The Score: Wu-Tang Clan, "Legendary Weapons"

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 1:45PM

Written by J. Bachelor

Buy Now
  • Legendary Weapons
  • Wu-Tang Clan
  • July 26, 2011
Hip Hop Dx 3.5/5
Metro 3/5
The Guardian 3/5
Props Over Here 4.5/5
Parle 4/5

Swinging swords and taking names, The Wu-Tang Clan returns to the chamber with their latest effort, Legendary Weapons, in stores today.

Clan members GZA and Masta Killa fail to make the album, which was executive produced by The RZA.

The Wu-Tang Clan's sprawling output and the fact assembling all its members is akin to herding cats, means it's hard to tell what counts as a genuine Clan studio album. Legendary Weapons has everyone except GZA and Masta Killa, plus a smattering of Killah Beez, so it's pretty much there.(Metro)

The Wu crossed blades with several artists on the album, which features appearances from AZ, Termanology, M.O.P. and other lyrical assassins.

In addition to Wu-Tang Clan group members Ghostface, Raekwon, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, U-God and The RZA, Legendary Weapons also features verses from AZ, M.O.P., Trife Diesel, Killa Sin, Termanology and others. (StreetKode Magazine)

While Wu headmaster The RZA oversaw the albums direction, he allowed a small clan of producers to help develop its dark sound.

Although The RZA is credited as executive producer, most of the hands-on tracking work seems to have been overseen by the production trio of Fizzy Womack, Noah Rubin and Andrew Kelley, who devise a sturdy facsimile of RZA's trademark static menace. Rather than using samples, they have employed instead the studio group The Revelations, a quartet who have perfected a way of ingeniously laying down backing tracks that have the exact same mood and manner of sampled grooves - a curiously roundabout response to copyright problems, but one which works fine here. The only obvious samples are the Clan's signature borrowings from dubbed kung-fu movies, which are littered liberally among the tracks, most effectively on "Laced Cheeba", where the amplified whoosh, whizz and clang of ninja weaponry lends a steely reinforcement to Ghostface Killah's tirade of angry imagery.(The Independent)

Power 105.1 radio personality Angela Yee recently said Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah deserves more shine than he receives.

"I've always been a huge Ghostface fan. I'm a fan of artists that can put emotion into the music and aren't scared to show who they really are. I feel like Ghostface has never really gotten everything that he should have gotten even as his personality. Even when you talk to him about some of his theories about relationships and life, he's a hilarious person."(SOHH Underrated)

Critics agree that although Weapons is one of the more solid releases from The Wu as of late, the challenge to properly categorize this album as a legitimate group effort make it less than legendary.

Legendary Weapons is the best offering from the Wu-Tang Clan in years. Outside of two mediocre songs there isn't a track of lesser quality on the album. As a whole Legendary Weapons is a musically cohesive package that properly meshes many different personalities and styles to form what is an exceptional album.(On That Corner)
It may be tempting to support the greater good and give Legendary Weapons the same pass that's been given to dozens of similar releases over the years, but this is Wu-Tang Clan--these artists have set a standard that is not being lived up to. We've seen more than enough evidence that these emcees and producers are still very capable of making great music, so it's unfortunate that they weren't able to put more time into this latest effort. Legendary Weapons won't do any additional damage to the Wu legacy, but fans waiting for a true return to the 36 Chambers are going to have to keep waiting. (Hip Hop DX)

To purchase Legendary Weapons, just click here.

Preview tracks from the album below:

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