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Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture, Vol. 2: Enter the Dubstep

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Album Review

Four years after Dreddy Kruger's first Think Differently compilation paired original Wu-Tang members and clan affiliates with an assortment of independent MCs (a pairing that wasn't much of a stretch), Vol. 2 aims to introduce the wide Wu-Tang fan base to another musical subgenre: dubstep — a murky blend of drum'n'bass and deep house with a dub reggae twist. By utilizing an assortment of existing verses from the Wu and company (including a bunch from the first comp), a plethora of U.K. DJ/producers have crafted 19 hybrid tracks. The dubstep/hip-hop marriage seems to work best when the beats take a lower-key approach to sonic hypnosis and a few producers like Scuba Scythe and Chimpo hit the mark nicely, with the former reworking the original song's sample to extraordinary results. However, the experiment stumbles a bit when the beatwork reaches such high levels of furious industrial energy that the rhymes come off as irrelevant. Still, Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture, Vol. 2 is basically a production showcase with the vocals working like just another tool to be used as the producers see fit. Many of them (like Rogue Star, Matt U, Trillbass, and Evol Intent) chose to simply lift the rhymes and hooks verbatim from tracks off of recent Wu LPs such as Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2, U-God's Dopium, and GZA's Pro Tools and create straightforward techno-fied remixes while others (like Parson and Hellfire Machina) use bits and pieces of rhymes to flesh out new, more complex sonic landscapes. Enter the Dubstep is definitely not for hip-hop purists, but should have plenty of appeal for those excited about the possibilities of expanding and adapting the genre.


Formed: 1992 in Staten Island, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Emerging in 1993, when Dr. Dre's G-funk had overtaken the hip-hop world, the Staten Island, New York-based Wu-Tang Clan proved to be the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-'90s -- and only partially because of their music. Turning the standard concept of a hip-hop crew inside out, the Wu-Tang Clan were assembled as a loose congregation of nine MCs, almost as a support group. Instead of releasing one album after another, the Clan were designed to overtake the record industry in as profitable...
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