This is considered one of the best Wu-Tang solo efforts, and it is the first one I have got (Liquid Swords in the post along with its imminent review). Produced by Wu-Tang ''Abbot'' (never wanting to be known as leader) the RZA. the sparse beats and Ol' Dirty Bastards radical vocal style make this a very entertaining and origional Hip Hop record.
The intro for this record is too long, it features Ol' Dirty Bastard introducing himself as Russel Jones, the now clichéd line of ''never before in the history of rap'' features, which always leads for me to doubt a record. His crack addiction is very prominent on this record, saying alot of things wrong, and generally slurring and stuttering his way through. He begins mock crying and singing aswell, which is mainly confusing, singing for a girl whos pussy he misses. Only really worth listening to every now and again, as the rest of the album is excellent. Good introduction for the first listen, but at almost five minutes, not worth it everytime.
''We have only 35 Chambers, there is no 36''
The instantly recognisable piano loop for Shimmy Shimmy Ya, kicks in after the obligitary Wu-Tang film sample. This track sounds like a missing song from Enter the 36 Chambers, with its sparse and heavy beats, and ODB's erratic vocal rasp grabbing the listeners attention. The line of ''Oh baby I like it raw'' will stick in your head for sure. This song is quite short, but its repetitive beat may have become too annoying if it was longer, a highlight of the album.
Baby C'mon has deeper bass, and distant guitar effects as opposed to the piano loop of single Shimmy Shimmy Ya, the deeper sound draws more attention to Ol' Dirty Basartds vocals, this is the first song on the album to recycle a line from Enter the 36 Chambers, the chant of ''Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang'' will be a treat for any fan of the origional 36 chambers. This is a great showcase of ODB's vocal style, with alot of lines starting as raps and ending up as slurred singing, in a great contrast to the steady bass lines.
The next song Brooklyn Zoo is the best track on the album, another piano loop, this time however, the loop is much more jaunted than on Shimmy Shimmy Ya, and there is more rapping than Shimmy Shimmy Ya also, with some great lines such as, ''I drop science like Cosby droppin' babies, enough to make a nigga go craaazy!'' this is a very aggressive track, with a very heavy and a fast beat, for the Wu-Tang Clan. Although, Ol' Dirty Bastard is not the greatest Hip Hop Lyricist, this is him at his best, and his delivery of his lyrics is whats important to focus on with his work. The song ends with Ol' Dirty Basard samples of ''shame on ya'' reminiscent of Shame on a Nigga from Enter the 36 Chambers.
Another piano loop introduces Hippa To Da Hoppa, which then dissapears to another sparse mixed soul beat. With guitar notes ringing in the background, with occassional electronic organs reminiscent of early New York Hip Hop. Once again this is much more rapping than singing. The piano loop returns to finish off this track. This is another short track, which is even shorter as there is a martial arts skit at the end. This one is mostly memorable for its chorus, this is one of the more relaxed tracks on the album.
The next track features Method Man of Wu-Tang Clan fame, this one starts with ODB's singing after a gloating introduction. Another mixed soul beat (it sounds like it is played backwards) ODB boasts about still being on welfare on this track, a design based on his welfare card adorns the cover of this record. Method Man makes a good effort on this track, although I find the repeated metions of period blood annoying for this track. ODB challenges his own namesake, by claiming that the style isnt new, its something old and dirty.
''The Genooos'' ''The Genius'' '' The Genius!''
The Genius, who is the best traditional rapper from the Wu-Tang clan features on The Stomp, he makes for a very good Yin to ODB's Yang, with his great lyrics combined with ODB's powerful and origional delivery shining on this track. The beat is slow and very raw, almost completely a drum track, with a little ambience low in the mix.
Damage begins with two girls discussing whether ODB is attractive or not, usually this would be a selfish thing for someone to put on thier first solo record, but as the one who does fancy him doesn't seema ble to explain why, he is aware of his unusual charm. This one has an equal measure of ODB's singing and rapping, and singing, this song is mostly about ODB's sexual exploits, usually this theme dominates modern Hip Hop and becomes boring very quickly, but, as usual with the ODB, his frankly odd style. Killah Priest is good on this track too. A more traditional vocal style mixes well with ODB, and his rhymes are effective too, and a keep a rap about an age old subject interesting.
The Stomp is the heaviest track on the record, with a rocksteady beat, which ODB sticks too with great regularity. This is a rap mostly about Brooklyn, and rapping, it is also a great warm up track, its heavy beat and its lyrics calling people to dance. Although the sample of an explosion sounds a little dated and tacky, it does not let this track down.
''remember when you used to go ar-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-rrrrrr''
Goin' Down begins with a sample of ODB making this unusual noise with his mouth, similar to a ribbit, reminiscing on a childhood game. Definately drunk, or possibly on crack, this reminds us of the unhinged nature of the Ol' Dirty Bastard. This track has the traditional Hip Hop theme of youself and how great you are, with crowd shouts and all. A highligh is ODb singing Somewhere over the radio!
The next track has a corny sounding organ and a keyboard sounding beat. This one has mostly singing, ODB is particularly unhinged on this odd love song, definately on crack this time. A good break for the album, although some people may find this one annoying. A breathing effect under some of the vocals is good, alot of the song is ODB making noises, which would probably annoy even more people.
Snakes features, Killa Priest again, along with RZA, Masta Killa and Buddha Monk. All of the rappers on this are good, particularly the Masta Killa and the RZA who are recognisable from the Enter The 36 Chambers record. The beat is a sped up soul beat, this also sounds like a missing Enter The 36 Chambers track, with its multiple rappers, and the killer bees references. The soulful sample vocals make this sound like Tearz.
The next track is not dissimilar to Busta Rhymes, with the time changes in vocals, but this is better than alot of Busta Rhymes work, with ODB's zanier vocal style making this an abrasive and powerful track, with Ghostface Killah also making a very good appearence, his half raspy growly vocals sounding very good with this abrasive track. The end of this track has many random highlight samples from earlier on the record, I havent heard this before, but it works well on an album this long. Then it goes into a live Ad Lib by the ODB, as the beats for the next track come in. It sounds really good with each good rhyme by the ODb ebing applaused by a crowd.
With Protect Ya Neck being one of the highlights of the Enter the 36 Chambers album, this 'sequel' track is a bit dissapointing, as it lacks the urgency of the chorus of Protect Ya neck, this is still a good track however, the beat has a Kung Fu film sampled loop with a deep bass beat. The multiple rappers make this feel like another missing track of the Enter The 36 Chambers. The best part of this track is ODB's zaney ad lib at the end.
Cuttin' Headz with the RZA has the same piano loop from Wu-Tang Killer Bees, the raps are spaced apart a bit too much for my taste, but the RZA is really good, with alot of references the the Wu-Tangs debut aswell as good boasting and gloating. This is a slow and light way to end such a quick and heavy record, and is a bit of a downer, also the fade out lets it down. Should have ended on a high.
The bonus tracks would prbably have been better placed in the middle of the record, and been a proper part of it. Method Man does a good rap on Dirty Dancin' and Harlem World is another slow wind down track, with a great beat.