Rza recently told the New York Times he feels there’s one more thing the Wu needs to do to cap off their legacy: create a final album. Though the squabbles surrounding 8 Diagrams left a sour taste with fans and group members alike, the stars just might be aligned right for a worthy final entry into the group’s discography. Here’s five reasons why.
should will be at the helm
Everybody, including the clansmen themselves, agree the first wave of the Wu albums is their best work. From debut album Enter The Wu-Tang, the entire first wave of solo albums up to the group’s double album Wu-Tang Forever, are widely considered classics. Every single one of them. The major difference between that first wave and the subsequent albums? Rza lost the “dictatorship” his fellows had granted him during the first five years. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been good and even great albums in the following years, in fact, there have been plenty, but there have been slight disappointments and even duds as well, discontinuing their perfect winning streak and exposing the first cracks in the armor.
It’s perfectly understandable that there are various opinions within a crew, and everybody wants to express those. You could even argue that if an artist wants to grow at all he or she needs to find his personal voice first. Raekwon pretty much succesfully based the concept of his Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang album on various people from the same background not seeing eye to eye and developing in specific, differing ways. But seeing how he, and other parts of the clan, have now gotten that out of their system (to varying degrees of succes), it’s time to turn to the abbott’s direction for their final foray again, if only to make affairs come full circle.
4. We’re back in a crew-driven era of rap
The return of the crew dynamic in modern hip-hop and how it differs from a more corporate-driven form is something already written about extensively on TRU, and in the wake of its fairly recent comeback, could it be any more fitting than to have the crew that perfected that approach show the young’ns that they haven’t forgotten how to utilize it, one more time?
3. Several key players are already on board
Ghostface seems to agree with Rza’s edict and claims to have been recording new material under his guidance for the rumored final album already. Raekwon, in an interview with Global Grind sounded fairly pessisimistic about the chances of it succeeding, but confirmed he was definitely down for it too happen:
“Everybody’s so nonchalant about shit, like they don’t know if it’s gonna happen, and for me, I don’t respect that, because it should happen. And it should happen in a way where it could help us from all the shit that we done been through with one another. We made a lot of money, of course. You know what I mean. And we lost a lot of money. It kinda put certain cats in situations where, you know, this can help you right now. At the end of the day, it could help all of us. But it could help the ones that really need to be helped in a greater way. And it could put us back where we need to be financially, back in the game as one of the iconic groups in the game. But it takes a lot of loyalty, it takes a lot of love, and it takes a lot of respect.”
Meth is always on board for crew efforts and has probably never let one of his brothers hanging for a contribution to a Wu album, be it a solo or a group project. Everybody dropped by for the The Man With The Iron Fists soundtrack and Rza already sent out the call for a reunion in 2013:
“Next year, November 2013 – I’m going back from 1993 to 2013, that’s our 20-year anniversary, so I told the brothers we should definitely come together and maybe do something to close the book. So we’ve been building about it. If life permits and the energy is proper maybe next year on the same date or the same time we put out 36 Chambers we’ll put out a final chapter of recorded music.”
Who in their right mind is gonna argue with that?
2. The Man With The Iron Fists soundtrack proves it can be done
With that legendary first string of Wu albums, Rza envisioned a movie playing out along with the album during production. Arguably the two greatest Wu solos, Raekwon’sOnly Built 4 Cuban Linx and Gza’s Liquid Swords have many movie samples. The first primarily samples from John Woo’s The Killer and the second from the 1980 adaptation of Kazuo Koike’s classic Lone Wolf and Cub manga Shogun Assassin. Though everybody had creative freedom in the writing of their verses, Rza sequenced the album and made the beats in accordance with the mood of the scenes of the movie playing in his head. The Man With The Iron Fists is not only the closest thing we’ve had to a Wu group album in years, it also utilizes that very same structure to great effect, with the notable exception that this time, there actually is a movie to go along with it outside of Rza’s mind as well.
1. Wu-Tang is forever
“I don’t know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children. You know what I mean? Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best, Okay?”