In an interview with Grantland, RZA gives the most credit to Method Man, who he says has been the most supportive and motivated to make the project happen. Down at the other end of the spectrum? Raekwon, who, he claims, has not shown up at all.
And one of the guys who showed up the most was Method Man. He showed the most tenacity, he was the most vocal, he showed up the most, and he got the most lyrics on the new album. He’s already recorded eight or nine songs. He’s been on it. You know, I give Cappadonna credit, he’s been really on it. U-God has been present. Masta Killa be representing. Inspectah Deck has been somewhat present. Ghost has been, you know, 20 percent present. And Raekwon hasn’t shown up at all. When you look at somebody like Masta Killa and U-God, they seem to have that original hunger to complete the legacy. I respect that everybody [is] busy with they own lives. I started with a plan that I thought would work. Now maybe my plan not working.
RZA goes on to ruminate about the platinum power of the Wu-Tang, wondering why anyone wouldn’t want to be a part of it. As the group approaches the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking classic Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) album, RZA thinks they should make one “great last album.”
For his part, Raekwon responded on Twitter: “Yea i just read that rza article? Shit is funny to me. I love u rza, u know what it really is.”
[h/t The 405]
It’s a pretty exciting time to be working in music marketing right now. And I mean that.
The Internet is, essentially, a collection of fiber optic cables, gently humming modems, and servers cooled via fans or percolating liquids. All of those quiet pieces have facilitated a din of information that is tugging at your eyes and ears for sensory attention every moment of the day.
So how does a musician rise above the info rabble? Used to be that a few well maintained social media sites, solid music product coupled, positive press, and strong word of mouth was enough to get some attention. Not anymore, though all of that is still really important.
Nowadays, the hot promotional vehicle du jour is the album trailer. Yes, trailer. The visual vehicle has moved beyond the movie theater ” hell, even books get their own trailers these days. Album trailers are a pretty recent promotional innovation, and while it’s unclear whether they’ll become an integral part of a release campaign in the future, tons of bands have put out album trailers in 2012. So, we thought we would shine a light on some of our personal favorite album trailers from a handful of acts that we love.
Late last week, a few pages of the a comic book originally slated to accompany the Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and Method Man collaborative album Wu-Massacre leaked online. The short comic book, also titled Wu-Massacre, sees the three Wu-Tang Clan members transformed from hip-hop heavyweights into ultra gritty über-badasses.
That’s the first page to the left. We can’t really show the rest as it’s potentially NSFW. Lots of guts, gore, and viscera is splattered across the following panels as the three Wu-Tangers fight against (and utterly destroy) some unknown adversaries. It’s the kind of stuff that must make up the fever dreams of every young male hip-hop star put to paper. The project had some serious creative backing too, with art direction handled by Alex Haldi and character design by illustrator Chris Bachalo.
And just to avoid any confusion going forward, Ghostface Killah is the guy in the white mask, Method Man is rocking the red jacket, and Raekwon is the commando-looking guy. Alas, whatever story there was is lost along with the dialogue. But does it really matter with artwork this fresh?
Well it’s been quite a journey, friends, but here we are”the last chapter of Rapper’s Delight” and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. As the wise and luminous Lupe Fiasco puts it, though, “the show goes on.” On second thought, maybe he’s not really all that wise but he definitely has a way with words. I know you’re probably broken up and thinking “how on earth will I find out about OurStage hip hop, random themed playlists and upcoming album releases now?” Well I’ve got you covered! Here’s the skinny on some things to keep an eye on for the rest of 2011:
Rock The Bells: Headlined by Wu-Tang in its debut year, this West Coast festival has become a hip hop staple. In 2006, fortunately, the festival expanded to include cities outside of So Cal and even hit five international stops in 2008. This year’s lineup has a few names you might recognize: Nas, Common, Raekwon, Ghostface, Black Star, DOOM, Immortal Technique and many, many more. If you live near California, New York City or Boston, find a way to get to this festival.
Watch The Throne: This mysterious collaborative album between Kanye West and Jay-Z was rumored (again) to be released last week through Def Jam, but July 4th came and went. HOV tore himself away from the Yankees on July 8th to play the album in full for a handful of reporters. Initials reviews are in the duos favor. According to MTV, Kanye described it as “very dark and sexy,” “real dirty, fucked up, hardcore stuff'” and also “luxe and definitely high class.” Regardless of your feelings on Kanye and Jay-Z, you have to admit it’s intriguing. Let’s just hope the rest of the album is better than “H.A.M.”
Blackout! 3: Not a lot needs to be said about this one. Given the solid delivery in Blackout! and Blackout! 2, any Meth or Redman fan is going to want to check this out. And if you’re not sold on this legendary duo’s musical collaborations, maybe another viewing of How High is in order instead.
Tha Carter IV: Originally announced to released with Rebirth as a double disc album, Tha Carter IV is getting its own release this August. Unless, of course, it gets pushed back yet again. As Lil Wayne so eloquently puts it, “Tha Carter IV deserves Tha Carter IV.” While Lil Wayne can certainly be hit or miss, we’re just as excited about the guest rappers on the album as we are for Weezy himself: Tech N9ne, Rick Ross, Kanye West and Corey Gunz for example. Plus, the single “6 Foot 7 Foot” is pretty damn good.
Legendary Weapons: This came out of left field, but the Wu-Tang Clan is releasing a new “compilation” album on the 26th. We’re not really sure how it’s a compilation, since all of the tracks are new, but we’re pretty excited anyway. While Chamber Music wasn’t our favorite Wu production, it still delivered that old Wu sound and old Wu mindset. Legendary Weapons looks like it’s of the same vein and is being released through E1 Music as well. Outside of Wu-Tang’s crew, there’ll be some guest appearances from Sean Price, Killa Sin, M.O.P. and more. We’re just bummed that GZA and Masta Killa are still missing from the equation.
Last but not least, we’ve got a couple of recent OurStage releases to help hold you over. Yung Khan’s Mortal Khan-Bat mixtape dropped in May”and you can download it for free here on DatPiff. Also check out E-Dubble’s new single “Changed My Mind” below, as well as Young Duece’s new video for “Impossible.”
It’s not too late people”there’s still time to enter your song in Guitar Center’s Your Next Record with Travis Barker Competition on OurStage! One Grand Prize winner will join the ranks of the many killer artists that Barker has lent his talents to over the years including Tom Morello, Raekwon, RZA, Slash and Game. How might you ask? The best way he knows how: by rocking out on the drums of course. The Grand Prize winner will receive the ultimate rock star prize package including a trip to Los Angeles to record a 3-song EP with Barker at the Red Bull Studios and a $10,000 shopping spree at Guitar Center. Barker will play drums on one single from the EP, which will be distributed worldwide by TuneCore. It’s pretty much your one-way ticket to rock super-stardom, so enter your best track by April 30, 2011 for your chance to win!
Fans can also join in on the rock ‘n’ roll party by judging in Guitar Center’s Your Next Record with Travis Barker Sweepstakes. Judge in the competition by May 15, 2011 and you could win an OCDP snare drum autographed by Travis Barker himself! Help the best artists get their big break, and you could walk away with a priceless piece of rock history. Everyone goes home happy. Cruise through the playlist below to check out some of the hottest artists in the competition.
Every once in a while, an album will drop and instantly affect the evolution of its genre. A Piece of Strange, the CunninLynguist’s devastating concept album, hit the nail on the head five years ago. In an era of hip hop singles and auto-tune, full length concept releases are a hot commodity. Well, Oneirology does not disappoint. Produced entirely by Kno, of course, the album is really a testament to his ever-growing skill. Aptly titled, too, because oneirology is the “scientific study of dreams.” Not a subtle theme in any way; in fact, the topic of dreams permeates the album from start to finish. Besides the song titles, the most obvious correlation is with the beats themselves. Kno’s densely-layered, almost ambient, style leaves dreamscapes with powerful allure for Deacon and Natti to toy with.
Introspective and dark, Oneirology is a journey of self exploration. Samples such as “I had a funny dream the other night” and Biggie’s “It was all (a dream)” uneasily dance in and out of the fifteen tracks with haunting frequency. The production is not the only thing thing that’s well thought out and consistent, though; the emceeing is classic CunninLynguists. By that we mean it’s great: Ccomplex, smart and meaningful. Deacon and Natti tear it up, as expected, and guest rappers Big K.R.I.T., Freddie Gibbs and Tonedeff deliver as well. Even Kno gets down on a few tracks, although his performance is a notch below the others.
The lead single, “Stars Shine Brightest (In The Darkest Of Night),” fits surprisingly well with the rest of the album. It’s still commercially potent, but it stays within the confines of the album’s theme. Other notable tracks on the album are “Darkness (Dream On)” and “Hard As They Come (Act I)”. In the latter, the group raps from the perspective of liquor, crack and HIV in a powerful statement about life in poor neighborhoods. The CunninLynguists are continually morphing and refining their style, and Oneirology is just the latest chapter in their journey. Whether or not it’s as good as A Piece of Strange is a judgment call. For us, however, it is tied with Raekwon’s Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang for best hip hop album of the year so far. We posted a couple selections below for you. Enjoy!
- Cruella De Vil dissolves deal with Target. No, wait. That’s Gaga.
- Raekwon thinks Charlie Sheen is a rich dick. #notwinning
- Can we just give up on the Spiderman musical, already?
- Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson battle for custody of son. Either way, child is destined for a future in pop-punk.
- Chris Brown done apologizing for “domestic mishap.” Is that what they’re calling it these days?
- Kim Kardashian’s lyrics are… awesome.
- Jadakiss remembers celebrating his birthday with Biggie. R.I.P.
- Ever wanted to know what Bieber would look like with facial hair? Yeah… neither have we.
Ghostface Killah has garnered a lot of respect in the world of hip hop over the last fifteen or so years, largely because of his role in the Wu-Tang Clan, but also for his illustrious nine album solo career. His sophomore solo album, Supreme Clientele, is often noted as the album that saved the Wu-Tang empire after weak releases from several other Wu-Tang members. Apollo Kids, his most recent release, reinforces his nickname “Ironman” with another solid and consistent delivery. Apollo Kids is a step back from Ghostface’s previous album, Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City, which featured an R&B style approach with contagious and borderline easy going beats. Apollo Kids is a return to his raw, in-your-face flow and the aggressive demeanor of his early Wu-Tang sound that we all love. Oh yeah, and it’s chock-full of collaborations with legendary emcees such as GZA, Raekwon, Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, Redman and Method Man, just to name a few.
The album starts off with a track titled “Purified Thoughts”, which is a hard-hitting introspection featuring Killah Priest and GZA. Their verses are broken up by the soulful, albeit eerie, crooning of Them Two as they ask “Am I a good man? Am I a fool?.” You might expect this introductory track to set the tone for the album, but overall Apollo Kids lacks a sense of continuity. Ghostface and Busta Rhymes immediately dive into the funky and bodacious “Superstar” right after and the rest of the album continues down the path of divergence. Two things that hold steady throughout the album, however, are the level of quality and the level of energy. Ghostface goes at it like it’s his last album; his lyricism and drive can really only be described as relentless. Overall, the fire and fury behind his words haven’t faded with time and we can’t wait for his two upcoming releases: Blue & Cream and Supreme Clientele Part II.