Wu-Tang Album Delayed, RZA Cites Mixed Interest From Members

Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA called out the members of the group who have and have NOT been helping make a new album into a reality.

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]

What Makes An Album Trailer? We've Got A Few Great Examples! (And One Stinker)

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.


Unreleased Comics From "Wu-Massacre" Leak Online, Are Awesome

Talk about your wasted opportunities.

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?


Rapper's Delight: The Next Episode

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.”

Enter Your Next Record With Travis Barker Competition Before It's Too Late!

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.

Rapper's Delight: The Study Of Dreams

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!