Meth-Ghost-Rae Wu Massacre(Def Jam) Buy it from Insound
Wu-Tang is legend, that’s just a fact. No other hip-hop dynasty has given us such diverse personalities, glowing solo-work and utterly memorable songs. Even the stuff that only bears a metaphorical Wu Tang branding (Ghostface’s aughtie run of brilliant records, Raekwon’s Cuban Linx saga) have been classic – anything coming out of their camp is at least going to be listenable.
Enter Wu-Massacre a fun, but mostly forgettable affair that comes from three of the clan’s most prominent members; (Ghostface, Raekwon, Method Man) and for the most part ends up being little more than good-natured fan service. You get the feeling that these songs were cobbled together from would-be B-sides and throwaway takes over the years, and the remarkably thin 30 minute running time seems to confirm that. Nothing on the record is anything close to vital, but it still has that mystic Wu-Tang flavor to keep it interesting.
Production wise we’re in a post-36 Chambers, pre-Kanye world of polished, brass-heavy soul and comically oversized drums. Naturally RZA pieces together the best beat, with a especially prevalent Michael Jackson sample on Our Dreams – but the other efforts are at least passable. Mathmatics and Scram Jones both show up with a significant number of credits – Scram in particular brings a ton of heat to the fire-eating closer It’s That Wu Shit. I’ll reiterate that there’s nothing classic here beat-wise, but they do occupy a strange and oft-compelling world of modernized ‘90s sensibilities. I’d imagine if say, 36 Chambers or Illmatic dropped today, the beats would sound a lot like this – it wisely strays away from the hip-house wanderings or brainless, rigid synthlines that dominate most chart-hop these days, and focuses on the much more likable repertoire of brightly colored R&B and clever, extroverted sampling.
Wu Massacre is pretty inconsistent, which is expected considering the fractured origins of the album. We get the record’s puffy-eyed player-love ballad (the aforementioned Our Dreams, where Ghost unironically says “we melt like cookies and cream” ) right before the bloodthirsty, curved-lip gangsta-anthem Gunshowers. It’s a little odd, but isn’t all that distracting – it’s not like this album is part of the Wu’s official canon after all.
Overall, Wu Massacre is for the fans. Any album that boasts the sequel to not one, but two semi-obscure cuts off of Raekwon and Method Man solo efforts is not exactly starter material. However, anyone attached to the Clan will find a lot to love here – it’s far from their best work, but Rae, Ghost and Meth’s undeniable flow can make even the slightest record worth a spin.6 April, 2010 - 08:34 — Luke John Winkie