Wu-Tang Clan - The Iron Flag      
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written by Hugo Lunny    
It has been quite the saga, the Wu-Tang one that is. In '93 the Clan took the underground and soon, the mainstream rap scene by storm. '36 Chambers' still remains a heavily praised release, which many are compared against. But unfortunately, nothing can compare to it. The originality, and enthusiasm, which the release featured are pretty impossible to surpass. Over the next few years, people longed for a follow up. That came in '97 but had mixed reactions (I for one loved it though). Then, album #3, which was also received in different ways came in 2000, and shortly after the Wu present us with #4 - The Iron Flag.

Completely without ODB and noticeably also with CappaDonna, the Wu come through with 12 new cuts and a couple of interesting guests. The Trackmasters produced 'Back In The Game' features none other than Ron Isley on a track which as per usual we witness GZA rip. The other members suavely glide over the cool beat with Isley providing the hooks. There's also the infamous Flava Flav on 'Soul Power.' The bumpy beat is well rode by the clan, U-God and Flava Flav perform the hook to a tee. My only problem with the track is the outro with Method Man and Flav going back and forth reminiscing over where their family reside. There's nothing wrong with it, but the track would be better without it.

As per usual RZA whips up an assortment of creative beats. From the energetic 'In The Hood' we witness the many themes provided by the super producer. 'Rules' features a nicely scratched up introduction that isn't a typical Wu-themed piece. The rhymes are nice, but not amazing. What makes this track appealing is the cool vibe provided by the Clan and Meth's simple, yet amusing hook. Tracks like 'Babies,' 'Y'All Been Warned,' 'Radioactive' and 'The Iron Flag'(the first half) are what make 'The Iron Flag' album so slick. They have a well-honed vibe, which draws your attention back to the Clan. The well-assembled tracks feature original beats and fitting rhymes.

I did have a couple of problems with the album though. The latter part of the track 'The Iron Flag' - 'Da Glock' I found boring. The beat is very bland, and the simple rhymes do little for me. And, the track 'Dashing' has a tacky feeling beat that made the verses fairly unappealing.

'The Iron Flag' as a whole features a nice assortment of fresh material, and of course, the priceless interlude samples from Kung Fu flicks. To all those who repeatedly state "The Wu fell off!" Here's a little more material to disprove your idiotic statements.









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