Review Summary: Masta Killa drops one of the best Wu solo albums.
Masta Killa is probably the most unknown and mysterious member of the Wu-Tang Clan.When „Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)“ was released in 1993, Masta was the most unexperienced member of the clan when compared to the other 8 members.He only perfomed one verse on the clan’s debut, the last verse of „Da Mystery Of Chessboxin’“.It is however one of the best I’ve ever heard.When numerous Wu solo albums started to appear, Masta was however frequently included in those projects.When „Wu-Tang Forever“ was released, Masta was as skilled as the other members or maybe even better, making appearances throughout the album.
Masta’s debut album was finally released in 2004.Titled „No Said Date“.The album’s sound was similar to Wu and their affiliated artists’ solo albums released in early to mid nineties.Although released on independent label, the album didn’t have much sales success.A follow up to „No Said Date“ was released in 2006 and is titled „Made In Brooklyn“.Although there is no production provided by RZA, the album is as good as „No Said Date“, perhaps even better.“Made In Brooklyn“ also features all eight original Wu members.The samples from Kung-Fu films are also used on the album, giving it that great atmosphere that was there with such Wu solo classics like „Liquid Swords“ and „Only Built 4 Cuban Linx“
„Then & Now“ is the first track that gets the album started.It features a simple slow beat that at some points of the song is mixed with some violin sounds and gets a little faster.Above average verses are also delivered by two guest Wu affiliates Kareem Justice and Young Prince.
During his early days, Masta was extensively influenced by GZA who is considered the clan’s best lyricist so Masta’s flow is also slow and laid back and he uses very good wordplay in his lyrics..This is the most evident on the track „Street Corner“.It has a great slow beat with perfect bass and good violin sounds present through the track.Inspectah Deck and GZA are also featured on the song so this is the track for any Wu fan to hear.
This is followed by another amazing perfomance by Masta on a track named „Ringing Bells“.Beat is again simple piano sounds with light bass present but with Masta’s deadly lyrics it again makes one of the best tracks on the album.It kind of reminds me of GZA’s song „Swordsman“ that was on „Liquid Swords“.
The album is not filled from start to the ending with such brilliant tracks though.Namely the track „Brooklyn King“ is 2.40 in length with a boring hook and shouldn’t have been included on the album.It certainly drags its overall rating down.The beat is stripped down and kind of „dry“.This is a song rather to be avoided.
Overall I must say that it is one of the best Wu solo albums to be released.It maybe doesn’t have that feeling that you get with „Liquid Swords“ or „Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)“ but it is as good as „Supreme Clientele“ and „Return to the 36 Chambers:The Dirty Version“ so I suggest every serious Wu fan to check this album out.It won’t disappoint.