Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by Walter George, Jr
I had been hearing rumors about a Wu-Tang/D-Block collaboration album for a bit, but I wasn’t entirely sure if it would actually happen, considering some other collaborations involving a certain Wu-Tang member and a certain villian.I’ve actually been listening to a bunch of shit lately, but I feel like a lot of the shit I’ve heard this season has been REALLY emotional and on some cuffing season shit (Budden’s release and Fabolous’ release come to mind). I’m not really feeling that right now, despite life changes and the season, so I was hyped to hear that the Wu-Block project was actually going to see the light of day. Apparently it came out this week, so of course I copped that shit!
Let me start with this…Wu-Block isn’t Wu-Tang and D-Block, it’s really just Ghostface and Sheek Louch. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; for me, it’s really difficult to decide who my favorite Wu-Tang member is, but Ghostface is one of those top 4 (for the record, I’ve got it as GFK, Method Man, Raekwon, then GZA). I’d rather hear Styles P than Sheek, but it’s not like Sheek is wack, so again, it’s not really a bad thing. You already know what it is with Sheek Louch and Ghostface Killah…no Kirko Bangz hooks, no fluffy radio-friendly singles, just hard, gutter, smack the fuck outta a nigga shit. One of the first things I noticed about the album was the production…definitely that boom-bap, gutter sound. Again, no surprises production-wise.
There are a couple of more soulful sounding tracks (“Different Time Zones” and “Crack Spot Stories” come to mind), but for the most part, it’s hard shit. It was nice that they had the other members of Wu-Tang and D-Block feature on some of the tracks, especially on “Drivin Round” and “Comin For Ya Head,” and I really appreciated that they didn’t try to commercialize the shit. The content is pretty predictable; lots of drug and thuggin talk, but again, this is what D-Block does, and Ghostface is also pretty familiar with that sort of shit. Honestly, I can only point out one track that I don’t really fuck with (“Take Notice”), and that’s because of the production and that terrible hook.
Overall, this is a very solid work from the two. Despite Wu-Block consisting of Sheek and Ghostface, there are features on every track but two, and since it’s a collabo effort, said features don’t feel out of place.
I think the album could have used more Jadakiss (and especially Jadakiss’ laugh!) and Styles P, as well as other Wu-Tang members, but I guess it’d be pretty hard to do an album with all of the members from both groups. Outside of that, I guess my only complaint would be that it’s very predictable…it doesn’t cover any new ground or really show much growth from the artists. At the same time, there are those artists like Jay-Z, where you’re like “nigga you haven’t sold drugs in 20 years, why the fuck are you still rapping drug shit?!” and you get pissed because their content hasn’t evolved to your desire. Then there are those artists like Sean P, where you’re like…”yea you’re still rapping the same type of shit as a decade ago, but fuck it, it’s hot” and you don’t really get upset at it. It’s a double standard that I think shows what we actually think of certain rappers’ skill sets, but I completely agree with it. I don’t need to hear Sheek Louch rapping about breaking up with his girlfriend or some shit. Just give me the “her bag fell, I saw a 38 snub nose//I stole that and still fucked her when the club closed” shit and I’m cool.
With that in mind, I give Wu-Block a 4/5 and suggest that if you’re a fan of Ghostface or D-Block that you cop this.
Standouts: “Crack Spot Stories,” “Pour tha Martini,” “All In Together”
Honorable mention: “Been Robbed” for the most hilarious sample I’ve heard in a while
Words by Walter George, Jr