Masta Killa is one of the most-overlooked members of the Wu-Tang, one of the three who haven’t achieved the superstar success of the other six (along with U-God and Inspectah Deck). In Killa’s case I’m assuming it’s cuz he never released an album until this year, with No Said Date.
1) Born Chamber
An intro using a clip from an old kung-fu movie to detail the splitting of the Wu.
2) Grab the Microphone
Over a sicc beat (by “Brock”), that involves a hard drum and a cool horn, Masta spits some dopeness wit a laid-back flow that goes seamlessly into the catchy hook. (Excellent)
3) No Said Date
Over a fast, anxious, actiony RZA beat, Killa spits the typical Wu-style sick and slightly detatched lyrics that have you figure what he’s talking about but which give sick imagery. The track is about the release of his much-anticipated album, and hopes for success. (Great)
4) Last Drink
The beat, by Mathematics, is pretty good; it’s got a kung-fu-movie-duel type of flavor to it. Masta spits good, but not his best, and not the flame that’s on the previous tracks. (Good)
5) Love Spell
The beat is bouncy, simple with a guitar chord and a bumpin drum; Killa spit’s a vivid story about a chick. (Good)
6) The Future (Skit)
Has a bunch of young kids freestylin hardcore gangsta lyrics. Kinda disturbin.
7) DTD ft. Raekwon, Ghost Face Killer
Another Mathematics beat, this one’s kinda mesmerizing, with hard kicks and a drawling horn, a “different”-style club banger. Raekwon comes on first with a pretty nice verse, starts slow but gets better later on. Killa’s verse is next, it’s pretty good but nothin special compared to Kwon’s. Ghost’s verse is last, almost as good as Rae’s and better than Masta’s. (Good)
8) Whatever ft. Streetlife, Prodigal Sunn
Okay…time to endure the Wu-Affiliates. This beat is odd, doesn’t seem to fit–it’s like an Old West saloon tune. The first rapper’s (Streetlife?) verse is aight, nothin special; the second (Prodigal Sunn?) is a bit better but Masta Killa’s is sub-par. (Poor)
9) Secret Rivals ft. Killah Priest, Method Man
Over a more traditional Wu beat (ironically produced by True Master, not RZA) which has a head-bobbing drum shuffle and a sporadic piano, Priest and Meth spit some siccness; Masta follows with a pretty good verse. (Good)
A clip from an old kung-fu movie.
11) Digi Warfare
A great, futuristic beat with echoes and a crazy snare an shit. Too bad, what Killa spits here is nothin special. (Decent)
12) Old Man ft. ODB, RZA
The best way to describe this beat is “unfortunate,” especially for a RZA joint. It’s bouncy and unnecessary, and I’m really not feelin it. Killa’s verse is pretty nice, but RZA’s is lacking. (Poor)
Better. Disjointed piano chords play over an echoey, shuffly drum track. Killa spits pretty nice shit, a track for the ladies. (Good)
14) School ft. RZA
The beat here is more like what made RZA famous. It’s kinda eerie with a slow drum track, until RZA’s verse, when it becomes faster, consisting of a drum, a bass and an annoying…thing…in the background. (Decent)
15) Silverbacks ft. Inspectah Deck, GZA
Beat: various accoustic riffs aligned chaotically over a soft snare. All verses are good, but GZA’s verse is the only one that stands out. (Good)
16) Masta Killa
This unique, old-Japanese-molded beat courtesy of Baby Dooks brings Masta to life. His flow picks up, and his lyrics are pretty nice shit. (Great)
My Rating: 3.5/5
A solid Wu release by recent standards, unfortunately pale compared to their older shit. Masta Killa’s flow can get unbelievably boring, especially when the whole album seems lazily done, like each member was distracted with other shit–typical of the Wu nowdays. RZA’s production, on the few tracks he does do, lacks the fire of older releases like Cuban Linx and Liquid Swords, and the collage of styles leave the album a thrown-together, disconnected feel. Combine all that with Masta Killa’s (pretty much most of the Wu’s) style of vague, jump-around topics and the album is hard to get into and really listen to.
My Recommendation: Buy or burn, whichever you like, but don’t expect too much–the Wu’s not what it once was.