DOM PACHINO LIVE @2Funky Music Cafe, January 29, 2017!

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

August 5, 1997. The day Wu-Tang fans around the world was about to experience the flood RZA was talking about on a Tim Westwood show. We had come to an end of the Abbott’s five-year plan. What was coming next from Hip Hop’s most influential collective? A six-man SWAT team called Killarmy. Their debut album Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars, dom-pachino-leicestercontinued the signature Wu-Tang Sound but instead of Shaolin Kung Fu film samples, it was war movie quotes headed by producer 4th Disciple. Along with Sunz Of Man & Shyheim, Killarmy remain one of the most well-known of Wu-Tang affiliates.

Fast Forward 20 years later, and we see Killarmy’ Voltron break down into the lions and have become their own generals in their own right. Dom Pachino a.k.a. P.R. Terrorist in particular has learned from his Wu-Tang brethren, spawned a clothing line, launched Napalm recordings and has his own array of ammunition in artists including Bugzy Da God who performed with him live in the 2Funky Music Cafe in Leicester.

Massive shout out to PC The Producer of FATP (From Across The Pond UK Hip Hop Show) and part of the RePPiN4U administration for opening the night with a unique twist – instead of the usual 90s Hip Hop classics played by most DJs (which is appreciated, by the way) he played a selection of UK Hip Hop and Wu-affiliate cuts which was a true testament to the heads in attendance who travelled from the likes of Nottingham, Wales, all the way from Sweden, and all showed their love to the man who has put UK Hip Hop on his back.

PC would then be joined by DJ Roll Blunt who rallied the fans in attendance as the opening act – Shakezpeare stormed the stage with his high-octane energy and ferocious delivery on the mic performing his set including the Bronze Nazareth produced ‘Train Of Thought’

Half an hour later Bugzy Da God comes through and keeps the momentum going. It wasn’t necessary to use this technique, but Bugzy hit the crowd with his disdain for mumble dps-2rap/trap music by performing ‘Nail In the Coffin’ which is his switch up of Common’s ‘Sweet’. That secret weapon always works. Bugzy was firing on all cylinders with requested 4th Disciple produced tracks, and just in case a few people started to rub their eyes or hide their yawns with their hands, Dom Pachino came out all blazing saddles, telling people to Wake the f- up. Terrorizing his way through his hits, most notably ‘Problem Child’, which he explains is a very personal record, and ‘Napalm’, which is a single with a sure-fire video waiting to dps-1happen from his P.R. Terrorist Vs Dom Pachino project. With the crowd reluctant to go home and even management caught up in the vibe, the 11pm curfew was thrown out the window but Dom ended the set with the track which put Killarmy on the map in the first place – Wu-Renegades.

There were a few hiccups along the way with the decks not playing certain tracks but the professionalism of the performers knew when it was time to drop killer a capella freestyles, which is the backbone to a real emcee. The crowd turnout was also less than anticipated, but maybe it was for the better. After all – like Raekwon says – this show was ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx’ and with that in mind Dom, Bugzy and Shakespeare performed like it was a capacity crowd in Glastonbury. That has to be respected.

Look for the coming RePPiN4U Exclusive interview with myself, Dom & Bugzy elsewhere in this blog!

dpi-104

All photographs taken courtesy of KULVADER PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

DJ DONOR: MY KINDA HIP HOP MIXTAPE

Too many people are on your social media are talking about Kanye West Sacramento rant. Too many people are on your social media are talking about Lil Yachty acting a fool. Too many people on your social media are worrying about who is the top 10 MCs on a list that my-kinda-hip-hop-mixtapehas been made viral… it’s a sad sight, it really is. Hip Hop in social media is anaemic right now and it needs a transfusion, and that’s where DJ Donor comes in.

The Wu-Tang Coalition DJ from the Netherlands is here to give his blood type to you in the form of his latest mixtape “My Kinda Hip Hop” which is an hour of the hottest tracks over the past year (Look out for the RePPiN4U 2016 mixtape coming soon by myself and DJ Miss C Brown – Cheap plug but it’s not because I pay those bills…) he is so established, mingling with the likes of Onyx and Mr Funke of Lords of the Underground that Pelle Pelle, Hercules and Saucony are proud sponsors.

Check out the mixtape here after the jump…

dj-donor

Allow this man to donate some good Hip Hop into your veins! Follow him on twitter – @DonorDj

Check out the official website HERE

You can also access the mixtape via these links:

Audiomack:    

http://www.audiomack.com/song/dj-donor/my-kinda-hiphop-mixtape

DatPiff:    

http://piff.me/74b5d2b

 

GHOSTFACE KILLAH: IRONMAN – 20th Anniversary

Released: October 29, 1996, Epic/Razor Sharp Records

Written by Michael Grant: C.E.O. Of RePPiN4U

“To all my house bitches, Starks’ll be home soon
I’m on tour chill, catch me ’96 in June…” – GHOSTFACE KILLAH, Glaciers Of Ice, 1995

Ghostface Killah could never have said those lyrics on arguably a better track on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Everybody has their favourite track(s) from that classic album but I bet a good percentage will say ‘Glaciers Of Ice’, while heads were screwing their faces, head nodding, and goosebumps on their bodies, their mind hit a record skip for that split second realising that Ghostface Killah was preparing for his debut album.

ghostface-killah-ironmanThe debate continues today just like the Pac & Biggie issue, and that is – which is better – Ironman or Supreme Clientele? Personally, I’m a Supreme Clientele guy, and I broke it down in a feature similar to the one you are reading now. But I’m gonna represent for the fans who prefer Ironman.

Once again, I will take you back to a 16-year old Michael Grant, approximately October 29, 1996, the day this album dropped. THIS IS MY STORY. GHOSTFACE KILLAH. IRONMAN. RHYME & REASON.

I had already left school (unexpectedly I might add), I landed a YT training course to become an accountant. NVQ level 2 at the Wolverhampton Chamber Of Commerce. Four days of placement, one day training. There I was all suited up, complete with a briefcase looking like a young man of the future. But on October 29, 1996, I didn’t care for my corporate looking image. I wanted to get those wallabees, that Wu Wear, that Helly Hansen and all that! I just got paid, and the first thing I did was buy this cassette tape. Yes I did it before paying my moms board, before my bus pass, before I even had a trim! I actually waited til I got to my cousin’s house, put the tape on while my cousin was playing Super Nintendo (The Saturn/Playstation costed too much at the time!)

  1. IRON MAIDEN F/ Raekwon & Cappadonna

Now I have never seen the movie ‘The Education Of Sonny Carson’… and maybe I should if it’s Wu-Tang approved. But I was rooting for the boy, I wanted him to put trademarks around the fool’s eye! Then the tune kicked in. GOOD LORD! Raekwon didn’t finish his verse, and I was like – PULL UP THE TUNE! PULL UP THE BLODCLART TUNE! If you are an avid listener of RePPiN4U Hip Hop Show, you would know what I did there!

2. WILDFLOWER F/ Jamie Sommers

First time I heard this, the instruments RZA used instantly reminded me of ‘Chessboxing’. Then I heard the lyrics… me and my cousin’s jaw straight up DROPPED. Before the Wizard of Poetry, before Domestic Violence, there was WILDFLOWER. February 17 was NOT A NICE DAY for Ghostface Killah! You could feel the anger in his voice! Wu-Tang are all about the real life stories… this woman messed up bad! My question is, where is Jamie Sommers in the world today? Answers on a postcard please – tweet me @MZATheInfamous!

3. THE FASTER BLADE F/ Raekwon

This to me sounded like it didn’t make Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, at least that was my impression. One of my questions to add to my list if I ever got the opportunity to interview the Chef himself. At the same time, it doesn’t as gritty as the Cuban Linx tracks, like I dunno, RZA’s music began to evolve because in this album, it’s like the tracks sound a bit more polished.

4. 260 F/ Raekwon

Once again, I never saw the Sonny Carson film, and I can see some of you reading this looking at me funny. Going by the sample, it sounded like the kid embarrassed the gang leader or something. Don’t worry – I will put it on my ‘see list’ now that I got that ‘KODI’ gidgets gadgets…

5. ASSASSINATION DAY F/ Inspectah Deck/Raekwon/RZA/Masta Killa

It was this tune when I learned the album was coming October 29, 1996. One October night prior, I was listening to Tim Westwood on Radio 1, remember back in the days when he played that official hip hop? And his Friday show was on from 11pm til 2am? Well it was one of those shows when he was interviewing the clan – one thing I loved back in that day, was when a solo album was coming out, the whole clan got interviewed. They announced the album release and they played this tune – it was exclusive back then – only Westwood had it. Heard this tune and I was hyped crazy!

6. POISONOUS DARTSthe-mystery-of-chessboxing

True story – this tune actually relates to around December of 1997. Me and my cuz rented ‘The Mystery Of Chessboxin’ (Ninja Checkmate) kung fu film. Now we rented it only because of the film’s title. I said to my cuz, I am pulling out the (landline) phone cord so that NO ONE calls while I’m watching this film! What followed was the samples used for this tune right here, and I lost my mind, jumped out my seat the whole nine and it still stands as one of my favourite ever kung fu films of all time. How can you NOT love the Ghostfaced Killer? Best bad guy ever. He used to say the most out-of-order dialogue in the film “Chow Fan Lun, how are you? You’re gonna die today! Do you recognize this technique? (5 Elements!)” and I was like – WROOOOOOOOOOOY!!!!!!! But then, the film ended, plugged the phone back in, hit ‘1471’ and found out that a good friend of mine just gave birth to her son. I felt like a fool after that, yet at the same time, so happy for her.

7. WINTER WARZ F/ Raekwon/U-God/Masta Killa/Cappadonna

I remember a particular time when me and all my Peoples from Aldersley High School were on the bus, and we were debating which was the best tune on each Wu album, everyone had their favourite and one dude shut us all down – “Winter WAAAAAAARZ!!!!!” Yes – this tune will forever be known as the tune that Cappadonna killed with his 52 bar killer bee assault, and ever since that time, heads were setting for Cappadonna’s debut album. Two years wasn’t long of a wait considering we had Wu-Tang Forever, Killarmy’s Silent Weapons album, and Gravediggaz sophomore album in between. Big up Cappadonna for deciding to make a video for this nearly 20 years later, I love these sort of videos where you just vybin with your peoples and there’s hardly no direction, just roll the tape and go along with it. THAT IS A HIP HOP VIDEO PEOPLE! I just wished it was a full clan video though. I envisioned it being a similar setting to GZA’s Shadowboxing video, all cold and dark and people in that ‘Winter War’, so to speak so it would be like a sequel to that video.

8. BOX IN HAND F/ Raekwon/Method Man

Before there was Wu-Massacre, there was BOX IN HAND! Now at this point, Method Man was still my favourite Wu-member, Ghost was already showing signs that he would become my favourite Wu-member and artist of all time. So I was mad looking forward to this tune. I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed when I first heard this, the intro, I was like – Oh here we go! This gonna be off the hook! Then RZA changed the beat and I was like – aaah… the disappointment didn’t last long though, Method Man went IN!!!! “This rap sh!t bust yo’ gums, and leave you stunned/Pull your plug, now you can’t function/There’s no to-tal or sum to this equa-tion, you fro-zen/Many may come but few are cho-sen/Pretty n!&&@$ want to play the war po-sin/When the ruckus come, they be the first to get their shine stolen/Do or die, it be I, Meta-physical Man/Holding court from my Wu, indivisible clan…”

Now I’m listening to the unreleased version, and I can see why RZA decided to put the other version on, I’m not even sure if Box In Hand when was meant to be the title! Another Wu-Tang Mystery to solve!

ghostface-premium-2-13-2013

If you remember buying the cassette, you may have noticed there was a large gap at the end of side 1 of the tape… like over 5 minutes?! So this is another true story… Wu-Tang released the Triumph single in 1997 and hit the UK top 40. Usually I’m not down with pop music but that was a proud moment for me and hip hop. But on the b-side was the Hidden Chambers Remix of Wu-Gambinos. So what did I do? grabbed some sellotape wrapped it over the protective covering of the tape and recorded Wu-Gambinos Remix on it. Call it an unofficial Bonus Track.

9. FISH F/ Raekwon & Cappadonna

The TRUE MASTER! At the time arguably his best track he produced since ODB’s Brooklyn Zoo. This tune hit the rewind button crazy!!! The spooky thing about this tune is, Cappadonna states, “When RZA do his thing motherf***er, I’mma do mine..” How true is that statement now 20 years later? RZA basically said to Ghost, you’re in charge of the next Wu Album! Has the Abbott thrown in the towel? I hope not. Ghost’s ear is powerful, I’m sure he can still get some bangers out of RZA…

10. CAMAY F/ Raekwon & Cappadonna

Once again we see early signs of Ghost Dini – The Wizard of Poetry here. TELL THE TRUTH – How many of you guys said this to a woman: “Yo you sexy motherf****r, damn what’s the recipe?/You make a n!&&@ wanna god damn!/Can you cook darling?” I can say this: I’ve never said that to a woman outright (I have my shy moments) but I have at least thought it and at the most – sent a text saying that in the past!

11. DAYTONA 500 F/Raekwon & Cappadonna

Confession time – I hated this song at first. Yeah I said it. I thought it sounded like something from Top Gear. But guess what? The tune was in my head and it was telling me – you WILL like this tune! Lo and behold – it worked, and I think the 8 player Daytona game at Sega World Strykers (R.I.P.) played a massive part in it. Normal people heard the Daytona game music. Wu-Tang fans heard this while playing that game and that’s real!

12. MOTHERLESS CHILD F/Raekwon

This was the very first track I heard from the album because this was originally on the Sunset Park soundtrack… remember those days? When tracks from a film soundtrack were hot and was actually relevant to the film? Great shout to Aaron Hall as well… where is he as well? He joined the missing list on the milk carton with Jamie Sommers! Answers on a postcard please!

13. BLACK JESUS F/ Raekwon & U-God

The crazy thing about this is, Wu were speaking 5% terminology from the get go, and it really didn’t clock on to me until this album. Up until October 29, 1996 I was raised to believe that Christianity is THE RIGHT religion. This skit made me think for the first time like whoa… no such thing as Adam & Eve? God exists within me? The black man is God? I was intrigued. Then the beat hit. I was like – PULL UP THE TUNE! PULL UP THE BLODCLART TUNE! RZA came with some church choir crossed with some epic Samurai Showdown type music! And U-God – that man went IN!!!!! To me it was like the longer this album went, the more epic it became.

14. AFTER THE SMOKE IS CLEAR F/Raekwon, RZA, and the Delfonics

I love the hook in this, because I still believe it. After the smoke is clear… Wu-Tang/Delfonics NUMBER ONE! Tunes like this are reasons why we the fans miss the old RZA and not keen on this Bobby Digital persona that he can’t seem to put aside. The Cure album never came, and you know what? Even if it did, people today would still turn round and say hip hop is…. yes the D-WORD.

15. ALL THAT I GOT IS YOU F/ Mary J. Blige

Ghostface says – “this is dedicated, to all those who went through the struggle”… Yep, that was me back at 16…. but nowhere near as bad as Ghost. I made that decision to leave school at 16 and find work because I knew I wasn’t as well off as some of my other peoples. Every year I used to hear them say ‘I went to Jamaica/Cornwall/Spain etc..’ I never stepped out the country until I was 29. Not only do I look back at this tune and think ‘you know what, I was ok, I was instilled with the determination to work hard’, but also I say this is dedicated to all the ‘millennials’ who always claim they are stressed or whatever but there they are updating their Facebook with their iPhone. There they are with their 4KTV hung up in their house, there they are with roof over their head and well fed, quick to order takeaway online every night but cannot roll 2 dumpling to save their life. Thank god for Nas… Life is good!

16. MARVEL F/RZA

You see this tune here? This was the start of the Bobby Digital persona as far as where the music was going. The signs started here. When I first had the cassette tape I didn’t have this as a bonus track though. I have yet to see someone use RZA’s lyrics as a chat up line and see what happen to them! Imagine whispering in a woman’s ear in a club like ‘let me plant my dynamite deep inside your core, the explosion stops your menstruation patiently waiting nine months for deportation…” Yep… I can see that going down well…!!!! By the way Kudos to RZA for keeping the beat going!

17. THE SOUL CONTROLLER F/ The Force MDs

This was the original bonus track I had. I remember my cousin loved this tune! As far as he was concerned, this was his favourite tune on the album… I wasn’t so keen at first, but that happens a lot with me! I’m surprised the sample issues prevented this track appearing on later copies of Ironman though, I mean, it’s been sampled a million times. The skit at the end still holds true, especially if people concern themselves with what we should be listening to on the radio…

GRANTFACE KILLAH

I kinda wished that Ghost was doing something similar to Ras Kass in a sense that he’s celebrating his Soul On Ice 20th Anniversary or Nas when he celebrated Illmatic. Ironman should be up there too. But I’m sure if he doesn’t, we the fans will. At time of this feature, I know he’s on tour with Rae… but according to RZA, Ghost now has the keys to the next Wu-Tang Album…Ghost’s ear has been powerful throughout from Ironman all the way to 12 Reasons To Die Part 2, all this plus Supreme Clientele 2? To those who still talk that Hip Hop dead nonsense, THEY ARE THE PROBLEM as far as I’m concerned.

GZA/GENIUS – LIQUID SWORDS – 20th Anniversary

GEFFEN RECORDS

Release Date: November 7, 1995

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: THE RZA

Written by Michael Grant – C.E.O. of RePPiN4U

What if I told you, that the making of this classic dated back to the year I was born? It might be a 20th Anniversary special but this is 35 years in the making.

GZA_Liquid_Swords_CD_CoverOn November 11, 2015 we mark the 35th Anniversary of Shogun Assassin. A film about a man and his son who escape and go on a violent journey after the wife of the Shogun’s Decapitator was murdered. The violent scenes were ahead of its time and was later banned in 1983 by various countries. It would later resurface in the year 2000 and was available for free for consumers who purchased Kill Bill Vol.1 on Initial DVD release.

I had a friend back in the 90s who was fascinated with banned films and went on a personal conquest to hunt them down. This film was one of them. I must have watched this a few months prior to the release of GZA’s Liquid Swords. After the Raekwon album, I decided to go on my own personal quest: To own every single Wu-Tang release. With the seemingly ever-growing affiliation of Wu Killah Bees, maybe I have underestimated the clan’s domination in Hip Hop.

This is MY STORY. This is the 20th Anniversary of The GZA/Genius – Liquid Swords.

A miserable November night, cassette inserted in the Walkman, full Duracell batteries, headphones over my head with the sellotape on it to hold the phones together, my paper round begins. And as soon as it comes on, I have that ‘Wu-Tang moment again’… Oh Snap – The Wu-Tang have sat down and watched this (Shogun Assassin)! You instantly imagine the Clan actually sitting down and watching the same film you just did, and you’re just mind blown. If you haven’t seen the film RZA samples, you make it your duty it find out which one it was. That was the beauty of being a fan those days and even now.

LIQUID SWORDS

First time I heard this, the album wasn’t out yet. I heard it on my friend’s cassette from the radio. He was raving on about GZA’s new tune, saying the tune is ‘dark’… back then the word dark was slang for ‘good’, like the youth today use the word ‘sick’ as slang for good. I heard it and I LOST IT (my mind). The beat was on some tick-tock-tick-tock business, and the hook has gone on to become one of my favourite hooks of all time. I didn’t even know the tune was called Liquid Swords because the tracks were not arranged in the album inlay. You had to kind of, match the song with the title, and I don’t care what anybody says, you are not a Wu fan if you didn’t fantasize about performing on a big clock (hence the beat) while your friend breaks the wack records across the wall.

DUEL OF THE IRON MIC

My best memory of this was the Wu-Tang Disciples of the 36 Chambers DVD, or you have seen him live. If you haven’t, watch this DVD. Look at GZA while he’s performing this. The man is ‘IN THE ZONE’. Screwface and all. That’s how you gotta be when you’re on the microphone. If that is not your reaction, you’re not hip hop! This tune is major in the Wu shows. Should have been an official video. GZA even said in an interview that this was his favourite track on the album. CASE CLOSED.

LIVING IN THE WORLD TODAY

Sometimes I love when a clansman (in this case Meth) is featured in a cameo but doesn’t actually drop a verse,even though it would be nice if he did. Almost as catchy as the Liquid Swords hook, I like the little touches in this, the ‘Chic-POW!’ in the hook, the emphasis in GZA’s voice when he says the line ‘you’ll be hearing the slang what the WUU-TAANG say’… This was my favourite track on the album at one point. Don’t you just love albums where your favourite track changes almost daily? That’s when you know you got a great album.

GOLD

I could be wrong, but I think this is the album’s most underrated track. Of all the tracks people post on social media, I don’t see Gold posted as much.

Today I learned something fascinating. In that same interview where he talks about ‘Iron Mic’, GZA says the hook was inspired by Diana Ross’ Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. For 20 years, I had never clocked on because of the contrast of the two hooks.

COLD WORLD

Funny thing about this was, I had always prefered the remix featuring D’Angelo. But this tune right here was a personal moment. GZA had come to Birmingham Ballroom in February of 2012. He was performing this and he came over to my side, fans reciting the lyrics as we do, I said the line ‘Therefore, your 52 hand-blocks was useless.’, GZA heard me say that, and took my camera out of my hands and filmed himself with us – the Wu-Nited Kingdom/RePPiN4U family. That was the start of the surreal interactivity with the clan that I had… it really feels like the 20 years of being a Wu fan was paying off in an unexpected way.

LABELS

The irony of this tune 20 years later is crazy. Before I get into that, just like Cold World, I prefered the remix over this so admittedly I felt slightly disappointed when this version was on the album initially. The version I heard on radio (Yes people, hip hop existed on radio – I know what you mean by those memes but RePPiN4U is out to crush all that) sounded like a run down sports car on the verge of crashing. The album version sounded a lot more cleaner. Anyway back to the irony. Bear in mind it was over 20 years ago, The first line that comes out of GZA’s mouth – ‘Tommy Ain’t My Muthaf***!n Boy, When he fake moves on a n!&&@ he employ…’ The year is 2015 and Ghostface Killah scored another classic with 36 Seasons, and Method Man received critical acclaim with ‘The Meth Lab’, both released under Tommy Boy Records. But Labels sparked off two things: One, some Wu fans discovered that through that one line, there was a first album entitled ‘Words From The Genius which was released before 36 Chambers and in the process discovered RZA’s first album ‘Oooh We Love You Rakeem’. The other thing it sparked, was the art of name dropping in songs. GZA wasn’t the first to do it but it was the style of how he did it, Publicity from Beneath The Surface was just as good, but Fame in my opinion from the Legend of The Liquid Sword album was the one that did it for me,

4th CHAMBER

I could be wrong here but I think Wu-Tang were the first to fuse two tracks together in a video the point where fans actually wanted that version. Inspectah Deck & U-God are usually credited for being the best posse cut starters (kick off the tune wih the first rhyme). But Ghostface should get props as well. He kicked off 9 Milli Bros on his Fishscale album, Bring The Ruckus from 36 Chambers, and most notably this track. Sometimes I’ve seen Ghost almost forget it’s him that sets the tune off as it drops after the response of capacity crowd jumping up and down as high as they can under RZA’s command.

SHADOWBOXIN’

At this time Method Man was still my favourite Wu-member. This tune dropped along with Wu-Gambinos on Cuban Linx album – I noticed subtle changes in meth’s voice, like he lost a bit of that raspy effect in his voice when he was saying the rhymes. Listen to Meth on 36 Chambers then listen to him on this track and you will see what I mean. TRUE STORY – I was in my last year at school. They installed internet in the school – it was a dial-up connection – OLD SCHOOL! We weROAre supposed to use it in our own time to work on our Record of Achievement – remember that? Back in the day we used to use that to get jobs. I don’t know if the youth today use it, but if they don’t, put it like this: If you had one of these (pictured right) YOUR CHILDHOOD WAS AWESOME!

Back to the story. Me & my school friend (Paul Whittaker) were meant to work on this… we used that time to find the lyrics to Shadowboxin’ and other Wu tracks and that’s how we discovered Ohhla.com (Original Hip Hop Lyrics Archive). We printed off as much as we could til one day we got caught by the teacher… I remember the name – Mr Collett – he said he was gonna take these explicit lyrics and show our parents. 20 years later my moms knows nothing about this… put it that way! He was probably a closet Wu fan himself!

HELL’S WIND STAFF

I think Wu Fans know the story behind this track now…originally a track on the album, it became a skit, and then actually manifested as a track on Wu-Tang Forever. The other question remains – What happened to the ‘Unexplained’? Meant to be  a track on the album but it seemed to have manifested on the Gravediggaz ‘Pick, Sickle, Shovel’ album. Do you know a Don Rodriquez? No? Yes you do. We ALL know a Don Rodriquez. There he is, snitching to Mark Zuckerberg about what you post on your Facebook. Great album sequencing here, as this leads into…

KILLAH HILLS 10304

…with a few references to Tony Starks… We already know Tony and Lou (Ghost & Rae) are the mafioso kingpins of the clan, but it was good to see RZA & GZA put their spin on things, complete with one of my favourite RZA traits which was let the beat ride out, and when you hear that, you hear RZA ‘playing about’ on the keyboard… yeah, I miss those times too.

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS

The Wu-Tang have 6 million ways to influence us. Today I don’t say – ‘I’m gonna investigate the problem’, I say (and it happens naturally) ‘I’m making Investigative Reports’, and the summoning of Tony Starks has brought him forth and it couldn’t happen without Rae, with additional support from U-God.

Liquid Swords InlaySWORDSMAN

This was the tune that eventually would become my true favourite on the album, if Bruce Lee explained his theory of ‘Emotional Content’ into song, it would sound like this. Not only could I feel it in GZA’s voice, but I felt the same way. It was haunting, it was thought provoking, and even though past Wu tracks spoke of the 5%, this was the one that caught my attention. I started looking at people different when GZA said the lines –
“I suffered brutal pain, from whips and chains/Punishments that were set to wash the brain/So look listen observe and also respect this jewel/Drawed up, detect and reflect this/Light I shine, because my powers is refined/Through the truth, which manifest through eternal minds…” I love this hook more than the Liquid Swords oneThe hook had me really want to slap people in their face like Batman and it relates up to this day when people try to put your boy down… then it turns out that the real title of this tune was indeed – UNEXPLAINED… which makes more sense but at the same time, ‘They say he’s a Swordsman’…

I GOTCHA BACK

This brings me back to the days of Yo! MTV Raps…those annoying nights when I’m hitting record on the video recorder, cranking the volume up but my moms telling me to turn it down… funny how mom told me crank it up when Lost Boyz ‘Music Makes Me High’ came on! But at this point I didn’t even clock on that a GZA album was coming. As far as I was concerned, this was for the movie ‘Fresh’, and I remember that film as plain as day. Back in the day, Swordsman/Unexplained became my favourite track, after that, admittedly I couldn’t listen to I Gotcha Back… nothing against it, just that Swordsman/Unexplained to me was becoming too personal!

B.I.B.L.E. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

I never heard this tune til 1998 when Killah Priest dropped his first album – Heavy Mental. I had the cassette tape of Liquid Swords and Cassette tapes didn’t usually have bonus tracks. I didn’t convert to CDs until it was clear that cassette tapes were extremely hard to get in my area. I didn’t even have a CD player. I had to play CDs from my Sega Saturn… I miss that console. I could play a tune such as this and zone out – and when I did, the Sega Saturn’s screen saver was a spaceship travelling through space, remember that? So technically, I read the Basic Instructions Before Leaving earth and then took off in my spaceship!

Congratulations to The GZA for finally making it platinum after 20 years…. but what I wanna know is, if millions of Wu-Tang Fans around the world consider this a classic (and it is…) why has it only gone platinum now? Don’t get me GZA Daggerswrong, RePPiN4U cares not for album sales, but we as fans post about Liquid Swords everyday… some of us consider it a classic over Cuban Linx… surely there are more than a million  Wu fans… and that’s just in the states alone!

Take a bow Gary Grice, it’s all about that Dark Matter now… the salute the man who could be responsible for finally derailing the mighty 50 Cent off his game (Paper Plates). Let’s be real, he hasn’t been the same since that day has he? 50 always loved slaying MCs across the neck with his diss records, he did that to hear that sound of wailing winds, but to have it happen to his own neck, was just…. ridiculous…at least to him!

Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith (PREVIEW)

WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. Of RePPiN4U, Member of GGO (Ghetto Government Officials) and Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

Article updated March 21, 2017

FEATURE FILM RELEASE: TBA 2017

Dir. Frank Meyer

Risen hel razah2Music biopic/documentaries go as far back as The Jackson 5, Little Richard, then moving forward to some of the more recent ones like Aaliyah, Nas (Time is Illmatic) and TLC. But never has there been such a Hip Hop biopic that has garnered such success as Straight Outta Compton which topped the US box office which was unheard of for a Hip Hop Biopic feature film and received critically acclaimed reviews across the board including RePPiN4U (Read review here). Now other artists want to jump on the bandwagon and popular demand hoping for the same success. Death Row Records, reportedly not happy about the portrayal of their label in the film are reportedly planning to film their production. Gucci Mane claims he wants to create a biopic, 2Pac’s biopic ‘All Eyes On Me’ gets released this year which is sure to be well anticipated, but some Wu-fans have been clamoring a Wu-Tang Clan version…Dr.Dre & Co continue to be the trend setters of Hip Hop, but Wu -fans will be getting their wish very soon.

Chron Smith, more commonly known as Wu-Affiliate Hell Razah of the Sunz of Man didn’t exactly hear the cry from the fans but it just so happens that he is about to unleash his story entitled ‘Risen’… about his sword swinging comeback from a Brain Aneurysm. If it was to rupture, it could cause a stroke, or worse – brain damage or death.

Director Frank Meyer and Razah go back as far as 1997. Razah was apart of the web series Freestyle 101, which has featured such artists like The Game, Cypress Hill & Ice-T. With their long-standing friendship, it was only right that Meyer was the perfect choice for this feature film.

“Razah’s story is one everyone can relate to,” says Meyer. “He was a talented kid from the streets who worked hard and Frank Meyer hell razahnearly achieved all of his dreams before this tragedy struck. Now his life has been completely refocused. A lot of rappers will tell you about how they have been shot 9 times, but they won’t let you see them struggling through the rehab process or questioning their future.”

Meyer might be firing shots of his own in that statement, but he’s about to take Razah’s fans through the five-year journey of true rehabilitation. ‘Risen’ features Razah’s fellow Sunz of Man brethren, as well as Wu-Tang members RZA & Cappadonna, Popa Wu, Ras Kass and many more.

We spoke with Hell Razah in late 2016 about the film, and what he and the Sunz of Man has for us as they approach their 20th Anniversary of their debut album, ‘ The Last Shall Be First.

The official trailer has just been released and by the looks of it, this is a remarkable story. Check it out after the jump and Look out for the exclusive RePPiN4U Review when ‘Risen’ drops later this year.

Risen hel razahFOLLOW @HEAVENRAZAH ON TWITTER

FOLLOW @FRANKMMEYER ON TWITTER

CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL HELL RAZAH WEBSITE HERE

‘LIKE’ RISEN: THE STORY OF CHRON ‘HELL RAZAH’ SMITH ON FACEBOOK

CHEF RAEKWON – ONLY BUILT 4 CUBAN LINX… 20th ANNIVERSARY

I’ve waited a long time to write this, and finally, that day has come.

OB4CLI want to introduce you to Michael Grant at 15 years old. He was a video games geek, he was shy around the girls his age. He had crushes on certain girls at school but never confident enough to approach them and ask them out, but he was actually a fairly popular kid. He wasn’t a heart-throb, but he was known for being the best at Street Fighter II in his year. Many would challenge him, but they would all fall. He developed a hatred for the boy band Take That, while the girls would mark their school book with the Take That logo, Grant would draw the Wu-Tang logo on his. Take That split up as a boy band and while the girls were heartbroken, Grant would rub it in with his friends chanting WU-TANG! all over the school. The last weeks of his year was work experience for two weeks. He was unexpectedly awarded £25 for his work, and then he decided to buy his first album.

In the summer of 95, the two artists that were hot in Grant’s mind were Nine (Whatcha Want?) and Lords Of the Underground who had singles called ‘Tic Toc’ & ‘What I’m After’. Grant set off into town with two friends and made a B-Line for Ruby Red Records and those two artists were in his crosshairs, unknown to Grant however was an album waiting to be purchased and it had this magnetic aura about it…

Grant was drawn to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx by the mighty power of the Wu logo… now he was torn between three albums. His moms instilled the thought in his head of getting ‘value for money’. He picked up the cassette tapes and thought, ’13 -15 tracks on these albums while Raekwon got 17 for the same price?’ And that, along with the persuasion of his friends (Leon Crooks & Winston Chamberlain – I hope they don’t mind me mentioning them) Grant took a risk and brought the album he never set out to buy. Chef Raekwon as Lex Diamonds Guest Starring Ghostface Killer as Tony Starks: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… THIS IS MY STORY.

AUGUST 1, 1995.

I was there just looking at the inlay and fascinated by the Purple Tape I was holding. I left Winston & Leon because it was time for me to do my paper round. I remember this day so well – it was a beautiful sunny day. 57 Express & Star newspapers in a large bag strapped around my shoulder, Headphones connected to my Sony Walkman, Purple Tape inserted, I was ready to begin delivering my papers for the day. For some reason I had a spring in my step, not sure why, I didn’t lose my virginity, it was just another day delivering papers right? (actually it wasn’t just another day, it was my Grandma’s birthday…)

1. STRIVING FOR PERFECTION – 1:43

I mis-understood what Rae & Ghost were saying on first listen… Ghost was like “I’m hanging my sh!t up if my sh!t don’t work right here God…” Rae agreed “I feel the same way…” For a moment, I thought they meant their hip hop career. I was worried…I only hit play and this was what I heard for the first two minutes???

2. KNUCKLEHEADZ – 4:05

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks and Golden Arms A.K.A. Lucky Hands

Entering my first block of flats in Lowe Street, my ears heard a BANGA… this album re-defined goosebumps… I had to hit the rewind button… this would be the first of many rewinds on the album that I was yet to experience. Hey, ever played this track with bass turned up to 10? No? I suggest you add it to your things to do before you die…

3. KNOWLEDGE GOD – 4:27

My naïve 15-year-old self didn’t know what all that weird sniffing noise was in the track…When it hit me later I was like… ‘Should have known…’ but coming from a smoke free family, I wouldn’t know anything about that. I wanted to know about ‘Wu-Tang Karate’!!! If only they opened ‘Wu-Tang Kung Fu Sword Style’ schools over here…

4. CRIMINOLOGY – 3:49

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks

Before the album dropped, Leon borrowed me a cassette tape of tunes he taped off the radio. This track was one of them… I had to get a copy and give him the tape back! Ghostface went OFF on this one… while Rae continued to make his trademark gun sound effect famous… BLAOW!!!! It was so dope that he convinced us that’s how guns actually sounded when you pulled the trigger!

5. INCARCERATED SCARFACES – 4:30

I made a foolish mistake here, instead of letting people check out the album for themselves, I borrowed the tape to certain people. That would come back to haunt me as it went round the whole Whitmore Reans district and the Purple Tape came back damaged… something happened to this track like the tape got chewed up and whoever was responsible used the pen and carefully put the actual tape back together. The tape could play, but when it came to this track, half the track was missing. That’s them taking kindness for weakness, but fair play to them for fixing the tape the best they could.

6. RAINY DAYZ – 5:17

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks, and Blue Raspberry

Still delivering the papers on a warm summer day, it was anything but Rainy. On first listen, Ghostface didn’t finish his verse. The RZA beat took me to another dimension so much my eyes were watering… I hit the rewind button more than once. The song was so powerful that I could willingly stand in the pouring rain listening to this, and NOT catch a cold.

7. GUILLOTINE (Swordz) – 4:21

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks, Inspectah Deck A.K.A. Rollie Fingers, and Genius

THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A VIDEO TO THIS! I remember myself, Winston & Leon randomly hum this beat in class or outside of school for no reason, like our minds synched and we’d just start humming the beat. See in school there were only a select few who knew of the Wu-Tang. One day I was at my cousin’s house. We were watching a film called Shaolin Vs Lama, a film we borrowed by a guy known as ‘Big Tec’ (he knows who he is if he’s reading this!) I heard the movie samples that RZA used and that was my first starstruck experience. I was like ‘YO CLINT! (CUZ) THE WU-TANG HAVE SEEN THIS FILM!!!’ Since then, I have been on an ongoing quest to collect every kung fu film RZA has sampled. I believe some Wu die hards on my FB friends list have succeeded…

8. CAN IT BE ALL SO SIMPLE (Remix) – 4:10

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks

What I miss about skits is that back in the day, they were so authentic and you could paint a picture in your head and R-4803369-1376004500-7871.jpegimagine. In this case I could imagine walking with Rae & Ghost going up to the fool and jacking him for his riches before the fool bust his gun. Nowadays you can tell that any skit was recorded in the studio and staged. Albums these days hardly have any skits though. I prefer this to the original though… I loved how RZA was just playing around with the original beat and thought – HMMMMMMM!!! I also miss how back then you knew that Side 1/A was coming to an end and you knew it was time to turn the tape over.

9. SHARK NIGGAS (BITERS) 1:39

Oh dear Biggie and Bad Boy had really done it didn’t they! The most memorable line was Ghostface saying “I don’t want n!&&@$ sounding like me…on NO ALBUM…” So in a way I waited for 19 years for someone to dare sound like Ghost. And on the 20th year, that man would emerge. He was actually in the game years before that but it came to boiling point recently. Ghost approached him via social media and just like that, Wu-fans turned against the sinner in a heartbeat. See the Wu-Tang has that power on their fans. They don’t tell their fans to do something, fans react in an almost loyal, worshipping way. Ask the guy who flipped the bird at Ghost at a show… you won’t see him again!

10. ICE WATER – 4:02

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks, and Cappachino

Did Chef Raekwon have this vision from 95? To have his record company to be named after this track? Probably did… unless you never saw the Ice Cream video, this is the first time we would hear the 10th member of the clan. I thought RZA went off on one with this beat…but then….

11. GLACIERS OF ICE – 4:54

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks, & Master Killer A.K.A. Noodles

Vocals by Blue Raspberry & 62nd Assassin of Sunz of Man

If Ghostface Killah wasn’t a rapper, he would be an outstanding Door to Door salesman. Listen to his sales pitch with the Wallabee Clarks. If he turned up to my house trying to sell em, I would be ordering a pair for every month… but then… the tune kicks in… WHAT WAS RZA THINKING??!!! Here I was, 15-year-old paper boy named Michael Grant losing my mind on street delivering these papers, Banging my head, face screwed up. Instant goosebumps, then Blue Raspberry just had to go and sing out…..”OHHHHHHHHHH!!! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!” I hit the STOP BUTTON. I had to comprehend what was playing on my Walkman… the thoughts of ‘best tune on the album’ were emerging. It was like a BOMB hit Whitmore Reans/Dunstall with the excitement. THEN I hit rewind. I was the eldest of 3 at the time. My moms wasn’t working, the Pound currency changed to a W. That’s how I got Wu-Tang Money all up in the FAMILY!

12. VERBAL INTERCOURSE – 4:07

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks, and Nas A.K.A. Nas Escobar

I had to calm down after multiple epic rewinds of Glaciers of Ice, and RZA knew we all had to. what better than to feature Nas? One man singlehandedly changed the game with Illmatic, he had to be on this album. That was the beauty of this era – heads brought the album of the artist they were feeling. These days? It’s like ‘What’s the line up??? this person’s on the album? That person’s on it? This album gotta be good because look at all the appearances…’ NO. STOP THAT. I’m glad that artists are now bringing it back to the original purpose of having one producer all the way through the album with minimal guest appearances. It should be about YOU not them.

13. WISDOM BODY – 2:34

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks

True say the Wu-Tang among other artists were embracing the 5% Nation in the records, it never clocked in my brain til I was 17 when Wu-Tang Forever came out. I call this the ‘prelude’ to Ice Cream…

14. SPOT RUSHERZ 3:51

The crazy thing about this tune, wasn’t the tune itself. My cuz (Clint) was like ‘What is that tune that’s on in the background’? It sounded off the hook!!! Clint was like – ‘we are Wu-Tang Fans… that means we must grab hold of EVERY TUNE they had’. We said that at 15/16. It’s 2015, and that mission has still not accomplished. Turns out that the tune appeared in a ST Ides Commercial that aired in the US. So we in the UK never knew anything about that… however you can get the tune on WuTang-Corp.com

15. ICE CREAM 4:15

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks, Method Man A.K.A. Johnny Blaze & Cappachino

If you didn’t label your women after these ice cream flavours something was wrong with you! Do they still have these Ladies T-shirts in rotation? It’s just a thought if I held a 36th Birthday party (HINT) that all women must wear the proper T-shirts…back in school, myself, Winston & Leon were calling certain girls in our year ‘french vanilla, butter pecan, chocolate deluxe, caramel sundaes….’ they know who they are. I’m not naming names as I don’t want no problems, I don’t want their men responding to this, nor any women who feel ‘insulted’ that we didn’t address them as such!

16. WU-GAMBINOS – 5:09

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks, Method Man A.K.A. Johnny Blaze, The RZA A.K.A. Bobby Steels and Master Killer A.K.A. Noodles

As much as we love Wu solo albums, nothing beats a good ol’ Wu-Banga. What I don’t understand is, why doesn’t the clan perform this live? I’ve seen them twice and both times I haven’t seen them perform this. Same goes with Guillotine (Swordz)… this tune actually brings me to 1997… because I had brought the ‘Triumph’ single. On that single was the Hidden Chambers Remix to this, which I actually prefer. I remember me and my friend Nigel, we used to catch the same bus to go to work and Wu was all we talked about. We used to refer them as ‘The BOYZ’!  We loved the remix crazy, every day the commuters on the 504 bus would hear us reciting lyrics and I wished that this along with RZA’s Tragedy made Wu-Tang Forever.

17. HEAVEN & HELL – 4:57

Featuring Ghostface Killer A.K.A. Tony Starks

First time I heard this, it was on Yo! MTV Raps on the Fresh Soundtrack. At that time I didn’t even clock on that Raekwon’s album was coming. Because I had the Purple Tape, here’s me thinking that’s the end of the album… I didn’t have the CD version yet simply because we never had a CD player… so I didn’t know about the album’s REAL outro…one thing is for sure, I couldn’t play this in front of Grandma (God Bless her Soul) Well I couldn’t play hip hop in front of Grandma period. But given this tune’s hook, and Grandma being a full Christian… you figure it out when you get home…!!

18. NORTH STAR (JEWELS) – 4:00

It wasn’t until around 2004/2005 I heard this. What happened was I landed a full-time job in West Bromwich, it was the sort of job which you could play your own music while you work. So I went on a mission to collect nearly every classic CD from the 90s that I loved, specially those that I didn’t have before because I was always buying Wu albums. first artists to break that mould were Biggie and Busta. So when I heard this, eyes were watering… hearing Ol’ Dirty Bastard harmonizing in the background like that… it hits you that the album’s over. It’s one of those, zoning out, look up into the sky like moments, especially now with ODB gone…Even with Popa Wu talking to Rae it was like one of my elders talking to me…

raekwon-6As you can tell, from the moment I made that decision to buy my very first album, all the way til the album finished, this was a special moment for me, and I want it quoted in my Big Red Book when I reach 88 years old and some guy approaches me and says ‘Michael Grant, This Is Your Life’, and all my peoples re-emerge and reunite. Yes Supreme Clientele is my favourite album ever, but you never forget your FIRST. You never forget your first time you kissed someone, or the first time you smoked a blunt, (I don’t smoke so I wouldn’t know anything about that) Your first time going to a nightclub, the first time you had sex… but you NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST TIME YOU BROUGHT YOUR FIRST ALBUM.

Thank you Chef Raekwon! You just need to bring your 20th Anniversary tour over here in the UK!

iNTeLL – AWAKENING

CD101Controversy is such a crazy thing, and we as a society fall for it all the time. Most artists these days will deliberately use controversial tactics to boost their record sales, particularly those we don’t support. They will do things and it will appear on Worldstar or TMZ, we go and share the links on our social media. So while their attention seeking antics start trending, it is a distraction to the real picture and the real issues going on. Some social media users try to do that and open people’s eyes, and only like-minded individuals will pay attention.

Wu-affiliate Cilvaringz has a record out there entitled ‘Death to America’, a controversial track making people aware of what is really going on, but he has become the villain of Wu fans worldwide recently because of the Wu-album that won’t be available to the public for 88 years unless purchased by the most die-hard wealthy Wu fan. But iNTeLL, son of U-God wants to take controversy to another level by unleashing his album ‘Awakening’, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, worldwide terrorism, Christians murdered in a church, and the police brutality which seems racially motivated. Meanwhile America wants to remind the whole world that they are the greatest country, iNTeLL has 14 reasons why that’s not necessarily the case.

After a startling intro from Jeff Daniels stating such a claim which may make listeners jaw drop or those in the knowing ‘not surprised, iNTeLL kicks off with the album’s title track. He’s out to awaken his listeners’ sleeping mind, at the same time join the war with the real hip hop artists that’s been doing it to restore hip hop in its purest form.

Those who have followed iNTeLL know that he was shot at a very young age. He goes into detail on the fateful day in question: March 13, 1994.

The Squeegie O featured ‘Karma’ takes the same sample 9th Wonder used for Little Brother’s Sincerely Yours from 2005’s The Minstrel Show. Both MCs go in on their real life tales of Karma, then iNTeLL feels he needs to ‘Preach’ the truth to his people about the meaning of Memorial Day while at the same time reflecting on Eric Garner, and feels as though America is supposed to be the Land of the Free, he still feels enslaved. This is followed by Jeff Daniels breakdown statement of America’s false claims and tricknology backed up with figures and stats.

iNTeLL continues in ‘I Rap, Therefore I Am’, where he pledges his allegiance to Hip Hop as opposed to the flag that he has displayed on his album cover engulfed in flames, the next track, Land of The Free, Home of the Slave could well be iNTeLL’s 5 Stages of Consciousness. Here he is joined by Lyrics, SiTH, Cha$e Green, & Dru Gunn$. iNTeLL gives a disturbing picture of how police kill college kids because they are ‘bored’ on duty, this is followed by a list of the known victims of police brutality and the dates these atrocities happened right up to June 25, 2015.

LISTEN TO THE EXCLUSIVE RePPiN4U INTERVIEW WITH iNTeLL HERE

iNTeLL has learned a lot from his Wu Brethren, whether intentional or not. American Crime Story sees the son of Golden Arms try his hand on storytelling, and Jeff Daniels statement on Freedom is arguable, he claims that almost every country has more freedom than America.

That statement flows right into ‘Prison’, SiTH and Cha$e Green return on the frantic DJ Homicide produced track. The three assault the beat with harsh reality of being blessed to even make the next hour, let alone the next day. Amidst all this, the world will bear Witness the Strength of iNTeLL’s words, here he admits that he’s sick of the media asking him about the Clan’s movements. He was never in this for the money, and the quality in this album shows that in his rhymes and political views.

The album closes out with ‘When I Dream’ featuring the beautiful vocals of Anny Jules. The thing about this album is, iNTeLL and SiTH were led to believe that America IS the greatest country… and it’s all they dream for. But can they make that happen when the government continues to brainwash the easily gullible? Jeff Daniels argument is that America was ONCE a great country and wants it to return to that.

iNTeLL U-God Son2

iNTeLL fears that he may get hate from the album’s content, but his real fear is that this wonderfully crafted concept of work may fall on deaf ears and a lot of people more concerned about the latest goings on with the likes of Iggy, Drake and the like on their social media as stated earlier in this review, hence the album’s title having multiple meanings. If anything, if he does get hate, that can only mean a good thing. Because people actually paid attention and as Keith Murray says, “The Truth Hurts and it Kills You to Listen”. Controversy was what iNTeLL wanted, and Controversy is what iNTeLL will get, and with that – Mission Accomplished.