Let’s face it: there will never be another Wu-Tang Clan. The legacy, impact and influence the populous collective from Staten Island have engraved in the culture’s skin has hardened and scabbed over, leaving an eternal brand. If you trace along the lines of the “W” tattoo, the rich history of the Clan tells many tales. Like any movement, there were triumphs and tragedies and the in-between that saw several of the members become less than relevant. But ask any loyal enthusiast and they will cite a core group that has allowed the iron flag to remain cemented in its proper mast.
Arguably the most consistent, Ghostface Killah repeatedly puts out impressive albums as well helping any Clansman win over new fans as well. As the group’s most recognizable figure, Method Man remains a Hollywood personality and adds color to everything associated with WTC. And the latest Shaolin martyr, Raekwon, lit a fire underneath unsuspecting asses when his all-but-forgotten OB4CL2 defied everyone’s expectations and had “Wu-Tang chants” being resonated across the globe. On paper, an album featuring the pivotal trio reads yet another classic LP to spew out of the 36 Chambers. But, such isn’t quite the case with Wu-Massacre. In all actuality, it’s a downright disappointment.
Probably the most disheartening aspect of the Meth, Ghost, Rae album is that it actually isn’t one. In a recent interview, Method Man admitted to the project being rushed. But no formal announcement was needed–the proof is the pudding. The album kicks off with an updated, yet brief version of “Criminology” without the song’s original master to stir the pot. Rae goes missing again on the lukewarm finale “That Wu Shit” which is merely Ghostface rambling in his absence over a low-fi clusterfuck of boom-bap even Rakim wouldn’t kick flimsy rhymes to. No song on Wu-Massacre comes close to matching the vibe and euphoria heard on “New Wu” (the track that obviously put the project in motion) as producers such as Digem Trax and Scram Jones submit forgettable fluff. “Miranda” is no “Camay” by any stretch of thought as the 33 percenters blurb randomness over a Puerto Rican broad in a story that ultimately serves no purpose.
Of course Meth, Ghost & Rae mailing in verses makes opposition wish they could lick the stamps halfway as nice. The album’s soulful intermission found on “Our Dreams” sprinkles a little Wu-magic as RZA flips an obscure Michael Jackson sample to reveal why the trio have flows of gold. And campfires with Ghostface are never without entertainment as he gives one his infamous fables on “Pimpin’ Chip”–complete with cut scenes of Ray Charles getting his life force spit out on Cadillac seats. Moments like this fall few and far between on a LP which features two skits on an already-skimpy tracklist, though. Maybe “rushed” was an understatement. Wu-Massacre was probably Fed-Exed overnight.
By no means is this side venture’s unsatisfactory nature inclination that the Wu won’t have poisonous darts shooting from their chamber in the near future. But when the ball is fumbled on a project that should have been an easy score, the title Wu-Massacre takes on a completely different meaning in its entirety. And not for the better.