From Endemic’s Terminal Illness Part 2 album is “King’s Indian Attack”, a track that welcomes in Bronze Nazareth, Cappadonna, and Masta Killa. The album also features contributions from Planet Asia, Skyzoo, DJ Switch, Salute Da Kidd, Killah Priest, Hell Razah, Shabazz The Disciple, Bugsy Da God, Cyrus Malachi, Tesla’s Ghost, Ray Vendetta, Sav Killz, Prodigal Sunn, and William Cooper, and “King’s Indian Attack” is its fourth single. Get to it now.
Wonder Twin powers, activate. Form of some fly shit!
Inspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric have been creating great hip-hop music for decades and for the first time, they are bringing
their talents togeter as one force. Their unit name is Czarface, and their debut album as a group is easily one of the hot gems of the moment. Personally, Inspectah Deck is up there for me with Method Man, Ghostface, and The Genius as monarchs of the Wu-Tang Clan, and while his solo work was released on a major label, I feel it was released a bit too late in the game. However, that mess-up allowed him to be admired by underground hip-hop heads. 7L & Esoteric are some of Boston’s best, and who thought Esoteric would be doing a full album with the INS? Who dreamed 7L would be on the boards to produce a full album with him? The equation leads to the solution, and what a solution it is.
Musically, this is an incredibly funky album, utilizing the best in jazz, soul, funk, and rock to create a vibe that almost sounds claustrophobic but within that is the sound of freedom. With the comic book-style album cover, one can listen to it as if one is going through the pages of their favorite story, waiting for their heroes to save the way. If you wish to turn these heroes into the saviors of hip-hop, feel free. Inspectah’s rhymes still have the kind of flow and charm that makes him great, and then to have Esoteric as his right hand man just shows that with patience, you can find a way to save the world through words and music. As for that music, it definitely has a 90’s feel to it, back when musical cues offered a chance to not only cite influences, but help become part of the story within the song. You get a chance that everything fits for a reason, and like a family reunion, you’ll find a reason (for things) to belong. You’ll hear samples that may be familiar but haven’t been overused, or samples that will make you go “there’s no MP3 for that on any blog.” Good.
Add to that the special guests: Oh No, Action Bronson, Vinnie Paz, the amazing Roc Marciano, the superfresh Cappadonna and the doper-than-dope Ghostface, and it will make older listeners feel like the era between 1993-1997 kept on going. In truth, it never died, it just went into hiding. Now it’s time for it to rise once more to attack the naysayers.
You might remember him when he wanted to smoke a blunt and dial 917-160-49311 as he was projecting to the ladies a bit of that long dick hip-hop affection, and the old days of RMHH when fans weren’t sure if he was the hottest part of the Wu-Fam or just as abstract as fuck, but Cappadonna is still doing his thing. Don’t believe me? He’s about to prove himself once more by hitting the road this week as part of The Black Cloud Tour. Along with Block McCloud, King Magnetic, Kromeatose, and GQ nothin’ pretty, Cappadonna is going to show everyone that underground hip-hop you know and love.
The first string of dates have been announced, with some shows featuring Sean Price and Edo G. More dates are planned, and will be posted here at ThisIsBooksmusic.com as they are made available.
March 2… Providence, RI (Sunset Bar & Grille)
March 4… Lexington, KY (Cosmic Charlie’s)
March 5… St. Louis, MO (Club Viva)
March 6… Springfield, MO (Outland Ballroom)
March 7… Lincoln, NE Rye Room @ Bourbon Theatre)
March 9… Casper, WY (The Venue)
March 10… Salt Lake City, UT (Bar Deluxe)
March 12… Albuquerque, NM (Leo’s Nightclub)
March 13… El Paso, TX (Tricky Falls)
March 14… Phoenix, AZ (Red Owl Room)
March 15… Pasadena, CA (The Terrace) *
March 16… Santa Ana, CA (Malone’s) *
March 19… South Lake Tahoe, CA (Mo’s Place)
March 20… Sparks, NV (The Alley)
March 22… Bozeman, MT (The Zebra Lounge)
March 25… Sioux Falls, SD (Boonies Bar & BBQ)
March 28… Berwyn, IL (Tiger O’ Stylies)
March 29… Grand Rapids, MI (Jimmy’s Lounge)
March 30… Dayton, OH (One Eyed Jack’s)
March 31… Philadelphia, PA (Tacony Billards) **
April 1… Atlantic City, NJ (Le Grand Fromage) **
* with Sean Price
** with Edo G
Manifesto is not only Inspectah Deck‘s forthcoming album (due out March 23rd), but his fifth solo album is also the third for his own label, Urban Iconz. Those who still respect the Wu-ness will be happy to know that the album features Raekwon and Cappadonna, along with Cormega, Planet Asia, Termanology, Kurupt, and Billy Danze of M.O.P. among others. The Rebel INS once again gets to display his production skills, with additional contributions from The Alchemist, MoSS, Lee Bannon, and more.
If that doesn’t get you going, here’s something that will, “Serious Rappin‘” (Free MP3 download, 4.69mb), featuring Termanology and Planet Asia.
The world may not be aware of who Chris Macro is, but if you’re from New Zealand and Australia, you’ll know him as someone who has worked with Katchafire among others. However, Macro is somewhat of a wiz in terms of creating electronic-based music, be it reggae, drum & bass, and hip-hop. If there’s a way to tap into the consciousness of American hip-hop fans, you’d do it right? The impact of the Wu-Tang Clan is worldwide, one sight of the sacred W and people will drop verses left and right. The Wu-Tang Clan have flirted with ska and reggae over the years, especially Method Man, who found himself dropping a verse for Supercat and years later doing a track for Capleton. In the days of the U-WU Newsletter I had suggested that Method Man do a full-length reggae album, or at least to do an album featuring various reggae and dancehall artists. It never happened, but Chris Macro shows what it would sound like with Macro Dubplates Vol. 1, an album that unites the classic dubs of King Tubby and unites them as nature intended with Wu-Tang and Wu-related acapellas. You’ll hear tropical versions of “Brooklyn Zoo”, “C.R.E.A.M.”, and “Pinky Ring”, but the one that works the best is “Criminology”, proving that Ghostface Killah sounds good on almost everything.
If the Wu aren’t to your liking, maybe you want to hear Hova over the sounds of Jamaica. Macro Dubplates Vol. 2 puts together for the first time the rhymes of Shawn Carter with Robert Nesta Marley, soi if you ever wanted to hear what “99 Problems” would sound like over “Small Axe“, or “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” over “Put It On“, now you can. When Jay-Z allowed fans to create unique mixes from his acapellas, I don’t think he knew how much fans, producers, and DJ’s would give life to the process.
(Macro Dubplates Vols. 1 & 2 are available as free downloads from ChrisMacro.com.)
When the cameos on your own album outshine you, it’s best that you move to a new field. So is the case of U-God, who could’ve been one of the unpolished jewels of the Wu-Tang Clan if it wasn’t for the fact that his lyrics aren’t that impressive. His debut solo album was a waste of energy and electricity, and did he really think this would be a good idea? Pfftt.
Dopium (Babygrande) is an album that features a lot of special guests, including Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Method Man, The Genius, Cappadonna, Killah Priest, Large Professor, Mike Ladd, and Jim Jones among others, and these guys totally rip U-God a number of anuses to the point where he looks like a block of cheddar cheese. If this album was released as… well, if U-God‘s vocal tracks were removed and released as Wu Shtyles, Bufo Frog Logs, or even Douchebag Rebels, it would have been considered an incredible project. U-God was known as the 4-bar killer so when he goes past four lines, he’s boring. Remove him, and this album would have jaded heads going “this shit is nice”. If U-God was a factor with the Wu-Tang behind the scenes, then I hope he continues working behind the scenes. But as a front man in charge, he doesn’t have the power to impress. Hell, if this was released as an instrumental, people would mistake this as something by The Alchemist.
In truth, the tone of his voice as always been nice and mellow in that Chali 2na-sort of way, but if he still writes his own lyrics, he needs to improve on them. If others are doing the writing, U-God needs to select better lyrics. Imagine if U-God did some tracks with Pharrell Williams? Now that might be good (keyword: might).