Wu-Tang is so scattered that they don't really qualify as a clan; at this point they're probably closer to a loose network of anarcho-syndicalist collectives. So no, we'll probably never see another record approaching the unmitigated brilliance of their 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
. The upshot to that is the individual members of the Clan are left to their own devices, which has produced some pretty
great stuff, and they're set to continue that trend for the near-future.
First up is Ghostface Killah, whose album Wizard of Poetry
is set to drop Sep. 29 on Def Jam. Ghost could have been in strong contention for greatest Wu solo member following his 2006 masterpiece Fishscale,
but the 2007 followup The Big Doe Rehab was, well, underwhelming. It's hard to check high hopes at the door for Ironman's records, but our initial impression of Wizard left even more of a lingering bad taste. C'mon, just give us another "Champ"; you've got it in you!
Ghostface also had a starring role in the court intrigue
that followed the release of Wu-Tang's 2007 album, 8 Diagrams
. Some very public infighting and outspoken criticism from RZA led Raekwon to declare that the Clan would be releasing their next album, Shaolin vs. the Wu-Tang
, sans the Razor. RZA was gradually accepted back into the fold and the beef was squashed, but Shaolin vs. the Wu-Tang
lives on as an as-yet-untitled three-way collab.
Ghostface, Raekwon and Method Man will each contribute four tracks to the joint for a grand total of "12 phat bullets."
And finally, Raekwon's oft-delayed Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II
finally saw the light of day earlier this month. The Chef can probably breathe a little easier now that Dr. Dre's Detox
is the number-one contender for status as the Chinese Democracy
of hip-hop albums. Oh, and did we mention that Cuban Linx II
is really great
? Because it certainly is.