The first rumours that preluded the release of this long-awaited reunion record, were doubtful. Raekwon and RZA were on bad speaking terms (Rae had a point about the unconvincing ‘Reunion’ single, though), ODB would make a posthumous comeback (Oh no, not another artificial resurrection), and the record would be titled ‘A Better Tomorrow’ (not exactly ‘Ain’t Nuthin Ta Fuck Wit’).
But how could we have doubted the Staten Island wonder formation? Wu-Tang Clan is the most talented flock of rappers since decades. All Wu members excellent in their craft. Each member’s style is still unique till this day. ‘I’m hot as hell’s kitchen with the oven on’. And RZA remains a producing genius that has lost little to none of his prodigy.
Perhaps we already condemned this record before its release. Perhaps it’s that feeling of melancholia for the early nineties, for their first album, which is amazing but amplified in status by so many surrounding memories from our salad days, that messed up our expectations. Or as it goes on this record: ‘I think that necklace is causing you too much trouble’. Heavy is the crown for the kings of rap, but they still wear it with proud.
‘A Better Tomorrow’ is a great record. Why?
The disappointing ‘Reunion’ single we talked about earlier, is banned to the end of the record. Thus makes room for tracks that do bang. From the crew anthem, the eclectic ‘Ruckus In B Minor’ to ‘Ron O’Neal’, a break fest with a Method Man who sounds as ‘tical’ as 20 years ago.
Yup, Ol Dirty Bastard is on the record. But rather than tweaking his old rhymes into new songs, ODB is honoured with samples that come out great as interludes.
And the title? Well, the title track ‘A Better Tomorrow’ is strawberry. But the burlesque, opera-like influences, like on ‘Miracle’, amazingly work. The introduction of ‘Miracle’ reminded us of ‘The Sound Of Music’, but the first bars by Inspectah Deck and the way in which the piano’s and the strings are tight fit around the drums, is a new Wu style that works well. Which makes that not only the Wu members stay strong but their music still remains relevant and influential.
POSTED ON 01|21|2015 by cpf