By: Wesley Reno, Entertainment Writer
Hip hop legends Wu-Tang Clan are regarded by many fans to have released some of the best music in the genre’s history. The 1993 release, Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, finds itself in my top 5 hip hop albums of all time, and it is without a doubt one of the most influential rap projects ever released. Alongside A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang founded the essential New York hip hop sound.
It has been 24 years since the release of their magnum opus, and the projects that followed it have not delivered the same punch. On October 13, 2017, the group released their latest studio album, The Saga Continues.
This project is definitely far from excellent. There are a few tracks on it that are hard hitting and interesting, but most of the record feels mellow and is not enthralling.
My favorite track of the record is “People Say.” This song includes most of the original members of the group and draws heavily from their famous sound. The production by Mathematics complements the chaotic, “everyone jump in and spit a verse,” layout of the track. Method Man, Raekwon, Redman, Inspectah Deck, and Masta Killa all deliver verses like they did on Enter The Wu-Tang, and it is the largest burst of nostalgia on the record.
Another track that I enjoyed was “Lesson Learn’d.” This song follows the style that most of the album does; it is more mellow and clean than previous Wu-Tang releases. The lyricism and style of this track show growth and change from the original Wu-Tang style. The only thing that I don’t enjoy about this track is the slightly annoying hook. All of the verses, however, are enthralling and entertaining.
The third track that I really like was “Hood Go Bang!” The problem with this song, however, is that the hook is incredibly repetitive and annoying, and the song is only one verse long. This track is one of the most aggressive, energetic points of the album. It is exciting to listen to, and it captivates my attention. I don’t know why Method Man is the only member to have a verse on it. There are a lot of extended, mellow tracks on this album, but I think a lot of focus could have been placed on this one.
The organization of the album is impeccably bad. There is an extremely comical point where the group transitions from a very explicit, sexy song to a meaningful speech delivered by black activist, Kabe Hiawatha Kamene. There are interlude skits between most songs, and they don’t really improve the listening experience. The end of the album is abrupt and corny. It feels like the group had a message they wanted to deliver, but just had fun writing braggadocious bars and ran out of time to add depth.
The artists of Wu-Tang are incredibly talented, and this project has a lot of potential. It just doesn’t seem to go anywhere and leaves me disappointed.