Wu-Tang Clan – “The W” review

With 2 masterpieces already under their belts, the almighty Wu-Tang Clan are finally giving us the first group album of the millennium & their de facto leader RZA is producing it in it’s entirety with the exception of Wu-Elements member Mathematics producing “Do You Really (Thang, Thang)” as well as the hidden track at the very end “Clap”. But unlike the group’s first 2 albums together, there are some high profile guest verses on here like Nas on “Let My Niggas Live” or Redman on “Redbull”. While I have heard some people complain about it, it actually doesn’t bother me. Matter of fact, I think it’s cool that RZA got some non-Wu-Tang affiliated spitters on here because I think it was to try something different on their group albums rather than “selling out”. As for the actual music on here, it’s just as hardcore as ever from the vintage rugged Kung-Fu film sample production to the aggressive street verses. Highlights include the eerie “Careful (Click, Click)”, the mellow “Hollow Bones”, the Snoop Dogg featured “Conditioner” which would unfortunately be the only track on the album to feature Ol’ Dirty Bastard as well as the very last time we’d ever actually hear him on a Wu-Tang group album, the official “Protect Ya Neck” sequel “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)” although we hear Masta Killa & Cappadonna are both filling in for Dirt, the previously mentioned “Let My Niggas Live” & “Redbull”, the emotionally executed “I Can’t Go to Sleep” which intensely samples “Walk On By” by Isaac Hayes who actually sings the hook on here, the album’s lead single “Gravel Pit” which makes me wanna throw a party every time I hear it & the spiritual “Jah World”. As a full album, it’s not as good as Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) or Wu-Tang Forever but I personally consider this to be the last great Wu-Tang group album to date as the following group albums would see RZA experimenting with his production. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, but I think we’ve been so accustomed to the vintage Wu production as heard on here as well as their earlier material group wise and solo wise that the Clan’s next 3 group albums would receive mixed reactions from fans

Score: 4/5

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