New Wu Review (8 Diagrams)

1 12 2007

It’s been 5 long years, but once again the Wu-Tang Clan have reunited again amid all kinds of inner turmoil to come with 8 Diagrams. With Ghostface Killah a member in name only these days, Raekwon publicly airing out the Rza’s production style, and rumors of the Clan pushing on without Rza if things don’t change, the question is, can the Wu get back the spark they’ve been missing since ’97 (except Ghost)? All nine of the original members (8 which are in physical form, 1 which is in spiritual essence) come through to try and make that happen.

As far as the production goes, the beats here aren’t nearly as bad as the other Wu members think. The beats on tracks like “Windmill,” “Take it Back,” and “Wolves” show that Bobby Digital can still produce the Wu sound. That said, the majority of the beats are solid, but not outstanding. There’s really nothing on the album beatwise that’s gonna make your jaw drop like CREAM or Reunited, and sometimes the darker beats get dangerously close to plodding (Get Them Out Ya Way). More after the commute. . .

Unfortunately it’s the other aspects that are severely lacking on this LP. Several of the albums best beats are ruined by subpar hooks, like the aforementioned “Wolves” (what the fuck is George Clinton babbling about?), or the abundance of singing choruses like on “Starter” (are these really the same dudes who complained about hip-hop turning into Rap & Bullshit?).

Compounding the problem are the lyrical performances. The thing about the Wu is that outside of Raekwon, Ghost, Meth, and ODB, the rest of the members are dope lyrically, but not dope enough to really carry a song. So when the Rza’s beats fell off after the Great Wu Flood of ’96, most people lost interest in the Wu. With ODB dead and Ghost showing up late and only having a couple of verses (damn, son isn’t even on the ODB tribute), the burden is on Rae, Meth, and the rest to basically carry the whole LP. Anytime the Rza is the dominant Wu member on the lyrics and Ghost has as many verses as U-God it’s not a good sign. The rest of the Clan, like the beats, is solid but not outstanding. Even the ODB tribute and the last blast of Dirty to end the LP come off as just OK

The end result is an album that is ok, but not great and certainly not monumental. It seems painfully obvious that internal strife and public spats over beat selection, release dates and money have weakened the once invincible Wu-Tang Clan. The mystique of the Wu is gone and ODB’s death should serve as notice that their run is over as a group. Ironically, it’s the Wu’s own Ghostface that puts the final nail in the Wu coffin, proving 8 Diagrams overall averageness with the vastly superior Big Doe Rehab. . .

Final Grades:

Lyrics: C+
Beats: B-
Concepts: C
Overall: C+

Abq…

Judge for Yourself
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2 responses

2 12 2007
readmoretalkless

I think the album exposed some of the members RZA dependency. There was a solid period where RZA could do no wrong that coincided with quality WTC release after quality release. Is it a coincidence that when artists other than Ghostface and Meth step away from RZA they just aren’t that good? And when when the onetime unthinkable circumstance arrives where RZA seems to have lost his touch it is accompanied by another less than standard WTC release. I hate to say it but even after the long list of great tracks they’ve bless the public with, maybe their run is coming to an end. Good read
-SF

3 12 2007
draconianlevis

It’s certainly the last wu album as a group ! After listening this shit again and again I have to admit that Rza has lost it ! The Great Rza, the Rza of 93-97’s era is dead, it’s simple ! Without this Rza the wu-tang clan has become an ordinary hip hop band ! Because Rza is the soul of the clan, he invented the clan but I think everything has an end even the most incredible crew of the hip hip history ! I think many new hip hop fans can love it, but not me !
I am a die hard fan but I really don’t know what I will do in a close future ! The album is good but there are too many mistakes ! Where r the wonderful singers like Tekhita or Blue Rhasp ? These girls had something in the voice that gave a real special taste to many wu tracks. The old Rza beats were solid, crazy and powerful, but here the new ones cold and without inspiration. As I said Rza has lost it, the whole clan is dead ! We shall see what they will do with their solo careers !

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