Wu-Tang – The Saga Continues Review

This release has a lot of elements of a Wu-Tang Clan album, but lacks a certain cohesion to fill out all the criteria. This album feels a little unbalanced and is gratefully accepted as almost a tribute to the group, rather than an official effort.

The production is classic Wu-Tang. There is plenty of haunting backings that reflect the groups starting point and how they have kept their flavor. There are a few more modern beats that never sound like a perfect fit, but do help show that the collective is trying to keep up with modern times.

The lyricism is solid from everyone, but only a few really shine out. No one does a bad job, but a few of them don’t perform at their finest and the rest have to pick up the slack. While you couldn’t pick out anyone performing terribly, but only a small percentage performs well.

Overall, with the features performing along the same lines as the legendary group, this release is a little too long. Maybe if it was a little more cohesive, it could have flowed a little easier and made this a little easier to listen to.

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Masta Killa – Loyalty Is Royalty Review

This is a strong showing of why you can’t think any member of the Wu-Tang Clan is not talented. Masta Killa may not be the most well known member of the collective, but he can still make high quality music.

The production is a throwback to the nineties with its haunting and darker sounds than a lot of modern beats. While it can seem like some of the backings can be confused for each other, they all create the right atmosphere for the track they are part of. Maybe something with more of a modern feel could help bring Masta Killa an edge for the newer audience, but the selection here works excellently for the project.

The lyricism is great with the rhymes full of passion and clever lyrical devices to increase the level of description. The delivery helps with the skill and dexterity needed to make it sound so effortless. Some changes in flow might help show a little more flexibility but the bars in this show that Masta Killa is still hungry to make quality music.

The features do a great job of fleshing out this release and showing not only that the Clan is still strong, but also some of the other connections that Masta Killa has made. Each of the features shows why they are talented while keeping a high level of consistency for the project overall. Something a little further from the Hip Hop field might make a few more interesting moments, but there is no doubting the star power of the guests here.

Overall, this release has some great messages as well as a lot of enjoyability. Masta Killa has done a great job curating this album and hopefully it gets the recognition is deserves.

Raekwon – Fly International Luxurious Arts Review

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.

Ghostface Killah and BADBADNOTGOOD – Sour Soul Review

This is a great project that combines Ghostface’s signiture style with the haunting production he does so very well with. If the chemistry on this project is anything to go by, we can expect great things from this pairing in the future.

The production is full of beats that sound like they use the same idea behind Wu-Tang Clan’s original album. If you modernised the backings on those tracks, you get an idea of what to expect on this album. With that sort of stand out beat to work with, The duo do a great job making a great project.

The lyricism is classic Ghostface and does not disappoint. He does a great job keeping the tracks at a pure Hip Hop level at its most entertaining. The lyricism may not be the most complex out there, but it is vivid imagery that is painted and makes a good listen.

The features are also good and help bring a level of diversity to the project. Each is different from Ghostface and shows that he works well with a range of other rappers. The kind of chemistry shown on this project is fantastic and should be an example to others in the rap game.

Overall, this is a good project and an enjoyable listen through. If you are a fan of Ghostface already, you will love this album. If you aren’t, then this should make you one.

Young Dirty Bastard – A Dirty Tomorow Review

This is an homage to ODB, Ol’ Dirty Bastard,┬ábut 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.

Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorow Review

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.