Sadly, the glory days of the Wu camp have left us in the new millennium. Beef between group members, ego trippin' & solo aspirations have basically ripped the foundation of the group to shreds. There was an internal mini-war amongst the Wu-Tang soldiers, and when the smoke finally cleared there were only a few survivors that remain relevant in 2007! In my personal opinion, Ghostface Killah is the last Wu-soldier standing! He has dropped several solo albums over the years, and they have all been pretty solid. Ghost is basically carrying the Wu-Tang Clan on his shoulders, which is definitely keeping their sound alive. Last year Ghostface released two dope albums in the same year, which is pretty much unheard of by today's standards. Soon as you think Ghost is finished, he comes back at us with another joint! This time it's the "Hidden Darts" compilation which drops on March 13, 2007. The project is packed with rare and unreleased tracks from his previous albums that you probably haven't heard before. A lot of these joints have appeared on various mixtapes over the years, but most of them have those big mowfed DJs talking all over them dammit! Now, you can own the CD quality versions of these wonderful songs. One of my favorites on this project is "Good Times" featuring Raekwon! The producer flipped the hell out of that Good Times tv show theme music on that one! You gotta love that! I am a big Ghostface fan like most true hip-hop headz, and it's good to know we have a new release to salivate over....

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