So here it is, the final member of the original 8 man line up that is the Wu-Tang has decided to drop his debut solo album. While GZA and Dirty have dropped sophomore albums that fail to live up to previous efforts it is now time for Golden Arms to come on the solo tip, so can he redeem what seems to be a falling wu empire?
When we spoke to U-god earlier this year he said that this was gonna be a on a party vibe and he’s like the Frank Sinatra of the Wu, this had me a little worried that the wu would go off on a tangent. Thankfully the album doesn’t apply to the vibe U-god talked about, although it does seem to have its own originality within the slew of Wu releases hitting us left and right.
The album is a mix of U-Gods darkness and an aura of mystery that surrounds the 8th clansman, coupled with the presence of RZA on 2 tracks, it is left up to the new breed of Wu-elements to add the sonic sound-scape that attempts to match U-Gods persona. ‘Bazzare’ caught us a lil off guard this year, the first single from the album wasn’t on no jiggy shit but it wasn’t what we expected, still very dope and is really an indication of what this album is like. U-God seems at his best when teamed up with fellow core disciples of the Wu-tang on tracks such as ‘Royal Rumble’ and ‘Shell shocked’ where Method Man , Inspektah Deck and Raekwon each lend a helping hand. These are the standouts but more evidence of great tracks can be found with ‘Pleasure or pain’ where U sounds a lot more relaxed with the beats he’s got to work with. The Inspektah deck laced ‘Glide’ also fits well with U-god under its darkness and moodiness. Also a little different is the manic production on tracks like ‘Dats Gangsta’ that instill a sense of U-gods past ferocity in the listener.
The downfall of this album is U-gods inadequacy to hold some of the songs together on his own, at times his flow sounds too forced, other times it gets to the point of embarrassment when it seems like he’s making it up as he goes along, very poorly. Examples of this can be found on tracks such as ‘Stay in your lane’ which isn’t even saved by a boring RZA beat and ‘Hungry’, honestly it can be done a lot better than what’s presented here.
There is a welcome return of the kung fu samples we all love in a Wu release, this may seem like a small thing to miss but it makes a difference in returning that Wu taste to the tracks. It seems U-God is an artist who can come correct in short bursts, in the past he has had me in awe with his attack on the mic but unfortunately U-God and most of the wu ain’t hungry no more, they don’t have that passion for killer verses. This is not a terrible album but its one that would have been better under the influence of RZA’s production circa 1995-96, when Wu Brought the muthafuckin’ ruckas. Die hard Wu fans will lap this one up, and even if you just like the Wu in passing this is worth the purchase.