Legend of the Liquid Sword
God, it’s hard to believe that it’s been almost nine years since Rza first dropped his M-E-T-H-O-D with 36 Chambers and spun the hip-hop crowd on its head with his post-apocalyptic atmospherics and earth-shattering beats — making names like Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Ghostface Killah, and Gza cultural mainstays. It’s harder to believe that after all these years and way too many albums, the Wu sound has anything left to offer.
However, with this, Gza’s fifth album, you realize that the Wu factory keeps spitting out product as though they’re run by Henry Ford. Unlike Detroit, though, it doesn’t seem as though anybody’s coming up from behind to bite them on the ass with a better product. Yes, you know the formula, and, even without Rza’s production, Legend of the Liquid Sword keeps true to his vision. And, yes, Gza still laces the hard-hitting beats with those metaphorical esoterica that leaves you scratching your head and wanting to smoke what he’s toking. And, you guessed it, some of the usual suspects make cameos (Ghostface Killah, Rza, Masta Killa, and Inspectah Deck). So, yeah, not much has changed since he first dropped Words from the Genius, and it’s easy to accuse damn near all of the Wu Tang Clan of stasis. However, their schtick still works. It lacks some of the energy and urgency that used to bang out of their discs back in the mid-’90s. But what assembly line worker moves like s/he used to nine years after their first paycheck?
MCA Records: http://www.mcarecords.com/