Masta Killa - Made In Brooklyn    
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written by General Baker    
It has never been a habit of mine to be a critic; to be so subjective as to be irrelevant. Regular people have shown since time immemorial the significance (or lack thereof) of critics and I refuse to be consigned to this trash heap of intellectual elitism.

On this basis, if Masta Killa's Made in Brooklyn does anything, it signifies that the sound pioneered by RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan is in its death throes. Is it because the beats and rhymes are wack? Hardly. But I leave that for the critics to decide. More importantly it is because it is part of a growingly antiquated tradition that began in Staten Island, NY in the early-to-mid '90s and has been on a steady decline since the turn of the century.

The Wu without a doubt succeeded in establishing a raw and organic form of hip-hop that influenced a generation of MCs from both coasts and even internationally, and they will forever be a part of hip-hop's totality, but they no longer represent the creative energies of Americans which are now manifesting, exploding rather, in their long forgotten, yet essential, Midwestern and Southern regions. Basically, we've done Wu-Tang and we are in no mood to recreate it.

Ghostface has been the only obvious exception to this rule and has been force-feeding our ears since Daytona 500. Even the haters can't help, but to acknowledge his consistency and gift of lyricism. This is not a Ghostface album, however.

On the other hand, aficionados of the Wu will feel right at home on this below the radar album. Sounds of Kung Fu films, 5% philosophy, choppy, lo-fi production, and Farrakhan speeches bear the Wu watermark throughout MK's sophomore effort. Pete Rock and MF Doom are summoned to lend their capacities to the album as well.

Masta Killa is without question a gifted lyricist, but, to the dismay of some, it takes more than raw lyricism or talent to carry a hip-hop album nowadays. What we want, what the Midwest and the South want, is less skills and more contemporary themes, and thematic throughout Made in Brooklyn are preoccupations far too eccentric to resonate with the great bulk of the current hip-hop generation.

So the short and sweet is, if you're a Wu-head or just a hip-hop connoisseur (like myself) you will dig it, but if popular music, themes, and culture are what you're looking for, look elsewhere or be forever disappointed.









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