Inspectah Deck – “Uncontrolled Substance” review

Inspectah Deck has always been arguably the most underrated member of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan. He’s always given us some of the best verses on group albums & even solo albums but he never really gets his proper dues. His solo debut right here was originally scheduled to be released in ’95 & it was to be entirely produced by the Wu’s de facto leader RZA (a formula that was used for all Wu solo albums from Tical up until Ironman), but a flood in RZA’s basement destroyed all of the beats made for this album & it wouldn’t see the light of day for 4 years. With the finished product over here, RZA only produces 2 tracks & leaves the rest up to those such as True Master, 4th Disciple, Mathematics, Pete Rock & even Inspectah Deck himself. And it works for the most part, but there are a couple of moments where they lack like on the track Show N Prove which features a good message in the lyrics but a really boring beat. However there are some moments where they completely match Deck’s flawless pen game/delivery like on the tracks Movas & Shakers, Elevation (the beat on this track would be later reused by fellow group member Ghostface Killah for his classic 2nd album Supreme Clientele the following year), Trouble Man & Friction. Even though I thought this was a very strong but underrated solo debut overall, I still wonder what it would’ve been like if RZA had more input & if there were more guest verses from fellow Wu members such as Ghostface or GZA or even Ol’ Dirty. Chances are, it would’ve been as good as some the earliest more acclaimed solo efforts that came out back in the Mid-90’s. Better than nothing, though. Hopefully, the upcoming follow-up to this album (which is said to be 2/3 produced by RZA) will be just as good or even better

Score: 4/5

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