May 5, 2009

For Promotional Use Only: Inspectah Deck - The Resident Patient 2 (Mixtape?) (2008)

Inspectah Deck's The Resident Patient 2 is a source of mystery on the Interweb front (mainly for people that actually give a fuck about Inspectah Deck). It leaked onto the web back in 2the summer of 2008, with many critics of the Wu-Tang Clan's present-day output electing to ignore it entirely, lest they just be disappointed again, not unlike with what happened with Deck's last album, The Resident Patient. However, soon after the leak, the artist known as Jason Hunter (allegedly) announced that this was simply a twenty-three track mixtape, and a real album, also titled The Resident Patient 2, would drop in the fall.

Well, that album never actually came out. I'm going to look at this in a positive fashion, though, so I've given the title of this post the usual tag I give to actual known mixtapes. Only time will tell if that was a misnomer or not.

Anyway, The Resident Patient 2 is a deejay-free mixtape, featuring Deck and only one other guest spitting to mostly stolen instrumentals from other artists (lending credence to the "this is actually a mixtape" theory). It seems to pick up right where its predecessor left off, which, if you'll recall, was pretty goddamn awful.

Obviously, I'm going into this one with only the lowest of expectations.

If this was intended to reintroduce Jason Hunter to the Wu-Tang fans who ignored The Resident Patient, then it fails miserably. If, however, the intent was to repurpose Inspectah Deck as an average rapper who has no apparent ties to a certain hip hop supergroup, then I guess he succeeded. Either way, this shit sucks elephant scrotum.

You know which Wu-Tang member tends to rhyme over overtly commercial-sounding instrumentals such as this? Method Man. And you know whose songs tend to sound at their most awful when he tries to branch out for radio airplay? Method Man. “Feel Good” comes off as Deck's attempt at a club banger, and it will probably piss you off. I ask again: who the fuck let the Wu into the club?

Deck isn't from the South: the motherfucker's from New York. So an attempt at a double-time flow is unnecessary. And since he's spitting faster than usual, he sounds like he's aware of his flow and second-guessing the rhymes, and that added layer of attention is detrimental to the cause.

I'm a sucker for tracks that sample the end part of “Between The Sheets” from The Isley Brothers (both Jay-Z and UGK have done so in the past). Deck explored the love rap on his debut, Uncontrolled Substance, with fair results, and even though this song pales in comparison, when stacked up with The Resident Patient 2 thus far, it stands head and shoulders above the rest of this crap. For now, at least.

Jacks the not-so-bad-at-all beat from Diddy's “The Future” (the song where he sounds like Pharoahe Monch, mainly because Monch wrote the rhymes for him), and even though Deck fails to do a better job with it (surprising, I know), he still sounds slightly refreshed. Bonus points for (finally!) shouting-out the Wu-Tang Clan and for recalling a PMD line from EPMD's “Strictly Snappin' Necks”.

6. Y'ALL N----Z
This song is really fucking stupid. I've heard better choruses on Yo Gabba Gabba.

Deck jacks Jay-Z's “Show Me What You Got” (which originally jacked Public Enemy), and manages a flow that is hesitant and awkward, mainly because he's also stolen Hova's flow. What the fuck, man? Inspectah Deck has been in the game for about the same length of time as Jay-Z; why does he feel the need to change his rhyme style?

8. S.I.
The fuck is this shit?

I realize The Resident Patient 2 is a mixtape, so asking for cohesion is akin to looking for direct answers in the Bible, but the placement of this track right after “S.I.” is ridiculous. Not that this song is any good, mind you. But if Deck ever decided to re-use these lyrics on a Wu-Tang Clan posse cut, all of you stans would shout your praise from the rooftops, and I count myself in your numbers.

This actually makes me long for The Movement, and that album sucked. Inspectah Deck hasn't exactly fallen to U-God levels of mediocrity, but there's still time.

Deck swipes Hova's “Trouble”, my favorite Dr. Dre-produced track from Kingdom Come. (In fact, he jacks a few Dre prescriptions for this “project”; I think he's trying to subliminally tell us something. And by something, I mean that he needs professional help, and someone should inform him that Dr. Dre is not a licensed practitioner.) It's gimmicky, but not entirely without merit. Why is it that people ignore the fact that Denzel Washington's crooked cop from Training Day didn't actually say “King Kong ain't got nothing on me”? That line was cleaned up for the trailer, folks: Denzel actually yells “King Kong ain't got shit on me!”. My theory is that everyone was distracted by one of two things: the lovely Eva Mendes (for obvious reasons) or that punching bag that was dressed up as Ethan Hawke.

Recording a sequel to the first song on The Resident Patient 2 was probably a bad idea, but one could see this as the beginning of a side two of sorts. No, seriously, one could, but it's up in the air as to whether one will. At least this track sounds better than its predecessor.

The only way that title would appear more generic is if you removed the word “everybody”. However, in an extreme twist, the song itself is not bad. Although Wu-affiliate (and Deck's new BFF, apparently) Babyface Fensta would benefit from a proofreader, even he manages to sound like he will eventually know his way around a recording booth.

Probably would have sounded more impressive on somebody else's mixtape, perhaps with other artists jumping on.

Deck channels Raekwon from “Winter Warz” over a stolen Dr. Dre beat that he rocks fairly well. This is the closest to golden-age Wu-Tang that I've heard on The Resident Patient 2 thus far, and (SPOILER ALERT!) you won't be seeing that again on here.

The hook is so terrible that you'll want to cry. True fact.

The short length of all of these songs lends credence to my as-yet-unmentioned theory that Inspectah Deck has developed adult-onset attention deficit hyperactive disorder, and is no longer capable of focusing on one topic for longer than two minutes at a time. Seriously, this shit is all over the fucking place.

18. HOOD
Oddly, Jason reaches into his CD collection and swipes the “Last Dayz” beat from Onyx. “Last Dayz” and “All We Got Iz Us” make up the best one-two combination in Onyx's back catalog, so this theft is already questionable. Deck sounds alright, I suppose, but it's more of a thrill to hear that instrumental again for the first time in, like, forever.

19. NYC
SO terrible that it'll make you change vacation destinations to Boise, Idaho instead.

20. DO IT 2 DEF
From the Nicolas Cage film of the same name.

A decent fragment of a concept. Deck gets serious for about a minute and a half over a soulful beat, and even though he specifically mentions that he doesn't feel a need to rhyme beyond the single presented verse, he's wrong: if he were to expand upon this idea, it could turn out pretty great. As it is, too little, too late.

So cliché that it deserves a Hype Williams-directed video (circa the mid-1990s), fly honeys in a club atmosphere, lots of champagne being poured, a larger-than-can-fit-in-an-airplane entourage (some of which wearing t-shirts advertising The Resident Patient 2, never mind how they got into the club wearing a goddamn t-shirt), a third act taking place in a rented mansion (the “after party”, as it were), and Inspectah Deck making it rain in the center of the circus (even though rappers didn't readily do that in the mid-1990s: they liked to show off their cash, not throw it at everybody). Also, a few acrobats and a random Puff Daddy cameo would be expected. In other words, what I'm saying is that this shit is awful.

For the final track on The Resident Patient 2, Deck jacks Snoop Dogg's Dr. Dre-produced “Imagine”, which used to be a serious song about how hip hop could have been, and turns it into a bullshit club track featuring his bestest friend in the whole wide world (with an unimpressive cameo) and a title based around a word that doesn't fucking exist, not even within the song's context. Groan.

SHOULD YOU TRACK IT DOWN? Although it is just a mixtape, The Resident Patient 2 is pretty terrible nonetheless. A handful of decent tracks spread out over twenty-three songs aside, Inspectah Deck manages to set the Wu-Tang movement back by about fifty years by coming off as a average everyday rapper, and we all know he's capable of better. A major disappointment, although given the man's solo track record, I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting. With this submitted as evidence, I'm not sure the man could hold anybody's attention even if that alleged collaboration album with DJ Muggs (which he either recorded or didn't record, depending on who you ask) ever dropped. I can't even suggest that my two readers burn this one without a serious crisis of conscience. If you weren't a Wu-Tang Clan fan before, this will basically solidify your opinion. If you are a Wu stan, it's best to pretend that this shit doesn't exist.


More Wu for you two.


  1. AnonymousMay 05, 2009

    It's so depressing to hear Wu-Tang members sound like everyone else. This guy's vocabulary is so far gone from "Triumph."

    But you know what you've never tackled, Max? The Killa Bees and Killa Beez albums (Sting & Swarm).

  2. AnonymousMay 06, 2009

    sigh. Look out for the rebellion 2009... yeah...

  3. Big ups for the Yo Gabba Gabba love!

  4. This was indeed fucking terrible , I gave it a listen once and it hurt my ears and my Wu-heart.Deck needs to get his act together again, urgently !

  5. I really disagree with you on this one and this is coming from a die hard wu fan songs like no body but you is ok in your vocab? really? Im like Dwade stepin to dirk I bring heat to your Mavericks is not something special to open a song with in todays hip hop world? who dropped a better song about the hood than deck in 2008?granted its no deck on cream and triumph and cold war or guillitine but not to many cate dropped better verses in 2008 than deck and i am willing to challenge anyone who says other wise, just drop me a verse from 2008 and ill drop one from deck off this mixtape.


  6. I completely disagree with this review. It has become quite popular now days to crap on decks tracks and albums. I don't get it. This is considered a mixtape and it's better than most hip hop albums coming out now days and that includes the wu solo albums. I actually think this is a better listen than wu's watered down 8 diagrams. Oh and most music critics don't have a clue what they're talking about. And that's coming from an actual musician.