This album has a good balance of most elements that make Hip Hop the defining genre it is today, but it lacks a certain shine that would attract newer listeners. Raekwon does very well to keep his rap qualities that he has had for over twenty years now and keep them as sharp as they were at the start.
The production is excellent and shows a real mixture of Hip Hop eras combined into one album. The range is great and the variety in noises, sounds and patterns used almost shows Raekwon lasting the ages. There are not many problems with the beats, they simply may not be to everyone’s taste.
The lyricism is fantastic and Raekwon showcases why he has lasted so long in the rap game. He uses a lot of lyrical techniques to embellish his work and pad out his imagery with an extra dimension. He may want to be a touch louder on the tracks to stand out more, but no one can really criticise this rapper.
The features are good and show that Raekwon can work well with a variety of rappers with a variety of styles. Each puts in some good effort and helps to make each track more cohesive. Some features with less of a connection to rap and Hip Hop may have made some more interesting tracks but these are still interesting.
Overall, this is an enjoyable album with a real mixture of tracks for any mood. Raekwon has been in the rap game a long time and his solo work, as well as his group work, has only improved.
This is an homage to ODB, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but doesn’t quite make it to his level of greatness. While YDB, Young Dirty Bastard, does well to emulate his father, it does come across as an impression rather than YDB trying to come across as his own being.
The production is good and works well with YDB’s style. The beats excel at showcasing the range of pitches and voices that are used and it makes it even more entertaining. With a lot of retro sounds that are a bit of a throwback to the time of ODB, the production really helps to show that the particular style can still be effective.
The lyricism is good but there could be more diverse techniques used to make it even more appealing. However, the performance of the lyrics is incredible with the pitch and tone changes along with the signature voice create a great set of tracks from a lyrical perspective.
The features are good and help add a comparison to YDB. It is good to see an original Wu-Tang Clan member on a track in the form of Ghostface Killah, supporting the child of an old colleague and friend. All the features are good and bring additional diversity to each track to help keep it grounded and not flying away with YDB’s quirkiness.
Overall, this is a good project that helps to bring YDB more to peoples attention. It is unfortunate that YDB seems to be trying to be ODB but he still differentiates himself enough so that he can be considered his own artist and not an impression of his father.
This is the album most people have been waiting for. It may not be as gritty or as street as some may have been hoping but as the title suggests, this album moves things in a more positive direction and is a new attempt to put Hip Hop in a more positive view.
The production is good. It is a mixture of classic Clan atmosphere with a more uplifting backing. The overall atmosphere is more energetic and has less of an air of vengeance and aggression. It has much more of turn the other cheek feel and should hopefully take Hip Hop away from street level violence.
The lyricism is definitely there but is not consistent from track to track or rapper to rapper. Some seem to shine more than others when it comes to wordplay, but with the differences with delivery and performance, each member brings a new dimension to the album.
With enough members of the Clan to form a baseball team, no features on the album is a good idea. There is enough different voices and opinions on the album already without adding a new voice, that would most likely only jar the project as a whole.
Overall, this is a good album. although not all the songs are winners. Wu-Tang Clan have been a main pillar in the Hip Hop community for twenty years and it is good to see that they have moved to trying to make a better world, which may in turn make others attempt to do the same.