Wu-Tang Clan – “Iron Flag” review

After starting off the millennium fantastically with their 3rd group album The W as well as group member Ghostface Killah’s sophomore effort Supreme Clientele, the almighty Wu-Tang Clan are surprisingly giving us their 4th full-length album just a year after both albums but they’re giving it to us without the Ol’ Dirty Bastard & the only Cappadonna appearance is on the bridge of the hidden track “The Glock”, which starts right after the title track. The album starts off with the Streetlife featured “In the Hood”, which was a fantastic way to start off the album because the deliveries were hard & the horns throughout sound triumphant as Hell. It’s like they’re letting us know that they’re back & in full effect. While the 2 on da Road featured “Chrome Wheels” is solid, it sonically sounds like a dated outtake from the RZA’s underrated solo debut Bobby Digital in Stereo. The Abbot himself even calls himself “Bob Digi” at the beginning of the track. The track “Soul Power (Black Jungle)” has a decent beat & solid verses, but having Public Enemy hype man Flavor Flav on the hook blatantly tells us how desperate RZA was to get an ODB type presence on the album. The album’s lead single “Uzi (Pinky Ring)” gets everyone together over a beat I can imagine hearing in a blaxploitation film. The track “Y’all Been Warned” is some vintage hardcore Wu shit True Master’s production to the group’s lyrics. The track “Babies” features a chilling beat, beautiful saxophone playing & amazing storytelling from Ghost, Raekwon & the GZA (although Ghost has the best verse on the entire track hands down while the GZA’s verse is right behind it). The album officially closes out with the grimy Inspectah Deck/GZA duet “Dashing (Reasons)” & Deck’s technicality on here is absolutely mind blowing. However, there’s a bonus track called “The W” that comes shortly after. The bonus track’s name is the exact same as the group’s previous album & you can RZA repeating what would be the hook over what would become the best for this track just a little bit during the skit near the end of Do You Really “(Thang, Thang)” off the group’s previous album. Honestly, this extended version’s one of my favorite Clan songs of all-time. The beat sounds purely evil & everyone on this track sounds pissed as Hell. I know a lot of people that hate this album & while it does have it flaws, it’s not a bad album at all. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to be your introduction to the group

Score: 3.5/5

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