Raekwon
Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
March 23rd, 2011 | 141 replies | 20,006 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: To every soldier in the hood, go in.

Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang is a legitimate cure for any Lupe Fiasco Lasers-induced cancer. His third record in as many years, Raekwon defines expectations for golden era rappers in the 21st century with his own breed of timeless hip-hop. There are no cheap synths or lame choruses to be had, just classic east coast hard shit about generally epic street concepts. After a killer opener with an equally murderous video, "Every Soldier in the Hood" likely sets the bar impossibly high; Oh No's future-inspired composition is truly imbued with the darkness of the streets, while Rae's hook is an immediate classic line. Like 2009's "House of Flying Daggers", Method Man puts the blunt down long enough to put his rap face on; his verse is verifiable proof that Meth is the perfect complement to the Chef. Just as feared, Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang prematurely ejaculates; nothing quite comes close after "Every Soldier". "Silver Rings" is solid yet eventually forgettable, while Estelle's chorus on "Chop Chop" only detracts from a track that Rae really shines on. Ghostface, Busta, Nas, Rick Ross, and Black Thought all lend some of their best bars in recent history (seriously, Busta sucks now, but his performance on "Crane Style" is incredible). More than anything, these featured artists and nearly all of Raekwon's performances emphasize the lyrical focus of the record - that isn't to say the production is terrible by any means, only less refined than precursor Only Built for Cuban Linx... pt II.

At times, it is definitely a detractor when your record would fit right in ten years ago. In Raekwon's (and Wu-Tang in general it seems) case, he's found a winning formula by updating production techniques just enough to be contemporary yet maintain RZA's original raw, cinematic feel, while concentrating on the word play at hand. If he can blast out something like Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang in less than a year, expectations for OB4CL pt III are already building. Make sure to cherish "Every Soldier" (certainly one of the best cuts this year) while digging on the unfettered lyrical onslaught throughout.



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user ratings (244)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Bulldog (3)
Raekwon delivers a record that is more Yakuza than mafia, (sonically) less vintage Wu-Tang and more ...

Eno (4.5)
Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang is both a celebration and an innovation; a thrilling synthesis of fresh producti...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ire
March 23rd 2011



41754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best review for this

edit: lol butcheredchildren is so stupid

Enotron
March 24th 2011



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review sob

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
March 24th 2011



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Masters of Our Fate" rules as an album closer ("Wu Chant" aside).

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 24th 2011



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed, my favorite tracks are:

Shaolin vs Wu-Tang (the intro part is so annoying though)
Every Soldier
Snake Pond
Crane Style
Molasses
The Scroll
Masters of our Fate

Masters has a very cinematic feel, really makes you think of RZA. More than anything, Rae makes me think of a less verbose version of DOOM. I think after OB4CL3 (if it doesn't suck which i doubt could even come close to happening) we can go ahead and say raekwon is the best rapper ever.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2011



31097 Comments


Perfect replacement for Radiohead in the BNM section

Digging: Banks - Goddess

cvlts
March 24th 2011



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

liquid swords II gonna have a hard time toppin this

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 24th 2011



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it is honestly difficult to expect liquid swords 2 to be good. the only decent record he's done solo was the original liquid swords, unless you count the collab with dj muggs which was solid.

Hawks
March 24th 2011



35675 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Beneath the Surface was good too.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

bloc
March 24th 2011



34790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beneath the Surface is severely underrated.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

KeithStone582
March 24th 2011



1480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was really disapointed by this album. It got old for me really quick.

cvlts
March 24th 2011



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

true sobhi, but the same thing could have been said for rae and obfcl

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 24th 2011



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah i agree, but raekwon only had 2 solos in between 1 and 2 i think

Masochist
March 24th 2011



8012 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

More than anything, Rae makes me think of a less verbose version of DOOM.


^^^ THIS. A more-important-than-it-should-be reason why Rae is my favorite Wu-Tang member.

Both "Masters Of Our Fate" and "Kiss The Ring" work perfectly closing out their respective albums (and are among my favorite Wu-affiliated track).

AS LONG AS WE HAVE FAITH
AND UNCONQUERABLE WILLPOWER...
SALVATION WILL NOT BE DENIED US!

SALVATION WILL NOT BE DENIED US!

Digging: He Is Legend - Heavy Fruit

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2011



23807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I love sobhi's reviews. nice and short.

also, I don't know why this is relevant but I'm gonna go ahead and agree with Ramy here:

lol butcheredchildren is so stupid [2]

Ire
March 24th 2011



41754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

he posted the first comment but it got deleted

iisblackstar
March 24th 2011



431 Comments


thought i was crazy when i was diggin bustas verse.. glad someone else was feeling it. really great record, i used to find rae's voice a little too boring to rate him up there with ghost as my fav Wu but he just cant be denied, verses are so solid.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2011



23807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice, what did he say
(@ ire)

Ire
March 24th 2011



41754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

he basically said the review was a summary and other typical bc shit.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 24th 2011



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i forgot to note how bad rock n roll is

Enotron
March 24th 2011



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Method Man puts the blunt down long enough to put his rap face on; his verse is verifiable proof that Meth is the perfect complement to the Chef.

loved this



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