MASTA KILLA: Loyalty Is Royalty

RELEASED: September 29, 2017, Nature Sounds, Review written by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep of Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

Masta Killa is a man of the people. More specifically, the Wu-Tang fans. He’s that dude that may not come when you call but he’s always on time. He knows what the fans want, and for three albums straight, he has delivered. Fans knew of this album for a good few years now, they expected it to drop in 2012, but instead Masta Killa ‘seemingly changed Masta-Killa-Loyalty-Is-Royaltyjpegthe title of the album to ‘Selling My Soul’ which was a great project drenched with soulful vibes. The title track ‘Loyalty Is Royalty’ would eventually appear on 9th Wonder’s own project and brought HaLo into the mix, which led to the joint project – ‘Mansa Musa’ which dropped in 2014. This was a nice stop-gap to the true destination which is this album right here. Just like the latest projects from Prodigal Sunn, Rez SPS Kings and the Clan themselves, this album couldn’t have come at a better time.

Ming-Hsueh Lin provides the album’s intro, which is a calm but deadly melody, those traits are often used to describe the clan’s laid back but machete wielding member, before diving into a good ol’ boom bap banger ‘Return Of Thee Masta Kill’ with Cappadonna & Young Dudas. Now here’s a guy who has the word ‘Young’ before his name and is a dope MC. So heads take notes, just because somebody has ‘Young’ or ‘Lil’ before their name does not necessarily mean they are wack!

Moving into the album’s title track as mentioned earlier, was brought into existence five years ago, but still sounds as fresh as ever. This is the original version without HaLo, and sees Masta Killa refer to Loyalty as his woman so the track can be taken as a double meaning.

In ‘Therapy’, Masta & Method Man feel the same way as we do as regards to being around this music, and Redman has really molded in well with the clan. 10 years ago, I would laugh at people who said Redman was an official member… I cannot give the same kind of response now.

One thing that is admirable about Masta Killa (and the rest of the clan for that matter) is that these guys are headed for their 50s, and yet, they always have high praise for the Older Gods. Respecting their elders is a powerful trait which must be upheld, such as what this Dame Grease produced single suggests.

RZA chimes in to break down the meaning of Loyalty is Royalty. Let’s hope Phonte of Little Brother doesn’t hear this interlude, as his imitation of RZA in ‘The Story of US’ parody project was one of the most hilarious things ever recorded.

Consider the next track as what I like to call a ‘counteraction’ of Shyheim’s track of the Masta Killa Loyalty Is Royalty2same name. 9th Wonder flips the track ‘Trouble’ slows it down to match the pace of the 9th member of the bunch’s flow.

Masta Killa’s Skit is cruel. It feels so good to have True Master behind the boards, but with it being a minute long, it leaves you begging for more verses. It’s like being on a cooking show or wine tasting show and you can only have one bite.

This is such an album highlight, another Wu Camp Clik or Camp Wu Banga, Sean Price & Masta Killa connect on a 9th Wonder scorcher in ‘Down with Me’. Fans can now practically take these collaborations and create their own playlist on iTunes. Wu-Tang and Boot Camp need to stop the teasing and create that crossover album. Failing that, I sincerely hope Masta Killa convinces Ghostface Killah – ‘executive producer’ of the next Wu album to get 9th Wonder on the production team.

The next track is begging for the visual treatment… Tiger & The Mantice featuring GZA & Inspectah Deck sees producer Blocade tapping into the Wu-Tang sound. When these three get together on a track it is just pure magic. Wu-Massacre 2 anyone? YES PLEASE!

You want more gunplay? Masta Killa will be more than happy to oblige. This time featuring Prodigy & KXNG Crooked in ‘Real People’. Prodigy shows once again why he was far from ready to return to the essence and KXNG Crooked is an unlikely feature to say the least but it works.

If the previous three albums from Masta Killa has taught us anything, is that he will go outside the box and surprise you. ‘Flex With Me’ featuring Chanel Sosa  samples from the classic Scarface movie and flips Mad Cobra’s ‘Flex’ and this goes down really well. With

Chanel Sosa Good Lovin

CLICK HERE FOR CHANEL SOSA WEBSITE

this and ‘Lovely Lady’ from made In Brooklyn, it makes me want to pick Masta Killa’s brains as far as his love for reggae dancehall. Where this was a hit, the next track is a miss. ‘Calculated’ should be called ‘Mis-Calculated’ because this is Masta Killa’s attempt of making a club track with that ‘trap feel to it’ and it just doesn’t work. It also goes on a bit too long as well. At least there is no mumbling. Oh wait… there’s the hook… I stand corrected.

However The High Chief Jamel Irief makes up for that and goes deeper into his Wu Gambino alias – Noodles in a two-part story, the first part produced by !llmind and the second part produced by Masta Killa himself which sees a smooth, moonlight backdrop. With a nice applause at the end, the album ends with a somber piano tone by Ming-Hsueh Lin.

From this point forward, call Masta Killa Mr 2nd Most Consistent member of the clan. (Next to Ghostface Killah). Even with that ‘Calculated mis-step’, it’s understandable that veterans would want to jump on a beat like that to attract newer audiences and show them how it’s done. The most glaring difference between this and it’s predecessors are the album’s producers and features. This time around it seems more star-studded and not just Wu appearances. Masta Killa should find his crown and fix it on his head because it is rightfully deserved.

Advertisements

THE INFAMOUS…HAVOC & BIG NOYD LIVE @2FunkyMusicCafe, Leicester November 2, 2017!

REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U, International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

HISTORY WAS MADE ON THIS NIGHT.

Sometimes I wonder, had the tragedy that came to pass on June 20, 2017 not happen, would this night have happened?

Sure, had Prodigy ‘not choke on an egg’ as media reported, there is no doubt they would have sold out the 2Funky Music Cafe in Leicester, but this was a special night. Firstly big Havoc Big Noydshout out to friend of RePPiN4U – Big Twins, who was on the original line up, but for reasons unknown to RePPiN4U, he was taken off the flyer. In his place, The Infamous…Big Noyd. upon hearing this news on the lead up to the show, not only was the anticipation increased with fans, but it also landed on Prodigy’s birthday. This would be the first Mobb Deep show in the UK without Prodigy in the physical, and on his birthday no less. They would perform in Bristol & London following this, but that extra birthday spirit may not have been there like Leicester had. Not just that, but also learning of Havoc’s reaction upon hearing about Prodigy’s passing, this night may not have happened at all, we could have lost both, and Hip Hop may have never recovered from that. Hip Hop still has the war wounds of Dilla, Sean Price, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Phife Dawg, Baatin and so much more.

Personally this is the first time I have seen this at a Hip Hop gig, but it’s definitely something that should be encouraged at every show: Big shout out to the catering company which Shakezpeare and the NGE (New Golden Era) crew laid on for the crowd. Supplying currygoat, rice, fried chicken coleslaw, dumplings while the night progressed was GENIUS. Because I got the ‘John Witherspoon’ guts, I was very careful with my selection of food… kept well away from the hot sauce I tell ya (Too Much Information)

Shout out to DJ Predator Prime for supplying the music while the crowd was in chill mode. Always a pleasure to hear good hip hop selection and not just the 90s anthems being played.

Again, it could be an observation going by my last outing at 2Funky Music Cafe, but they seemed to have learned from not putting on so many opening acts before the main event. The Sky Walker Crew kicked off the show making their Darth Vader entrance, and had a short but entertaining set, including their big black history anthem ‘Bloodline’ which received a great response from the crowd.

Shakezpeare

Photo taken courtesy of Limitless Vision & New Golden Era Records

Next up was resident MC – Shakezpeare, who always ups his game each time he performs. Starting his set with his counteraction to the Deep Cover track, this is the third time I have seen him live, and this time he took his performance into the crowd and made the entire 2Funky Music Cafe his stage performing hits like ‘They’re Full of Sh!t’, ‘Top Boy’ and ‘That I Know’. If DJ L.E.S. tells Shakezpeare he is going on with big things – best believe that’s the truth.

L.E.S. warms the crowd up with some big anthems, and then cleverly switches to the biggest tunes from Queensbridge, before Big Noyd runs onto the stage like he’s doing the long jump. The energy this man had was amazing, especially when he drops one of his biggest hits – Recognize & Realize, which had the capacity crowd going wild and begging for a rewind! (Side note – the day I left school in 1996, Recognize & Realize Part 1 & 2 was my #1 favourite tune at the time) so this had a special place in my heart.

Fifteen minutes later Havoc bursts on the stage starting the party with ‘Survival of the Fittest’. Make no mistake – this was NOT a concert, this was NOT a performance. This was a straight party dedicated to the birthday boy – Prodigy with both guys (and in some cases – the crowd) reciting the necessary Prodigy verses. The party was a straight

Mobb Deep Vijay Mistry

Photo courtesy of Vijay Mistry

rollercoaster of big tunes, I personally loved the fact that the last time I was at 2Funky, Kool G Rap performed ‘The Realest’, it felt like this time, Havoc & Noyd presented their side of the story on the same track.

I also liked the fact that Havoc went out to perform some big tunes from their 2014 album, and the crowd went along and kept up with the pace. You name the Mobb Deep hit, Havoc & Noyd performed it, with the exception of anything from the Juvenile Hell album which may have been the night’s only criticism. That would have really shown Havoc & Noyd who was REALLY down with Mobb Deep.

Despite that minor point, the celebration ended as powerful as it started with Mobb Deep’s biggest hits – Quiet Storm & Shook Ones Pt II. No tune can go after Shook Ones Pt II especially after letting that beat ride out.

HISTORY WAS MADE ON THIS NIGHT.

What a night this was, and will never be duplicated. My deepest sympathies go out to those who couldn’t make it to the show under their own power. I cannot speak for Bristol & London but Havoc & Noyd announced that because it was Prodigy’s birthday, they were staying to embrace their fans, and boy did they ever. They were taking pictures with everyone in sight, and special shout out to Big Noyd himself, who pretty much became Rapper Noyd AND Prodigy on stage. He was unbelievable. Prodigy looked upon Leicester from the heavens and gave that extra energy. Big Noyd gathered many of us together and spoke to us on a level about communicating with each other more in the age of social media when having phones in our hands reigns supreme, and also he shared his regrets with us when he spoke about Prodigy trying to school him about the Illuminati and what was in store when he admitted to laughing it off. I dare say many of us (myself included) had a feeling of regret as well, as some of us had never seen Mobb Deep live up until this point, and the reality that we will never see Prodigy, which is why shows like this, I encourage you to see your favourite artists live, because you just never know.

Infamous Grant & Infamous Havoc

REZ SPS KINGS & TIMBO KING – Bar Essentials

RELEASED: OCTOBER 6, 2017, Absalom Recordz/Real Estate Records, Review by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“…I’m watching the Brandy video, I’m watching brothers doing Janet Jackson and Brandy choreography, the same stuff they doing since the first academy awards, nahmean? So I’m buggin’ off of that right there, so right now there is about to be another flood of Wu-Tang, coz I think we got the strongest name that a group got right now that can bring it back through to the people, and right now it’s about to be a flood…and this flood should reinstate Hip Hop, and if this don’t do it, we might as well wait til the next generation…” (RZA, sometime between 1998-1999)

RZA might as well have said this in 2017. Check it out. Wu Wear has recently relaunched. One off singles randomly came out (Don’t Stop) & (Savor.Wavs) Then DJ Allah Mathematics took everyone off guard with ‘People Say’ followed by The Saga Continues REZ SPS KINGS (BAR ESSENTIALS FRONT COVER)album. Just before that, Masta Killa proved once again that by sticking to the formula, Loyalty is Royalty. Then Prodigal Sunn comes out with a solid offering weeks later in ‘The Spark’.

In the midst of this flood, Rez SPS Kings & Timbo King believe in the ‘Bar Essentials’, a beautifully worded title which sees the two emcees strip Hip Hop down to just that – Bar(e) Essentials, which is Concept, Lyrics, Attitude, Music, and Performance, and they are not alone, they have brought along an army of  a who’s who in the Wu-Tang Killa Beez from the well-known originals (Dom Pachino, Kinetic 9) all the way to the more recent and obscure (Lord Fury, iNTeLL).

The great thing about the Clan and the Killa Beez is there is always a running theme in their albums, for example the Clan keep on the Shaolin Kung Fu side, Killah Priest goes into a spiritual chamber, Dirty was that drunken master, Meth was your man when it came to getting high and kissing the sky, Rae was your Mafia type dude, Killarmy were all about the war, and so on and so forth. Rez and Timbo take us to a Medieval, Game of Thrones like – chamber, and that’s the tone set as soon as you press play.

No messing about, bombs are dropped. Spirit Bombs that is alongside Solomon Childs, but it’s Bliss who shines here putting guys on blast who are feminizing themselves to stay current, when that comes from a female, alarm bells should be ringing. Too many cats caught up in the ‘Matrix’ as Kinetic 9 chimes in over a battling backdrop.

The furious pace continues in ‘Man Made Slaves’ featuring none other than Lord Fury who states that’s what we are if we believe in mystery gods and the reality of the New World Order. Rez continues the onslaught not sword swinging but rather axe swinging, determined to chop the ball and chain off our ankles.

Big shout out to fellow Wu Coalition brother DJ Flipcyide who lends his hands on the ones and twos just in case any challenger feels like an ‘Enemy’…

SOUND THE WAR HORNS!!! Anything iNTeLL touches becomes Golden just like his daddy. A visual may be needed here (hint hint!) The Symphony of the Damned really puts the listener in that zone as Rez & Grone Da Radikal sound like they are about to perform a justice execution in the most torturous way possible.

BAR ESSENTIALS DISC IMAGE

The sequence of tracks thus far in the project flow very well. Kinetic 9 and DJ Flipcyide rejoin the duo in Catastrophic Prophets. They have really captured the sound of the dark ages right here, and combining them with straight bangers like that displayed in Xerox Clones, and Witty is as grainy and basement sounding as you can get, that’s the sound fans kind of wanted in The Saga Continues, proving that sound can still be created in 2017/2018.

Timbo King shines here as he gives vivid storytelling in the Bionic Homeless Man. Rez & Stumik complement him well. The violins are out in one of the album’s highlights – Chemtrails. Shabazz The Disciple is straight fire on this, Rez refuses to be out-rhymed, and Lord Fury, well his voice will tell you how he feels about the wickedness.

You may have heard Solomon Childs cry out on ‘Mama Can You Hear Me’ from the Theodore Unit 718 mix tape, this is the flip side, Rez & Dom are asking their Fathers if they can hear them, and by the sounds of this, their biologicals have faltered again… it’s a reoccurring and frustrating topic. Notice – the violin is said to be an instrument mainly symbolical to sadness, and there is not an ounce of sadness shown here, yet the violin is featured in Chemtrails and the next track – Dueling Kings, and it’s not even used for sadness. You got Rez & Timbo out on a sparring session with the bars here, complimented with a great jewel in the sample used.

BAR ESSENTIALS INSIDE PANTHLET

Raise Your Swords people, we have reached the album’s close. From top to bottom, Rez & Timbo stay true to their word – the album is straight BARS, some of which the listener may not dissect on the first go round, but it will take quite a few listens to fully break it all down. For those Hip Hop fans out there who cannot stand any R&B elements in the music, they will be overjoyed here as that is non-existent in this project. If there are any criticisms, it’s that one or two of the beats sound passable, and may need a visual to bring it out, and that’s all this album needs, is to knock out a few visuals. But from Lord Fury’s disregard for religion to Rez’ lyrical flow to Timbo’s storytelling to Dom Pachino’s disappointment in his father, this is a good project which deserves the CD changer with the latest flood of Clan/Killa Bee offerings.

Massive respect to Rez & Timbo for including us in their inlay shout outs. That means a lot to us. SALUTE.

 

 

 

UNIQUE HEAT Vol. 4: The Culture Is I -God

Rashad Unique presents: Unique Heat 4:
The Culture Is I-GOD
Hosted by: Ka Zodiak
Unique Heat Hip Hop/Rhythm Box Music
Release date: October 10th
, 2017

Review by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U and International Rep of Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“You can get with this… or you can get with that…” – Black Sheep

“I leave alone the foolishness & partake in what is important & relevant to me. Peace. #WisdomWisdom #Culture – Rashad Unique

00 - Various_Artists_Unique_Heat_4_The_Culture_Is_I-go-front-large

CLICK HERE TO FOR STREAM/FREE DOWNLOAD

It’s plain and simple really. You can argue all day with keyboard warriors about Eminem’s attack on America’s president to the point where you have to block people, or you can take in the latest offering from Unique Heat. Personally I know which one I would pick. 22 tracks of quality hip hop from the 5% hosted by Ka Zodiak.

Since’s he’s hosting, he’s kicking off the project with ‘Channel The Infinite’ at a deliberate and calculating pace.

What’s the Science Lord? We gotta stay sane… Stone & Robert are right. The world is going mad…or already gone mad. People shooting up churches, kids getting blown up in concerts, tower block flats set on fire. UK voting for Brexit purely on the basis of eliminating immigrants. America taking three steps back putting a clueless bigot in power.

When you hear of the St. Lunatics, you instantly think ‘Nelly’, the next thing you think of is how KRS-One bodied him. You haven’t gotta do that in this project. Instead think of Ali, who brings the essential 120 lessons here. Don’t sleep or be tempted to hit the skip button.

On to one of the many highlights of this instalment that may ruffle the feathers of Christians. KanKan calls out those who are on their knees hoping for Jesus to save them, and he really hits home in the third verse when he speaks on Black Lives Matter and how those who believe in the mystery god get caught up in the 10% tricknology.

Righteousness, Reefas, Rifles…Japreme Magnetic brings that fire in ‘Betrayal Is Irreversible’. That is a true statement in life we must all adhere to. Then Queen Sha Mecca shows her strength in ‘Righteous and Refined’ with a New York State Of Mind. Referring back to Rashad Unique’s status, foolishness includes debating on who the best female rapper is. We don’t do that over here.

Switching gears to Almighty Shing Shing Regime. Only The Real can get down with this. Only the Real will have their heads nodding big time on this one. Only The Real will be developing screwfaces. The bangers continue on into ‘Knowing How To Build’ with Bazz-O The Great One.

It may sound like a Beanie Sigel record, but the subject matter Sigel usually comes with is not seen here in King Dome of Heaven by Born Allah a.k.a. Daddy Grace. Straight out the gate he goes in “Now Cipher God that’s not how my lessons go/and that flag you got on your chest has got to go/How you gonna take it to the heavens/ain’t mastered Earth yet/the gods don’t wear FOI suits and screw white chicks?”

See this project right here Unique Heat 4, brings you the brightest light you ever saw. This is Music For Revolution, reparations included by Rashad Sun. This is the best example of taking that old school classic hip hop sound and make it sound current.

When I first came across the track ‘Legend Of the Overfiend Flow’ by Now Cee Allah, I expected vicious rhymes and flows over a looped beat from the anime itself, which would have been dope but Now Cee Allah didn’t do that, instead he drops jewels like the chojin drops heat all over Osaka Japan.

00 - Various_Artists_Unique_Heat_4_The_Culture_Is_I-go-back-large

Now for those who love their deep science, this is for you. Allwise360 & Sol Asar together are Beyound Galactic, if this was a cassette tape, consider ‘Metaphysical Fantasy’ the beginning of Side 2/B. You gotta love the Fist Of the North Star sample they used here and the science behind it.

The mixtape enters another one of its many highlights with the ‘Gods Remix’ featuring Bill Biggz & Glock George, who flip the Mack Wilds ‘Henny’ instrumental or rather, the Mobb Deep ‘The Learning – Burn’ instrumental.

Sounding like Dr Dre’s Aftermath studios were raided, Mars Hall and uses ‘Mathematics’ and puts it to great use. Mars goes from 1 (Knowledge) to 0 (Cipher) and breaks it down in a vicious flow reminiscent of The Notorious B.I.G. Ten Crack Commandments.

Black, Poor & Strugglin’… sounds like most of us. It also reminds us of how Chris Rock broke it down about the difference between being rich and being wealthy, Akril Magnetic and Cipher 7000 add-on from that. The harsh sounds of the streets continue on with Mullah Don aka Magnetic with ‘Gun Down’ Well needed at this time when a recent twitter trend said #WhiteLivesMatter, which was a straight slap in the face to our people killed with injustice.

The project switches gears with ‘All Praises Due’ with Cause and Effect. Fire flows & rhymes on this track is an action, head nodding and screwfacing is the reaction, followed by All Wise 360 asking himself ‘Did I Do That?’ over a good ol’ soulful sample which never fails. Blu & Exile recently dropped a track speaking on how they felt the soul was gone from hip hop – this track right here is the answer. Lord Justice keeps that soul vibe going by using the Barry White ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ sample.

The project reaches its epilogue as S. Quannah becomes ‘Professor Moriarty’, only difference is the Sherlock Holmes character was a criminal mastermind but Quannah switches it around to a righteous way to help our black communities as demonstrated in the speech used at the end of the track.

Ka Zodiak started the project, it’s only right he ends it with Illuminati Teardrops. So-called because one can zone out and not be afraid to shed tears over a six-minute medley, which immerses itself into your soul upon more listens.

“Don’t trap yourself in other people’s expectations & negative views of you. Live your life successfully. Peace. #WisdomBorn”Rashad Unique Allah

For the bonus track, Heads will recognize the beat from Beanie Sigel’s The Truth. Kasim Allah and the like-minded hate F**k Bois in this ‘F**k Em’ Remix. He already warned those Jive Pretenders before from the last instalment of Unique Heat.

Rashad’s words sum up this newest instalment perfectly. Everyone involved in this project go in and have never cared about what others may think of them with the subject matter. They are more concerned with contributing to the culture just as the theme suggests, and Unique Heat 5 will bring pure Power to the game.

STREAM/DOWNLOAD HERE

 

 

WU-TANG: THE SAGA CONTINUES

RELEASE: OCTOBER 13, 2017, EOne Music, Review by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & member of Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

THE STORY SO FAR:

“If you have a good day, you want A Better Tomorrow, if you had a bad day, you NEED A Better Tomorrow…” (RZA, 2014)

Sounds like RZA had a bad day at the office with the last LP. We all have a bad day at the office at some point or another. He needed A Better Tomorrow… so he told Ghostface, if we gonna form like Voltron again, I want you at the helm. Even at the press conferences for A Better Tomorrow album, when asked if this was the last Clan album, Method Man was the first to pipe up and say emphatically – NO….

wu tang the saga continues artwork maybe…but in August of 2017, the Wu-Tang Clan adopted the Killarmy like approach and emerged like Camouflage Ninjas with a new single – People Say… and took Hip Hop by surprise. Just like that, like an RKO outta nowhere, RZA & DJ Allah Mathematics announce a new album, took to all major radio outlets for interviews where the creator of the Wu logo publicly put his own neck on the line by saying “he studied the 36 Chambers album & Dr Dre’s 2001 and crafted the album based on those two releases.” …and just like that, fans expectations are raised to the highest.

With Mathematics now behind the boards for this one, he starts the album the right way with the Shaw Brothers introduction. Kung fu heads know that when they hear that, they are in for a quality film, and that was Mathematics approach here. Great science behind the kung fu sample chosen as well. To Mathematics, this is a test, he knows the consequences should he fails in this social media driven era, and the clan are out to kill the game on this go round. The Abbott still overseeing the project but keeping his hands away from the boards.

With that said, is it a Lesson Learned? Who better to kick off the album with the Rebel INS? Nice to hear the evil Skhreli himself get a mention in the track and it feels great to have Redman jump in the track with a clan member other than Method Man and share that synergy. It’s a refreshing dynamic. The track flows nicely into ‘Fast & Furious’ with Raekwon and Hue Hef which sees them on the good ol’ Cuban Linx style storytelling tip.

In the hook of Lesson Learned, Redman states that his people don’t play, particularly his tag team partner Method Man who keeps his new curse-less rhyming style ferocious over a smooth beat in ‘If Time Is Money’. It’s almost like a two-part series as Meth continues in ‘Frozen’. His Wu-Massacre brothers jump in the hook, Killah Priest & Chris Rivers go in unfazed. Can’t help feeling that Ghostface’s vocals didn’t sound fresh though, slightly out-of-place but hey – it’s a minor right?

He more than makes up for it in the skit ‘Berto and the Fiend’ which its soulful vibe sounds like it was originally going to make Supreme Clientele 2…

As we enter one of the album’s many highlights: Pearl Harbour where we see yet another Boot Camp Clik appearance in Sean Price who ‘f**ks with Wu-Tang and a couple of new n!&&@$’… the track is so epic that it makes you wish Wu Camp Clik came with an album a few years ago instead of Wu-Block… or is it still possible in the next year? Calling Bernadette Price/Rockness & RZA/Mathematics! Said before in the Sean Price Imperius Rex review and again here – MAKE IT HAPPEN! Rockness himself would have been great on this track too…

…the same could be said for Ghostface Killah on the track that started it all in August 2017! Every MC went in, Mathematics lost his mind with the beat, and when it was released initially, turns out Mathematics still wasn’t satisfied, he went back and made some minor changes as Redman went in! You can hear all the signature sounds Mathematics does here especially when Masta Killa steps in to finish the track.

Big shout out to Shahrazad Ali who drops jewels in the ‘Family’ skit about the importance of the black man in families. I may not be an American Citizen, but going by what’s happening as of late, I say impeach Trump and elect this woman for president.

Then in ‘Why Why Why,’ another album highlight, we see a more hungry RZA rather than the somewhat ‘lazy’ flow we have seen RZA do as of late, here he’s sounding more like ‘The Cure RZA’ rather than the ‘Bobby Digital RZA’. Big up to Swnkah, putting a nice reggae riddim touch on the track.

In G’d Up, Method Man is throwing shots at wannabe Killa Bees… there they are, all over social media claiming they are a Wu-Tang affiliation. It’s a desperate and embarrassing sight… “You ain’t my people, I don’t care if you know RZA/‘Cause at the end of the day
I’m a problem boy, stay out of my way/if you see me in the streets, you better give me my space/And if I beat you to the punch I punch you dead in your face…” With Mzee Jones on the hook, you can hear the Dr Dre 2001 influence Mathematics was talking about.

Ol Dirty Bastard continues to prove he was light years ahead of everybody. at the end of the banger ‘If What You Say Is True’ which also shuts down speculations of GZA’s appearance on the album, Dirty tells the people how the media are trying to bring about a race war. RZA & Mathematics continue their teasing techniques on the Saga skit, wishing a full version of the song exists somewhere in 36 Chambers studios, then this is how it sounds when the Hood Go Bang…a track that makes you wish Red & Meth went in a bit longer.

Finally, with assistance from Steven Lattore, Ghostface encourages RZA & Cappadonna to channel their inner Pretty Toney in ‘My Only One’… directing their attention to the ladies, who probably wish Method Man jumped in on this one.

The album closes out with a great message addressing the young artists doing their thing in music and the older generation who have their constant qualms about their music.

RZA Mathematics quote

Sometimes in mathematics, you don’t find the correct answer straight away, and in this album, it will take quite a few listens for you to absorb everything, and once you have done that, you realise that Allah Mathematics has done a great job here. He has stayed closer to the Wu-Tang sound, and it is a vast improvement over the last LP (A Better Tomorrow) but here’s the twist: To those who had high expectations and were disappointed in this surprise project, on one hand I don’t blame you, because of the way this album has been promoted. This is in actual fact a glorified sequel to Wu-Tang: rza-dj-mathematicsChamber Music and Wu-Tang: Legendary Weapons. If Mathematics put this out with little promotion like he did with his previous projects – (Love, Hell & Right, The Problem and The Answer), the album may have been better received. But because it was promoted like it was a new Wu album of the bat, and because Allah Math modeled off 36 Chambers & Dr Dre’s 2001 in interviews, I can sympathise with you to an extent. Here we realise that fans actually care about U-God who is absent from this project, maybe due to legal reasons at the top of 2017, but this album felt like U-God’s face would have been replaced by Redman via Photoshop in the Wu-Tang Forever album cover. The album also suffers from a not having a full posse cut which has been on every major Wu album. After you get over U-God’s absence, this is a very enjoyable album that will get regular spins alongside Masta Killa’s Loyalty Is Royalty, until the next solo or group project surfaces.

GHOSTFACE KILLAH LIVE @O2 ACADEMY, BIRMINGHAM SEPT 22, 2017!

REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U

I WAS GONE FOR 28 SEASONS.

The reason I say that, is because somewhere between July 2010 when I witnessed (in my mind) the greatest show ever in Nas & Damian Marley in the O2 Academy, I return to the same venue, and things have changed.

Ghostface Killah Bham

The first time, I saw my favourite artist of all time with MF DOOM. The Theodore Unit, Killah Priest and MF DOOM himself recited a verse each of Triumph.

The second time, I saw my favourite artist of all time with Sheek Louch of The Lox, it was great to hear a combination of Wu-Block hits, before that unthinkable moment when I took a pic with the Supreme Clientele Champion himself.

This is the third time. This time closer to home, to enjoy the show with my peoples. This time I had no idea what to expect apart from – it would be different from the past two shows I had been to, AND IT WAS. In some ways, not in the way that I would have liked.

My initial arrival to the O2 Academy had me in disbelief, two hours before doors opening and there was already a queue. Initial thoughts were – this could be history right here, until I looked up at the display…’Ghostface Killah & Machine Gun Kelly’. Prior to this the flyer read ‘Ghostface Killah & special guests’… so imagine my horror thinking we had to go through a set with him, not saying he’s not a great artist but rather not a fan of and what RePPiN4U doesn’t necessarily support.

Fast forward three hours later, it turns out there were two separate shows so I could remember Machine Gun Kelly the way I want to remember him… Observe…

GRANT BODY-P!

I was also stunned at the security for taking my HD video camcorder away from me at the doors, which explains this article’s use of video footage from other uploaders. Locked away in a safe, RePPiN4U were unable to bring you highlights on this rare occasion, and also may be a lesson learned.

The real special guests were in fact Joe Young, who opened the show. A very humble dude and great guy, he knew he was very new to the scene, he gave the crowd a heads up that tunes performed from his Invincible Armour album feature his fellow Wu-Brethen, and the crowd accepted that fact.

Next up was an artist from Liverpool named MC Nels0n (Nelson Idama), a good artist, great rhymes, great selection of beats, but there were a few problems – the main one being his mic – the crowd couldn’t get the clarity of his rhymes like the beat overpowered his voice, but the sound engineers quickly rectified that. What we heard was a guy who concentrated hard to remember every line, but he sounded stoic and needed to work on his stage presence. The Birmingham crowd were lenient, because London crowd would have booed him off stage. I have seen artists better than him booed of stage in London viciously.

After a great 90s Hip Hop set with some recent hits thrown in to keep the crowd hype, a few short performances from other artists including a hot looking female MC whose name we couldn’t catch because of the noise made by guys and catching snaps of the hot pants wearing chick on their phones…

The plate throwing clan member finally jumped on stage with Killah Priest at 9:20pm and started his rollercoaster set with hits like Mighty Healthy, We Made It, Ice Cream before jumping into ‘Eye For An Eye’ in tribute to Prodigy.

 

The rollercoaster continued into the classic 1993/1995 cuts such as Chessboxing, 4th Chamber, and an alternate and interesting version of Knowledge God.

Ghost continues the tradition of remembering ODB, and inviting two people on stage to recite Method Man’s verse and ODB’s verse of Protect Ya Neck. Yes I admit to bottling the opportunity, but if Ghost invited me to recite Raekwon’s verse of Apollo Kids then not only would it be a different story, I’m sure Ghost would be even more impressed…but I digress…

One dude stepped up as you will see in the video below, but unknown to us – Ghost had a secret weapon – Numi Sic’Nis – who went IN on Method Man’s verse! Not just that – she singlehandedly performed the whole Triumph track (minus Ghost verse) – she just kept on going and Ghost himself became her hype man! Simply another example of how humble Ghost is – he could have told the DJ to stop the track but nope!

Just before the show closed out with Triumph, Ghost asked the fans what track they wanna hear him perform, after mad confusion from different requests – my friend requested any track from ‘BadBadNotGood’ (which would have been a unique pick) and there I was screaming ‘Apollo Kids’ – but ultimately Gravel Pit, Run and Daytona 500 got the win.

40 minutes later – just like that – it was all over. So unexpected, disappointing knowingGhostface Bhams (2) the last two shows I was at – he went a lot longer… only defense was that Ghost does like to embrace his fans and that he did – signed autographs on T-Shirts for a good hour. Maybe it was a decision made to comply with the possible curfew of 11pm…

THE SAGA CONTINUES

Now this is what I mean – I was gone for 28 Seasons. In 2010, Nas & Damian Marley – they were on at least 90 minutes and they finished at midnight. 2017, Ghost finished at 10pm – something happened in between that time for O2 Academy to change their policies…

Make no mistake – Ghostface Killah & Killah Priest (with help from Numi) rocked the joint for 40 minutes straight – no slow down, it was one after the other. It was a crash course in big tune.

Onwards and Upwards to October 13 – to normal jabronies, that’s a day the need to watch where they walk if they believe in superstition. For Hip Hop fans and especially Wu-Tang fans, its sword swinging season once again and it will be curtains for their mumble rhyming enemies.

 

BUSTA RHYMES – When Disaster Strikes… 20th Anniversary

Released: September 16, 1997 on Elektra Records

Don’t you miss the countdown to the millennium? Can’t lie, it was an exciting time. Either two things were gonna happen as it hit January 1, 2000… either everything instantly turned futuristic on some Back To The Future style, cars would be flying, that sort of thing, or the world was going to blow up after ‘spinning around in space 2000 times’. But Busta Rhymes When Disaster StrikesBusta Rhymes took a double meaning to this approach. To him it also meant at the time 2 and half years left until he and the Flipmode Squad took over the rap game… well at least that was the plan.

I cannot pinpoint the actual time I purchased this album but I know it wasn’t on day of release. I do remember it was sometime between September and November of 1997. The days of Ruby Red Records were near its end, me and my people had discovered Birmingham. Those journeys from Wolverhampton to Birmingham and back again on the 126 bus…oh boy, there were untold stories. When the Gravediggaz album dropped (Pick, Sickle & Shovel) We gave that 126 bus a new name, but maybe that’s another article waiting to happen…

A lot of us hail E.L.E. Extinction Level Event as Busta Rhymes most well-rounded and overall best album, but for me personally it was a toss-up between Anarchy and When Disaster Strikes… 20 years later, THIS IS MY STORY.

INTRO

I wanna give a big shout out to my long time friend @imfootballmad on twitter, doing major things now on United Peoples TV. You gonna hear about @imfootballmad throughout this story. Back then we used this intro for every journey we made, every female orientated mission we had… “ALRIGHT BUSTA, LET’S GO!!”

THE WHOLE WORLD LOOKING AT ME

I FEEL SO SUPREME!!! This was my anthem when I got my NVQ in Accounting from the Chamber of Commerce. At 17, I was hoping to become the next great accountant… er… that didn’t turn out too well…

But now? As a proud member of the Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition and the GGO (Ghetto Government Officials) and host of the Best Damn Show In Wild1 Radio… Take a look at me, take a look… HA!

SURVIVAL HUNGRY

“I refuse to lose, look at the news and read the interviews… FLIPMODE IZ DA SQUAD!” I live by that line!

Here I’m not addressing the bandwagon jabronies who purchased the album after Turn It Up Remix (Fire It Up) came out… because they may not know about this tune which was cruelly taken off the album in favor for that Knight Rider sampled hit. I know which tune I would have taken off the album but more on that later. But hey, I gotta big up the bandwagon jabronies who supported Busta after Knight Rider. It may have been his most defining moment breaking into mainstream.

Just know this – Survival Hungry got a REEEEWWWWIINNNNNND!!!! On my way back from Birmingham on the 126 bus the day I brought this album.

WHEN DISASTER STRIKES…

…YOU WILL SEE!!!! Already by this time my concerns about Busta Rhymes evolving rhyming style had already been eradicated. Initially I didn’t think Busta could top ‘The Coming’ judging by ‘Put Your Hands….’ but I’ll talk about that later… the feisty, full-blown in your face dungeon dragon Busta Rhymes was here in full effect in the first three tracks… that’s the Busta I like! But if you followed Busta from Leaders Of The New School, and each year you took a recording of him, over a period of time you would hear his voice change, and change, and adapt and evolve…

SO HARDCORE

“I walk through brick walls, f**k around hijack your whole shopping mall!” Busta’s animated persona made me really think he was really capable of walking through brick walls! You could imagine it in a music video, especially when he had his dreads! This was an early favourite of mine! If your headpiece is not banging at this point, your local GP is open from 8am til around 7pm Monday to Friday. Make that appointment.

GET HIGH TONIGHT

Everybody who knows me well knows I’m not that guy, I don’t do drugs… but tune like this – that’s how I get my high… If there was anyone else outside of De La Soul & Redman who were kings of the skits, it’s Busta & Flipmode. So if you don’t smoke weed or anything like that, don’t think this is not for you – IT IS!

TURN IT UP/FIRE IT UP

I seriously think the original Turn It Up was so underrated. Imagine this at house parties on some Kid N Play style and the bass pumping and there you are grabbing a female’s thigh and wrapping it round your ribs while you’re killing the full set of teet like your name is Eddie Murphy! That’s the vibe this tune gave to me…

Now my favourite story of Fire It Up… it was 1998, May Bank Holiday. Atlantis nightclub was the place to be… if you loved dance and house music that is! But this time, everything changed! There was me, my cousin Clint, @imfootballmad, and a few others, we all got in the club after strategies of going in separately, or pairing up with women we were hoping to score with later in the night, walking round with our birth certificate, passport, whatever…because you know bouncers don’t like a bunch of brothers trying to get in the club!

Anyway, the DJ did something at the time was unimaginable. He suddenly switched from dance music and played Busta Rhymes – Fire It Up. Unknown to us at the time, this track blew up the pop charts and suddenly, black people rushed the dancefloor. Sampling Knight Rider was never done before, and the way Busta took us back to our youth while keeping it Hip Hop was incredible. Atlantis Nightclub and every nightclub in the UK was never the same again.

PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE MY EYES COULD SEE

Now this is the track that had me nervous… it was his first single and Busta dropped this new calmer style to kick off the second album… but as mentioned earlier my doubts went out the window and as that happened, I warmed into this, best memory of this was the Lick Party with Trevor Nelson at the Mezzanine Nightclub 2000 I think it was…holy smokes this blew up the party! Once again there was me at @imfootballmad dropping two foot and being dutty with the women around us – I have only been to two MTV Lick Parties… good lord the females!!! Ok enough of all that – Keep it moving…

IT’S ALL GOOD

This is one of my all time favourite skits… and I have always wanted to do this – it WAS on my bucket list… let’s just say I never did it, but if you’re talking about two guys dancing with one girl in the club, and hollering the word ‘FLIPMODE!!!!’ in great joy, then YES! It’s all good!!!

The only thing I couldn’t understand was – how this track was initially banned… after you had 2 Live Crew and all their shocking lyrical content….

THERE’S NOT A PROBLEM MY SQUAD CAN’T FIX F/ JAMAL

Big tribute to the classic disco track ‘Last Night a DJ Saved My Life’ – see we have to teach the youth about foundation and Busta knows about foundation! So this is why I can never knock Busta for working with today’s mainstream artists – bottom line – dude knows his foundation. Some hip hop fans think if artists work with people they don’t like – it makes them a sellout or something. NONSENSE. Look at Raekwon for instance. dude worked with the likes of Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber – then turns around and makes a great album in The Wild.

Flipmode2

WE CAN TAKE IT OUTSIDE

This is one of my all time favourite Flipmode Squad tracks! First time I heard this – it was on Tim Westwood Radio 1… remember him?

I was told that recently Tim Westwood was trying to flirt with Cardi B – do you know this guy is about to hit 60 this year? Cardi B as I understand, has not hit her 25th Birthday, or has just turned 25. Let that sink in…

Anyway I digress… THIS TUNE!!! Damn it was intense! But my favourite story revolves around my good friend Steven Downie, because the skit before this reminded him of himself back in school days… I mean, when Lord Have Mercy is beating down the jabroni down the stairs in a house party and with each punch he exclaims ‘HAAH!’ ‘HAAH!’ move move move move – HAAAH!!! That is straight comedy to a serious situation!

Talking of  a ‘serious situation’… whatever happened to ‘SERIOUS’? Remember him?

RHYMES GALORE

I still haven’t done it! It shall be done! I mean I know my dude @imfootballmad knows what I’m talking about! Acting a fool in the car when this tune drop just like Busta & Spliff! I’ve always wanted to learn the words to this… and never got round to it…

THINGS WE BE DOING FOR MONEY PART 1

I could be wrong – I feel like this turned out to be more filler than a great 2-part story highlight…  the other tracks on the album were just too strong!!!!

THINGS WE BE DOING FOR MONEY PART 2 F/ RAMPAGE/ANTHONY HAMILTON/THE CHOSEN GENERATION

…then after all that it turned out to be a bad dream, and Rampage has to cuss Busta for phoning him up at ungodly hours! I’ll keep it 100 – I don’t like guys running up my FB inbox talking nonsense at those breed of hours, that’s the perfect recipe to being blocked!

ONE F/ ERYKAH BADU

I swore blind there was a video to this… I mean this is the portion of the album where Busta tries to let us know that there is a serious side to him, which was hard to digest at the time given his past music videos. But see this tune here? It’s still relevant and perhaps even more needed now, given all this terrorist business going on, North Korea acting a fool, Mr Trump pulling funny faces…

DANGEROUS

Aaaaah sheeeeeeeeeeet!!!! This was a mad favourite – back in the day me and my people used to hang in a little area called Lanesfield… once again – untold stories… there was this one dude who (for legal reasons shall not be named) we all used to hang round his house… we treated it like a playground, his moms was never around… we used to blast tunes, get drunk, act a fool the lot. When this tune dropped, it was party time – until we broke his moms coffee table! Up til now the breakages have not been paid in full…

THE BODY ROCK F/ RAMPAGE/PUFF DADDY/MA$E

I didn’t like this track… I thought it was dull. 20 years later, I STILL don’t like it. You know what happened? When RZA & GZA called out guys turning hip hop into rap & bullsh!t and all this playa dressing up acting like it was some fashion show… it was Puff Daddy & Ma$e they were referring to! They were mumble rap BEFORE mumble rap. Busta should have taken this track off in favor for Fire It Up (Knight Rider) but obviously I know why he didn’t…

GET OFF MY BLOCK F/ LORD HAVE MERCY

I call this the heartbreaking part of the album you know why? Busta was showcasing Spliff Star and Lord Have Mercy… both were next to blow according to this album… and they never came out. Instead The Flipmode Imperial album came out. As much as I love the Flipmode album, I thought it was a good chess move before Spliff and Lord Have Mercy dropped their projects but then suddenly Extinction Level Event dropped like a month later… I’m glad it didn’t deter Rah Digga from dropping her solo…it was meant to be my mission there after to purchase every Flipmode album as I became a big fan but the movement never really took off…

OUTRO – PREPARATION FOR THE FINAL WORLD FRONT

That’s actually the original title of the third album: Extinction Level Event – The Final World Front… but people are acting like that’s about to happen now! Maybe it is about that time for Busta to finally drop that new album… he got that new tune featuring Vybz Kartel, a next one featuring Swizz Beatz… Eight years Busta… don’t do a Dr. Dre, keep the fans waiting after like 15 years, then finally drop an album that’s not really up to par!

Take a bow Busta… they call you the Woo-Hah! man, the dungeon dragon and all that, but this album defined you, and E.L.E. just added on. SALUTE

bustarhymes_finger