Tag Archives: U-God

New Joint – U-God

U-God ft. Inspectah Deck, Raekwon & Jackpot Scotty Wotty – “Epicenter” (@UGodOfWuTang / 2018)

Produced by DJ Green Lantern.

New Joint – U-God

U-God – “Fame” (Soul Temple Music / 2013)

Leaf Dog-produced track from the Wu-Tang member’s new album “The Keynote Speaker”.

New Joint – U-God

U-God – “Skyscraper” (Soul Temple Music / 2013)

Taken from the Wu-Tang member’s new solo album “The Keynote Speaker”.

The Keynote Speaker Album Sampler – U-God

u-god cover

Original Wu-Tang swordsman U-God is preparing to drop a new solo album in July featuring Method Man, The GZA, Kool Keith and more – listen to the sampler here.

Album Review – RML & Kount Fif Present…

RML & Kount Fif Present…

“The Swashbuckler Volume 1: The Viking Wars”

(Man Bites Dog Records)

To say the 90s were an incredible time in Hip-Hop is something of an understatement. With production techniques and lyrical styles becoming elevated to new levels of musical perfection, East Coast classics such as Nas’ “Illmatic”, Wu-Tang’s “Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” and Tribe’s “Midnight Maruaders” left an indelible mark on the culture and influenced an entire generation of Hip-Hop junkies, some of whom would go on to make their own contributions to the rap game in subsequent years.

With that in mind, this lengthy compilation project from the Man Bites Dog label is part homage to those boom-bap Hip-Hop heroes of yesteryear and part proof that there are still current artists today who’re able to channel those 90s influences into quality music in 2012.

Largely-produced by DMV music man Kount Fif (whose credits include Vast Aire and  Killah Priest), with further input from Bronze Nazareth, Melodious Monk and Brinknam, “The Swashbuckler” is an unapologetically hardcore collection of raw, stripped down beats tailor-made for the long list of featured emcees who each take their opportunity to shine, harking back to a time when lyricists literally lived for the moment to get behind a mic and unleash verses painstakingly crafted to ensure they snatched their props from anyone listening.

The opening “Early 90’s” perfectly sets the tone for the remainder of the project, featuring Rotten Apple residents Double A.B., Karniege and Torae revisiting some snapshot memories over a booming, Timberland-stomping beat, with references made to playing Nintendo, running wild on subway trains, chain-snatching and tagging-up their respective neighbourhoods.

On paper, the pairing of missing-in-action emcee Nine and West Coast wordsmith Planet Asia on the string-heavy “Year Of The Hustle” may seem an odd combination, but like many of the not-so-obvious collabos included here, the mix of the NY vet’s gruff delivery and Asia’s nimble wordplay works well. Such is also the case with the lumbering, ominous “The Crusaders”, which finds Wu affiliate Killah Priest dropping heavy-mental imagery in his usual deadpan style over dramatic fanfare blasts, whilst upcoming lyricist Empuls effectively counters Priest’s low-key flow with an agitated delivery that ensures he stands-out against the Sunz Of Man member.

Elsewhere, Boston’s Akrobatik spits positivity over solid beats in his typically authoritative, forthright manner on “Out Of The Darkness…”, whilst “Arkansas Toothpick” is a sparse, atmospheric posse cut featuring Copywrite, Outerspace’s Planetary, Jason Rose and Strong Island mic fiend Roc Marciano each displaying top-notch penmanship with intricate verses that will have lyric-lovers reaching for rewind.

For pure nostalgia reasons, Heltah Skeltah’s rumbling, bass-heavy “Never Ending” also deserves a mention, with the Brooklyn duo once again showing the chemistry that made them such firm fan favourites when they debuted in the mid-90s, dropping rugged-yet-amusing punchlines in abundance (“S**t’s wack like wearing new Nikes out in the rain…”).

At seventeen tracks deep, there are a few cuts here that could have been left in the studio, but worthwhile appearances from the likes of Inspectah Deck, Royce Da 5’9, U-God and Vast Aire ensure dull musical moments are kept to a minimum.

Leaning on Hip-Hop’s past glories as a creative crutch because you have little to offer in the present day is something that’s caught a few artists out over the years, but as evidenced by the majority of the beats and rhymes contained on “The Swashbuckler”, when handled by talented individuals, paying homage to rap’s Golden Era can still be a worthwhile exercise.

Ryan Proctor

Double A.B., Karniege & Torae – “Early 90’s” (Man Bites Dog Records / 2012)

Clan In Da Front – Method Man / U-God / Masta Killa

Meth, U-God and Masta Killa freestyle with Tim Westwood.

Reunited – Wu-Tang Clan

Aside from some notable absences (Method Man? RZA? Ghostface?) the majority of the Wu go on record with their support for Raekwon’s forthcoming “Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang” project.

International Chamber – Wu-Tang Clan

1994 German TV interview with Masta Killa, U-God and Inspectah Deck of the mighty Wu-Tang Clan.

Duel Of The Iron Mic – Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang freestyle session from a 1994 appearance on Radio One in the UK.

Live Review – Wu-Tang Clan

WU-TANG CLAN LIVE: WEDNESDAY 16.07.08: SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON

 

After over fifteen years of performing together, it seems Staten Island’s mighty Wu-Tang Clan still cannot get to the stage on time. As the crew’s scheduled arrival of 9pm rolled by, the warm-up DJ’s steady assurances that “Wu-Tang will be on shortly” soon started to sound hollow. By the time it reached 10pm the London crowd’s previously hearty chants of “Wu-Tang! Wu-Tang!” had given way to scattered boos, whilst said DJ’s selection of party-rocking cuts from the likes of Snoop, KRS-One and Onyx was quickly losing its entertainment value. But just as things looked like they could go seriously wrong, Wu’s DJ took his place behind the turntables, a bespectacled RZA sauntered into view followed by various crew members, and an explosive rendition of ‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit’ immediately transformed the previously restless audience into a sea of hand-waving Shaolin soldiers.

Initially there seemed to be some confusion amongst the members of the Clan who had managed to reach the stage, which included Inspectah Deck, a temporarily mic-less GZA and Raekwon. But where were U-God and Ghostface? Method Man obviously wanted to know the whereabouts of his Wu brothers as well if his shouts of “Where the f**k ni**as at?” were anything to go by. To begin with it seemed as if Meth’s constant walking on and off to find the missing Clansmen was pure pantomime until he forcibly kicked the side of the stage before being taken aside by RZA who, with one arm draped around the lanky rapper’s shoulder, appeared to offer some calming words to the Ticallion Stallion. Soon after, U-God and an unusually low-key Toney Starks made their entrance and slipped straight into position as the crew proceeded to rip through a steady stream of classic hip-hop moments (with Method Man’s right-hand homie Street Life also present to offer some assistance).

Choosing to focus mainly on their earlier material, the Clan rocked first album highlights such as ‘Bring Da Ruckus’ and ‘Protect Ya Neck’, whilst peppering their set with solo project joints like Method Man’s ‘Bring The Pain’, GZA’s ‘Duel Of The Iron Mic’ and Rae’s eye-candy anthem ‘Ice Cream’. Performing such timeless cuts not only took the crowd down memory lane, but also seemed to remind Wu themselves of their humble origins, with each member attacking their verses with fervour as if they were once again new artists attempting to convert non-believers.

Perhaps it was the apparent tensions between the crew at the beginning of the show, or the rough-and-ready way in which the Clan blasted through their playlist, but there was an unpredictable vibe in the air that gave the performance a definite sense of energy. Whilst some longstanding artists often seem as though they’re just going through the motions onstage, this felt like a rowdy free-for all, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

With most of the crew keeping audience interaction to a relative minimum, it was Method Man who took it upon himself to ensure the crowd was entertained beyond the music. His constant stage-diving and crowd-surfing seemed to take the weed-loving wordsmith a step closer to a broken leg every time he launched himself off the stage, but it had the desired effect on those close enough to play a part in hoisting Meth in the air as he continued to rhyme. It was also Johnny Blaze who led the audience in the night’s obligatory tribute to Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

An hour or so after the Clan hit the stage, it was all over. Although some concertgoers no doubt felt the crew could have done more if not for their late arrival, at the end of the day, what we’d seen was one of hip-hop’s greatest groups giving lively performances of some of hip-hop’s greatest songs. Moreover, whilst talk might be in the air nowadays of Wu-Tang’s relevance to the average rap consumer, it seems the Clan will always have a home on the stage and a solid base of loyal fans that will pay to see them.

Ryan Proctor

ODB R.I.P. – Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang pay tribute to Ol’ Dirty Bastard in London earlier this week.

True Master – The RZA

The RZA stopped by LA’s Power 106 this week to talk about all things Wu on Jeff Garcia’s Old Skool Show.

Part One

Part Two

New Joint – Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan – “Take It Back” ( SRC / 2007 )

New video clip for arguably the best track from last year’s “8 Diagrams” – although Hip-Hop conspiracy theorists will no doubt see the use of existing performance footage instead of newly shot material as further proof that all is not well in the Wu camp.

Wu-Tang Bad Boy – Raekwon / P. Diddy

Puffy appearing onstage at the Clan’s Hammerstein Ballroom NYC gig this past Thursday.

Perhaps Raekwon is hoping Bad Boy might put out his delayed “Cuban Linx 2” project now that Aftermath have dropped the ball??!!

Shaolin Style – Wu-Tang Clan

Footage from the Clan’s  “8 Diagrams” show in Chicago last weekend. 

“Triumph”

“Ice Cream”

“It’s Yourz”

“Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit”