After hearing his classic verse on Ghostface Killah’s “Winter Warz” many hailed Cappadonna as the next great emcee to come out of the Wu camp. Oh how they were wrong! Even though his debut album “The Pillage” went gold and featured some standout songs, the rest of Cappadonna’s career mirrored a Shakespearean tragedy of sorts. Which eventually lead to the emcee having to live on the streets and work as a taxi cab driver just to make a living. And as Cappadonna tries to get his life and career back together, his newest release, aptly titled “The Struggle” fails to cast any light on a dark career.
Lyrically, all glimpses of Cappadonna during his “glory” days are gone. Cap has suffered a monumental let down in his lyricism, thus making most of the material on the album a “struggle” to get through. The production aspect doesn’t help either, as the album’s horrible production is dated, stale and simplistic. Tracks such as “Broken Glass”, “Pain Is Love”, “Struggle With This” and “Life Of A Lesbo” are all but unbearable to listen to. And if the lyrics and production weren’t bad enough, tracks such as “Cap Is Back”, “Do It” and “I Don’t Even Know You” feature some of the wackest hooks ever created by man. Even the group collaborations of “We Got This”, “Power To The Peso” and “Money, Cash, Flows” fail, due to the same reasons.
However, somehow stuck in between the disasters mentioned above, comes a couple of really solid songs that manage to display that vintage Wu-Tang sound. “Killa Killa Hill” featuring Raekwon, finds the two emcees locked up over a dark, haunting beat that is reminiscent of Cap’s earlier days. “Role Of A Lifetime”, “Blood Brothers” and “Get Away From The Door” featuring Inspectah Deck also offer the same gritty vibe, no matter their lack in lyrical excellence. The only time we get a little variety on “The Struggle” is from the soulful vibes of “Mamma”. Cap dedicates the track to who else but his mother, as he runs through his struggles growing up. The nice soulful sample adds even more emotion to the track, making it a success. No matter Cap’s lyrical blunders and questionable lines like “she taught me how to love woman and pop their cherry”.
Unless you are a diehard Wu fan, “The Struggle” should be avoided at all costs. It’s sad to see a promising career falter the likes that Cappadonna’s has. But in the end he can only blame himself and just wonder “what could have been”.