The unknown intrigues us all. As a society we tend to gravitate towards the unknown and the mysterious. In the world of Hip-Hop one of the most intriguing figures is Masta Killa. It is hard to believe Masta Killa is the only remaining Wu member left without a solo debut. Ever since 94' Masta Killa has been that mysterious member, lurking through the shadows, playing the backdrop on most occasions. It is this dark, haunting image that has attracted many to Masta Killa. While most of the Wu are Hip-Hop icons, Masta Killa has remained the dark child of the group for almost ten long years. Fans have eagerly awaited an album from Masta Killa for years, only now to have some light shined upon them with finally some new material released. While not a debut album, Masta Killa releases his debut mixtape venture "No Said Date", which features a combination of classic Masta Killa verses and tracks along with 5 new joints.
While The Wu Tang Clan has been in disarray for years, many proclaim one of the few members who can save the Wu dynasty is its last remaining one Masta Killa. M.K. represents what the Wu was about in their glory days before the fame and the stardom. Killa continues to be one of the Clans leading dartsman, putting forth remarkable verses one after another. Most of "No Said Date" features some of Killa's best performances and appearances. You have the classic Wu Tang joints of "Mystery Of Chessboxing", "Triumph", "Uzi" & "The Jump Off". Two of more slept on Masta Killa verses are featured on the classic "Wu Gambinos", which was featured on Raekwons legendary "Cuban Linx", and "Duel Of The Iron Mic" from Gza's "Liquid Swords". Other overlooked gems are scattered throughout the album such as Gza's "Breaker Breaker Remix", Inspectah Deck's "Friction", ODB's "Snakes" and "Winter Warz" by Ghostface.
However, the real reason for any Wu fan to pick up "No Said Date" is the inclusion of 5 new joints never heard before. It only took a decade in the making but it seems as if Masta Killa is finally making some progress towards releasing a debut album. The title track "No Said Date" is vintage Wu Tang material complete with laser sharp darts by Killa on the mic and classic Wu production. Killa breaks down the almighty question plaguing Wu heads for years, "where has Killa been"? "They said the god wasn't never coming home, grandma in a nursing home, my mind is blown, I'm known to walk alone but the fam is deep, yeah we all love heat…when you dropping no said date".
Bringing it back "crazy old school" style, Killa dedicates "Digi War Fare" to Hip-Hop's pioneers such as Marley Marl, Jam Master Jay & Red Alert. "Digi War Fare's" rough yet funky production, along with a vintage Wu vocal sample, make the track feel like 96-97 all over again. "Old Man" featuring Rza is a solid effort even though the Rza production is average at best. Rza's funky beat is of the usual Wu caliber of late, short simplistic loops, nothing too complicated or mind-blowing. The finest effort on "No Said Date" comes from one of the more unique and surprising tracks "Queen". Those that thought Masta Killa would not be able to provide diversity in his material can be proved wrong with "Queen", a sensual effort from Killa dedicated to all the woman out there. Laced with a beautiful vocal sample, "Queen" is uncharacteristic of the Masta Killa mold but shows his ability to not only make good songs (something critics had their doubts about), but also to provide diversity and originality.
While only a mixtape, "No Said Date" puts some hope into Wu fans that maybe someday Masta Killa will finally release that debut album we have all been waiting for. With the state of the Wu up in the air, Masta Killa maybe the Wu's last and final hope at resurgence. Who would have thought back in 95' the Wu's future would lie on the shoulders of that dark, unknown emcee nobody knew about. If Masta Killa can take that gloomy personality and mix it with razor sharp lyricism and truly worthwhile production, then maybe the wait will be well worth it after all these years.