January 6, 2020

Hiatus-Type Beat



Well, that's all, folks. The 12 Days of Wu-Mas are finally over, and its completion just so happens to coincide with my planned hiatus of the blog. How convenient was that?

January 5, 2020

The 12 Days of Wu-Mas #12: Zu Ninjaz - Now Justice (2005)



The final day of the 12 Days of Wu-Mas this go-round is dedicated to the type of weirdness that I easily could program for the full stunt next time (if there is a next time, hint hint, better up those page clicks): Zu Ninjaz’ Now Justice, a Wu-affiliated album from friends of friends of Ol’ Dirty Bastard that likely slipped under many a radar, mostly because one has to treat it like eight full-time jobs to keep track of everything the Wu-Tang family tree manages to release.

Fair warning: Now Justice is far deeper into the Wu forest than anything else I’ve written about over the past eleven days, not unlike that Moongod Allah project from last time, so proceed at your own risk, lest you get “rap nerd” on your clothes that can’t be washed out.

January 4, 2020

The 12 Days of Wu-Mas #11 - My Gut Reaction: Cappadonna - The Cappatilize Project (July 22, 2008)


Darryl “Cappadonna” Hill released his fourth solo album, The Cappatilize Project, in 2008, four years after his previous effort, The Struggle, floundered about in the underground. This was quite the downshift from where the man was just a few years prior: as one of two acts signed to The RZA’s Razor Sharp Records (the other being Ghostface Killah) that ever managed to release albums, Cappadonna was moving tons of units (his debut, The Pillage, sold over five hundred thousand copies in the United States alone), was touring with the Wu-Tang Clan, and was basically on top of the world.

So what the fuck happened? Why did he vanish from the mainstream for so long? Short version: money troubles. Slightly longer version: money troubles caused by The RZA. 

Allegedly.

(Although if more than one person has made the claim, there's likely some truth to it, right?)

January 3, 2020

The 12 Days of Wu-Mas #10 - My Gut Reaction: Various Artists - Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men (EP) (May 17, 2019)


2019 was a fairly busy year for the Wu-Tang Clan. Aside from the group’s ongoing tour schedule, which featured them performing their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), in its entirety as a way of celebrating its twenty-five years of existence (even though, again, 2019 marked twenty-six years), they invited the rest of the television-watching public to join in the festivities with two separate projects that told the story of how the Clan came to be in the first place. The second of these efforts, the Hulu series Wu-Tang: An American Saga, was a Brian Grazer-produced fictionalized version of the group’s formation, focusing largely on the events in the lives of eight of the nine original members (U-God chose not to participate) that led to the Wu as we know it.

January 2, 2020

The 12 Days of Wu-Mas #9: Shyheim - Manchild (June 22, 1999, at least originally)



Shyheim Franklin’s third album, Manchild, was released in 1999, five years after his debut, A/K/A The Rugged Child, which dropped when the guy was only fourteen years old. Or at least that was the plan: Manchild was distributed by Wu-Tang Records, Shy’s first with the label and the very first opportunity he ever had to flagrantly show off his Wu ties (his previous two projects featured a tiny bit of Wu involvement, but he had never officially been a part of the Clan’s label roster before), but its release was recalled almost immediately.

January 1, 2020

The 12 Days of Wu-Mas #8 - My Gut Reaction: Ghostface Killah - Ghostface Killahs (September 13, 2019)


Since roughly 2011, Dennis “Ghostface Killah” Coles has been just plain bored with what you and I generally refer to as “hip hop”. Even with his standing as one of the most popular and most critically acclaimed members of the Wu-Tang Clan, he grew tired of turning the same type of album in to the label every couple of years, so he forced a paradigm switch, challenging himself to write cohesive narratives while opting to work with like-minded artists who could help him see his vision through to fruition. This is how we ended up with a run of projects like the two Adrian Younge-assisted Twelve Reasons To Die albums (still waiting on that trilogy capper, buddy), the Revelations-backed 36 Seasons, his joint effort with Czarface (Czarface Meets Ghostface, which was produced entirely by the Czar-Keys and totally counts here), and the BADBADNOTGOOD collaboration Sour Soul, all of which featured our host working closely with a single producer or production team to give the listener seamless audio stories to enjoy.

December 31, 2019

The 12 Days of Wu-Mas #7 - My Gut Reaction: Inspectah Deck - Chamber No. 9 (July 12, 2019)


Jason “Inspectah Deck” Hunter hasn’t released an album in nine years. You two are forgiven if you think I’m wrong there, even though I’m not: aside from some mixtape appearances, the last project from Deck that hit store shelves was 2010’s Manifesto. Since then, he’s focused almost exclusively on his Czarface side project (alongside underground duo 7L & Esoteric) that has since dominated his time, primarily because Czarface has captured hip hop lightning in a bottle multiple times in their short time on this Earth, although Deck always makes time for his friends in the Wu-Tang Clan as needed.

As such, Chamber No. 9, his apparent favorite number or favorite chamber (you’ll see what I mean in a bit), is merely Inspectah Deck’s fourth solo album since 1999.

Again, I know that doesn’t sound right, but feel free to fact-check me.