May 11, 2013

Wu Excitement???

1996 was probably the last time I put those two words in the same sentence.  Maybe that's a little harsh, individual members of the Wu have certainly shone at various times, but in my mind the Wu Tang have been fairly underwhelming since around 1996/97.  That is, until now.

You've either been in a coma, working on the international space station, or stranded in a desert somewhere if you've missed all the hype around the latest Ghostface Killah project Twelve Reasons to Die.  But just because there's been a lot of hype, it doesn't mean that you've paid it any attention.  I haven't, because experience has taught me not to get excited about the Wu, and I'm sure I'm not on my own.

Last year I really enjoyed the Trophies  album by Apollo Brown and O.C., in fact it ranked in my top three.  So when I saw that Apollo Brown had remixed the new Ghostface album I felt compelled to pay some attention to it, and I'm glad I did.  
I should probably mention now that the Apollo Brown remix is currently only available on a limited edition free cassette that accompanies the CD album.  Most (if not all of these) have been sold, but I can help you out there so keep reading.
Before I get into the music, let's just read the concept for the album, how it was conceived and understand that this album was recorded live.  

From the official website: As those involved tell it, the story came first, the music second and the lyrics last. Twelve Reasons to Die is the creation myth of a black superhero set in 1960s Italy, which looks a lot like 1990s Scorsese. The curtain opens on a young man born into a life of crime. But anyone familiar with Robert De Niro’s characters in Goodfellas and Casino knows what’s coming next when Ghostface’s character rhymes, “I was a boss among white boys, rocking a ‘fro.” He hits the ceiling, leaves to start a black syndicate, falls in love with a boss’s daughter and makes a ton of money importing cocaine. For these crimes, the criminal organization he came up in murders him and dumps his body in a vat of acetate. His former friends press 12 records from his remains, but when those records play, his vengeful spirit arises. Though he was rebuffed and disrespected in life, in legend the Ghostface Killah becomes immortal.

And just like it's cinematic concept, the album plays out like a film.  The production quality is akin to the same creativity that Rza showed in the early days of the Wu, often using simple, effective, stripped back melodies and beats that give everything space to breathe.

It's not my intention to write a review of this album, so that's enough of my analysis.  Why not check it out for yourself without having to part with your hard earned cash.  Even better, why not check out the Apollo Brown remix for free too?  And just for good measure, I'll even embed the video too.  If you're feeling this album, or just a fan of Ghostface, then you've got a full hit to you main artery here.

Mike Check.

Stream the original full length album...

Stream the Apollo Brown remix album - The Brown Tape...

Or watch the video for the lead single...

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