Artist: Wu-Block (Wu-Tang Clan & D-Block)
Producers: Fithestate, Vinny Idol, Termanology, Shroom, Red Spyda, others
Groups joining forces to make an album were not common at all. In fact, that has never happened during hip hop history. You would think either egos get in the way or just creative differences would not make it possible to create a supergroup album. That does not stop Shaolin’s finest Wu-Tang Clan from joining forces with Yonkers based D-Block members to form the supergroup “Wu-Block” as Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch they cook up some fire tracks from the their supergroup album “Wu-Block”.
Indeed, if you’re going for lyrical content and storytelling, these groups will keep your mind stimulated. “Crack Spot Stories” by Ghost and Sheek featuring Raekwon and Jadakiss starts off nicely over a smooth 70’s track as they spit their stories visually. “Guns for Life” brings the 90’s essence back as Ghostface and Sheek blends this into a mix of Nas’s “I Give You Power” with Organized Konfusion’s (Pharoahe Monch solo) “Stray Bullet” and 2Pac’s “Me and My Girlfriend”. “Different Time Zones” is one of the favorites as Ghost and Sheek spits their time zone stories nicely while featuring Inspectah Deck whose usually leads off is the last one and spits nicely on his Florida vibe: “Living VIP life I’m ain’t spending clams/I get weight on the spot that’s instagrams…I’m doing my thing, how I'm reppin they salute king, and they don't even know I'm Wu-Tang.". Another favorite track “Drivin Round” featuring GZA, Masta Killa and the soulful songstress Erykah Badu brings a nice mellow track to ease the listener with stories of life that is not always glitz and glamour. Although Ghostface is not on this track and it fits his flow, Sheek and Masta Killah tells their stories from jeep windows while GZA just owned this track by strangling the dope out of it: “These street corners just overcrowded saunas/Biggest losers drop weight, sweating from the trauma,”
The lyrical content brings the feel of the 90’s hip hop that is missing. However, the production is not as strong as expected. A few tracks produced by the RZA, Swizz Beats or Pkilla Tracks would have sealed the deal. The Jon Woo produced “Take Notice” threw dwindled the consistency with an off 90’s gangsta beat and the lyrics didn’t help much while “Pour the Martini” is just plain awful and forgettable. The lack of diverse subject matter didn’t perk the album further as it strictly street stories and slick wordplay.
This album is not a disappointment especially if you’re Wu-Tang and D-Block fans. There are tracks worth listening to while other tracks are so yawn provoking you can press the skip button despite the lyrical content. Despite the different producers, Wu-Block creates good musical chemistry and hopefully there will be another album in the works. Ghost and Sheek gave the fans what they want on this album. If you’re into street storytelling and slick verbal play, this album is for you.
Strong Tracks: “Crack Spot Stories”, “Different Time Zones”, “Guns for Life”, “Drivin Around”
Weak Tracks: “Pour the Martini”, “Take Notice”Rating:out of