killah-priest,Intonarumori, Original S.I.N. [PA], Black Market Militia Presents... William Cooper: Beware Of The Pale Horse [PA], Beneath the Surface [PA], Liquid Swords [Chess Box]

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Alternative Press (12/99, p.105) - 3 out of 5 - "...sets its sights on the streets, as [he] devises hip-hop tracks for a variety of guest-star MCs and DJs....But prepare for an extraordinary and harrowing appearance in Killah Priest's brilliant apocalypse ode 'Temple Of The Mental'..."The Wire (11/99, p.58) - "...what is compelling about [the album] is its fluid ability...to plug into all manner of antecedents....Rather than offering a blueprint for the future, it presents a map of the present - confused and chaotic; dense, wayward and untrustworthy....a genuinely thought-provoking album..."0.7511128

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Alternative Press (10/99, p.92) - 5 out of 5 - "...the first clear indication...of where the most important act of the hip-hop decade want to take their legions of followers....[RZA's] a master of structure and strategy..."CMJ (7/12/99, p.26) - "...solid fusion of RZA-esque string play and thumping jeep beats provide an equally formidable backdrop for the Genius's ever-heady lyrical chessboxing....SURFACE is a family affair with impressive guest spots....Behold the first true Wu-Banger of 1999."Rap Pages (9/99, pp.172-4) - "...an album for thinking individuals....GZA is masterful at wordplay, and the accompanying music makes the listening all the more pleasurable..." - Rating: A0.4625072

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Rolling Stone (11/30/95, pp.66-67) - 3 Stars - Good - "...It's probably the heaviest Wu-Tang production to date....Genius pulls you into his chamber headfirst....LIQUID SWORDS cuts to the bone, another deadly efficient Wu-banger..."Entertainment Weekly (12/22/95, p.70) - "...an intriguing paradox of wordplay and profanity, juvenilia and wisdom." - Rating: B+Q (2/96, p.96) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...inventively laid-back sample collage of hip hop that offsets his biting messages...the result is dramatic and hypnotic..."The Wire (10/01, p.46) - "...Genius trades 'romance' for 'crime'...and his icy skills certainly work better with darker scenarios..."Option (3-4/96, pp.104-105) - "...Genius' verbalistics evoke that creepy feeling you get negotiating certain inner-city neighborhoods on pitch black nights..."Melody Maker (12/23-30/95, pp.66-67) - Ranked #42 on Melody Maker's list of 1995's `Albums Of The Year.'Melody Maker (11/25/95, p.36) - "...the keywords...are synthetic and cinematic....the narrator of these ghostly/ghastly horrorcore tales is on the outside looking in, a voyeur...buzzing off the ghetto misery, wondering how to respond....one of the dozen or so best (G-Funk) albums of the year."Rap Pages (1/96, p.31) - 8 (out of 10) - "...LIQUID SWORDS presents the GZA as sword-style rhyme originator, holding court over his young disciples....reverential guest appearances from the rest of the Clan...inject the album with some of its most memorable moments....Wu-Tang continue to challenge and confound all expectations of what their music is about..."Q (Magazine) (p.117) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "GZA's understated tough-guy tales are delivered with laboratory precision and witty street poetry that sounds fresh today."Mojo (Publisher) (p.107) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[This] sees the Wu Tang man and his producer/cousin RZA at their hypnotic, never-bettered best."NME (Magazine) (12/23-30/95, pp.22-23) - Ranked #30 in NME's `Top 50 Albums Of The Year' for 1995.NME (Magazine) (11/11/95, p.46) - 9 (out of 10) - "...The best hip-hop album for years. Fact...The RZA's production...is spooked, creaky, incredibly dense....The tricks he's practised on previous Clan albums...reach their apogee here....Genius' quite brilliant lyrics [have] a complexity, a rush of imagery, a strangely poetic drama of brutality..."0.4264959

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Rolling Stone (9/18/97, p.104) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...an exotic, multilayered soundscape that is often melancholic, but also melodic....the Gravediggaz deliver plenty to sink your pick into."Spin (12/97, p.160) - 7 (out of 10) - "...THE PICK, THE SICKLE AND THE SHOVEL is less hyperbolic satire than playfully serious caution--for Gravediggaz, the ghetto's particular nightmare has now come to Main Street. Grieving over lost lovers, friends, and family, the group observes the culture of death as part of the everyday landscape..."Entertainment Weekly (10/31/97, p.108) - "...guest rappers Killah Priest, Omen, and Hell Razor spin oblique horror stories from ghetto hell over bruising beats by RZA and Prince Paul..." - Rating: BQ (1/98, p.112) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1997."Vibe (11/97, p.149) - "...This second offering from Gravediggaz...finds the Wu-Tang boardsman moving away from production and immersing himself fully in the power of words....RZA is a master MC..."Option (11-12/97, p.100) - "...Individually, it seems the Gravediggaz are trying to outdo each other (and every other MC) by writing and rapping denser, more complex rhymes than anybody....they maintain remarkable flow..."Melody Maker (09/13/97, p.50) - "...machetes injustice, decapitates the real criminals, and burys the lot of 'em in a festering, snake-filled pit."Rap Pages (11/97, p.110) - "...There's a lifetime supply of meta-force wordplay for the heads, enough braggadocio for the hard-core and plenty of hooks for the pop quadrant..."NME (Magazine) (12/20-27/97, pp.78-79) - Ranked #20 in NME's 1997 Critics' Poll.0.3263944

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Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "On track after track, he blows dust off some dirty-soul loop, with boasts as inspired as ever and street-crime storytelling as vivid as ever..."Entertainment Weekly (p.80) - "[With] zany free-associative zingers over scratchy soul, funk, and rock samples." -- Grade: A-0.3051756

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CMJ (4/23/01, p.26) - "...YIN has an arc, pulling listeners up from the dark, minimalist 'The Grits' to the multi-layered, Big-Willie-style 'Love Is The Message'...and back down again to the gritty and menacing 'Revenge'..."NME (Magazine) (4/7/01, p.42) - 7 out of 10 - "...Steeped in cryptic Wu rhetoric....Over shady street parables, Cappadonna makes a genuine claim fo A-list lyircal greatness..."0.3051756

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Vibe (4/98, p.142) - "...This soundtrack has something for every hip hop head....well-crafted..."Rap Pages (5/98, p.117) - 4 (out of 5) - "...With CAUGHT UP, you're able to visualize the scenes....The fast-forward/skip button on your player won't be summoned much while you ride this Hip-Hop narrative..."0.2670287

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The Source (12/98, p.224) - "...NEXT MILLENIUM promises more of the high caliber firepower Bounty Killer keeps cocked at the ready..."0.2670287

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Rolling Stone (12/29/94-1/12/95, p.181) - "...With second guitarist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins...[Spencer] wails fractured postmodern bluesoid stuff that's as weird, fun and spooky as original blues-dripping rockabilly."Entertainment Weekly (11/25/94, p.77) - "...New Yorker Spencer and his two bandmates jam like it's blues night in the psych ward....The resulting cross between rock and insanity can be thrilling in its fervency..."- Rating: BQ (10/94, p.126) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Blues Explosion manage to work on entertaining, lurching variations on the power trio format with Spencer himself exhibiting a hectoring deference to both Mark E. Smith and Jerry Lee Lewis..."Alternative Press (12/94, p.86) - "...ORANGE is an ambitious, well-executed release that shows growth while still shaking some action..."Option (3-4/95, p.135) - "...the third official Blues Explosion album peppers its scrungy, bar-based blues with funk, rockabilly, disco, Stax soul, several Elvis shudders, a bit o'white noise, and Beck's infamous phoned-in guest rap....More importantly, it works..."Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #16 in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.Billboard (p.36) - "Fast, punky and laced with nods to the sounds of the '70s..."Mojo (Publisher) (p.58) - Ranked #68 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Beefheart, Stax, James Brown: all get stomped under the Cuban heel of Russell Simins' monster beat."Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "ORANGE was the blues as heard from the streets of Manhattan, post-Public Enemy, punk rock and all that other New York noise."NME (Magazine) (12/24/94, p.22) - Ranked #16 in NME's list of the `Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'Pitchfork (Website) - "The Blues Explosion were honest, organic experimenters -- fusing tons of different styles into their musical assault without compromising their ferocity or making any of it sound forced."Record Collector (magazine) (p.94) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[The] balance of rough with smooth, the comic with the deadly serious, was perfect."0.1907348

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