Review Summary: Cuban Linx was the call that the Wu-Tang is back, now Wu-Massacre makes it official.
Ever since Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
sequel, Wu-Tang has successfully sailed back on the warpath to rule the rap world. Ghostface wrote a love rap album that isn’t completely terrible, Inspectah Deck put out his first good album ever, and now Ghost, Rae, and Meth are collaborating on an album of their own. Wu-Massacre
, rather than going the bloated, epic route of Rae’s near classic Cuban Link, it’s bare bones, short and to the point. Twelve Tracks that combine to exactly thirty minutes seems a bit like a short cut-off, but its honestly worth it, as the trio of MC’s pack as much as they can into those short moments.
The first half of Wu-Massacre,
however, sort of swaggers around from the usual greatness expected from these three MC’s, to some real downer tracks. For every “Meth Vs. Chef 2”, which features The Chef and Meth trading off clever lines over thumping horn track, we get a song like “Gunshowers”, which features a bored loop created the night before recording, and bored ‘get money/kill dem’ rhymes from Trife Da God. The biggest blunder, however, is “Our Dreams”, which features an awkward transition from verse to chorus, and a beat that sound genuinely bored from the RZA. Switching from classic, stripped down minimalistic Wu-Tang tracks to new, soul-infused, epics like that of Rae favors, each track in the first half is tinged with different ideas and flavors, and it sounds like a mess despite of the inspired opening.
As the album moves on, however, the second half of the record is extremely strong. United in mission, our three Wu stars start to make the productions smoothly work together. The aggressive, knocking drums of “Dangerous” and the bombastic, theatric story-telling via Ghost on “Pimpin Chipps” start off things in the second half epically. This is where the MC’s strengths begin to shine. Meth’s slithering flow and raspy voice, mixed with oddly inspired lyrics is the true highlight of the record, while Ghost’s pure consistency is enjoyable to hear. Combine that with Rae’s excellent luck and story-telling and their known chemistry, and we get some real highlights. “Miranda” is the album’s best track, led by a latin-tinged beat, gives proper flavor for one of the few working Wu women tales. “Youngstown Heist” is a posse cut with Trife and some members of the LOX, mixed with its woozy organs and guitars, and Sheek’s surprising verse, and we get an enjoyable track.
“It’s That Wu” ends the album with a sort of futuristic vibe, and sort of highlights something that isn’t really noticed throughout the record. The weak sound of the drums on most of the tracks makes the record sound utterly limp in some places, decreasing the replay-ability of the record. Other than that; though, Wu-Massacre
still sounds like an epic rather than a fizzle for three of Wu’s top MCs. Just don’t let RZA handle MJ samples again.