CD The W (CD 15839721),
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Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 771704
Wu-Tang Clan: Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Rza, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Masta Killa, U-God, Cappadonna, Gza.
Additional personnel includes: Issac Hayes, Junior Reid, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Paulissa Moorman.
Recorded at 36 Chambers, New York, New York & Track Record, Inc, Los Angeles, California.
Seven years after the nine-member Wu-Tang Clan debuted with what is arguably one of the best hip-hop albums ever recorded, they released their third album, THE W. This album attempts to recapture the classic feel that put the group on the map, which must be the reason they titled one of its tracks "Protect Ya Neck 2000." Though much has changed since ENTER THE WU-TANG (36 CHAMBERS), the Wu still sound as new as their first album.
The somber sounds of the album's most heartfelt tracks, "One Blood" and the bonus cut "Jah World," use an interpolation of popular reggae songs to highlight the struggle the Clan rap about. With only two guest MCs appearing on THE W (Redman on "Red Bull" and Snoop on "Conditioner"), the members of the Wu have plenty of verses to spread their knowledge. While not a re-creation of ENTER THE WU-TANG, THE W still goes for the jugular in the same way that this crew has always done.
Rolling Stone (1/4/01, p.118) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Top 50 Albums of 2000".
Rolling Stone (12/21/00, pp.169-70) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A sonic gestalt that exists somewhere between the Queensbridge projects and OutKast's STANKONIA....reaffirming Wu-world order...as the best rap group ever..."
Spin (2/01, pp.105-6) - 8 out of 10 - "...Call this music what it is: Blue Urban Dread Improvised Boo Hoo Limp. Nobody Wu's it better."
Entertainment Weekly (11/24/00, p.82) - "...Utterly mellow...forgoeing innovation and simply revels in [the group's] stregths....Shifting easily from stark struts...to loose R&B...they're old pros, and they know it..." - Rating: B+
Q (1/01, p.113) - 3 out of 5 stars - "...Largely a return to murky idiosyncratic form....it plays to the group's main strengths: brutal hooks and scary ambience..."
The Wire (1/01, p.34) - Included in Wire's "50 Records Of The Year" .
The Wire (12/00, p.65) - "...THE W feels like some unbathed, 'grit the blade in your teeth, grim and bare arms' type s***..."
CMJ (11/27/00, p.4) - "...Revisits the loose grimy methods that first propelled them to stardom..."
Vibe (1/01, pp.137-8) - 4.5 discs out of 5 - "...A dense, demented, 15-song opus....going against the grain of everything that's going on in rap right now. If originality, innovation, and a mastery of the fundamentals of beats and rhymes still mean something to people, then THE W stands for 'winner'."
The Source (1/01, pp.193-4) - 3.5 mics out of 5 - "...A sharp effort....it will make you dust off your copy of ENTER THE WU-TANG..."
Melody Maker (11/28/00, p.50) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...They still rock....if you're genuinely interested in the myriad, spiralling noises that hip-hop can make...then get down to the record shop iommediately..."
NME (Magazine) (12/30/00, p.78) - Ranked #21 in NME's "Top 50 Albums Of The Year".
NME (Magazine) (11/18/00, p.41) - 8 out of 10 - "...With RZA in blinding form as Maestro Of Tension, THE W wades out impressively into a Fear Zone of guns, slums, cops and the kind of paranoid anxiety you get from smoking vast quantities of hydro and walking down Crackhead St. on your own at 4am..."
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