Review: Wu Massacre

Don't call it a comeback: the Wu never really went away. Regardless of demand, members of the legendary rap outfit have been consitently releasing music since their classic debut in 1993. Ever since last year, when Raekwon released the much celebrated follow up to his classic Only Built for Cuban Linx (the cleverly titled Only Built for Cuban Linx II) it signaled a sort of rebirth for the group, and subsequent releases by individual Wu-tang members would seem to suggest that we are in the midst of some sort of a "Wu renaissance". Makes sense then that the three 'lead' members of the group, Raekwon, Ghostface, and Method Man are striking while the iron is hot by repackaging themselves as a super-group called Wu Massacre.

With Meth, Ghostface, and Raekwon doing an album together, expectations are understandably high. Wu massacre unfotunatley falls a bit short, mainly due to some of the production. The album seems rushed, and even with it's short length, plauged with filler. The other issue is that it seems obvious that the wu knows the formula for success and sticks to it so arduosly here.

One of the many instances of them going back to well is the album opener "Criminology pt. 2.5" in which the sample a different break from the same Black Ivory song as the original. It's a strong opener but nothing amazing. "Our Dreams" which features Alicia Keys along with its echoing guitar wahs and wind chimes just sounds hollow and sentimental. It slyly recalls Ghost's classic "All that I got is You" and seems to exist just so they can check "Jackson 5" off their list of tropes to trot out once more.

Wu massacre even includes a couple skits that it could have done without. "Ya mom's' in which Method Man and Raekwon play the dozens, follows Meth vs. Chef pat 2 (yet another sequel). Tracy Morgan, (or is it Chico Divine?) implores to a woman to start turning tricks for money on "How to Pay Rent." It might be worth a few listens if the skit were actually funny.

While it is nice to hear new material from these three, and make no mistake,the punch lines are still there, Wu Massacre just seems to exist to keep interest up in the group while sleepily rehashing what has made them popular over 15 years. The lack of change will no doubt be pleasing to some, however it's also clear that these guys are just going through the motions. At this point in their career, Wu Tang has proven that they still have some suprising tricks up their sleeve. You just won't find them here.

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