15 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 2011, with the 20th anniversary of the release of Enter the Wu-Tang only a few years in the offing, few would have the temerity to question the extent of the Wu-Tang Clan’s artistic legacy. While Clan mainstays like Ghostface and Raekwon have both released critically and commercially successful solo albums in the past few years, feuds amongst Clan members have dimmed prospects for the timely release of a new Wu-Tang full-length. While the absence of key Clan members like Masta Killa and Gza effectively prevents Legendary Weapons from being considered a proper follow-up to 2007’s divisive but intriguing 8 Diagrams, it is nonetheless a fine collection of cutting, street tempered hip-hop. This is at least partly due to the bare-bones production work of Fizzy Womack, who brings a healthy dose of the head crushing relentlessness of his work for Brownsville’s infamous street-rap duo M.O.P. to album standouts like the claustrophobic posse cut “Laced Cheeba” and the soul-drenched Ghostface feature “Meteor Hammer.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 2011, with the 20th anniversary of the release of Enter the Wu-Tang only a few years in the offing, few would have the temerity to question the extent of the Wu-Tang Clan’s artistic legacy. While Clan mainstays like Ghostface and Raekwon have both released critically and commercially successful solo albums in the past few years, feuds amongst Clan members have dimmed prospects for the timely release of a new Wu-Tang full-length. While the absence of key Clan members like Masta Killa and Gza effectively prevents Legendary Weapons from being considered a proper follow-up to 2007’s divisive but intriguing 8 Diagrams, it is nonetheless a fine collection of cutting, street tempered hip-hop. This is at least partly due to the bare-bones production work of Fizzy Womack, who brings a healthy dose of the head crushing relentlessness of his work for Brownsville’s infamous street-rap duo M.O.P. to album standouts like the claustrophobic posse cut “Laced Cheeba” and the soul-drenched Ghostface feature “Meteor Hammer.”

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About Wu-Tang

One of the many offshoots of the iconic hip-hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang was a project overseen by WTC mastermind RZA and featuring several of the rappers associated with the group. However, the Wu-Tang releases didn't feature the entire Wu-Tang Clan membership (GZA in particular is usually absent), and they featured stylistic elements that fell outside the boundaries of the group's larger body of work. The first album released under the Wu-Tang banner was 2008's Soundtracks from the Shaolin Temple, a collection that brought together tracks recorded between 2005 and 2008 from several of the Wu-Tang Clan's official members (GZA, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Raekwon) and associates (Bronze Nazareth, Mathematics, DJ Hi-Tek). For 2009's Chamber Music, a number of the key Wu-Tang rappers (including Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, U-God, and RZA) and special guests (Kool G Rap, Sadat X, and Sean Price) were accompanied by a live band, the Revelations, instead of their usual sample-based production. Released in 2011, Legendary Weapons was another album featuring the Revelations, with Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna, U-God, and Inspectah Deck contributing verses for the backing tracks. The Saga Continues arrived in 2017; the album was spearheaded by Wu-Tang Clan associate Mathematics, who produced and co-wrote all 18 tracks, with Method Man, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Killah Priest, Ghostface Killah, RZA, and Cappadonna contributing their vocal talents. The Saga Continues proved to be a commercial success, topping the Independent Albums chart on its first week of release. ~ Mark Deming

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