Meth, Ghost & Rae
It goes without saying that the Wu legacy is (one of) the most storied in all of hip-hop; therefore, the hype escalating since Wu-Massacre was announced earlier in 2009 is well-justified. One may worry that last year’s solo releases from Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon would leave the Wu-Tang members low on content. Thankfully this is not the case, and Wu-Massacre does live up to – and possibly surpass – the hype.
The album opens with a bang as the much-revised “Criminology 2.5” (originally set for the Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2 tracklist) sees the rappers delivering fiery bars set deep within the underbelly of the New York streets. And they don’t let up. Embodying their hardcore tag, the trio balances braggadocio, noir-ish storytelling, and witty punchlines with ease, while each of the three personas complement one another.
The production is sample-heavy and not out to push musical boundaries, but it fits seamlessly within the theme of the album. Fans of The ARE will likely recognize the RZA-produced “Our Dreams,” which has the three emcees rhyming about their romantic ideals over an irresistible Michael Jackson sample. Much of the rest of Wu-Massacre uses powerful horns to propel the high-energy lyrical deliveries, giving the entire album a continuity. The centerpiece “Dangerous” is just that – a pure lyrical assault that serves to remind the world that “Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing to f*** with.”
Whereas past Wu albums have been scorned for their filler, Meth, Ghost and Rae leave plenty on the chopping block this time around, only allowing the best of the best to make the cut on Wu-Massacre. Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, Wu-Massacre is a delight with not a wasted minute. Even the two skits (one featuring the hilarious Tracy Morgan) add to the construction of the album. By the time the closing “Break Breaka (It’s That Wu Shit)” and the bonus “Made Men” roll around, it is evident that all three emcees still have what it takes to defend their position atop the hip-hop hierarchy.