Monday, December 29, 2008

Pro Tools

by GZA/Genius

I've always found GZA to be one of the more lyrically clever members of the Wu-Tang Clan. He is able to spit the usual Wu-Tang randomness, but he is also able to tell a story with his songs. His story-telling skills come out strongly on this album in songs like '0% Finance' and 'Path of Destruction', the latter an exposition on juvenile delinquency.

The most effective story he tells is on 'Cinema', where his teenage son Justice Kareem whispers the hook in a half-terrified, halting voice, adding to the atmosphere of dread on that track. Justice also appears on another song - 'Groundbreaking' - trading verses with his father ably, but hampered by a very adolescent-sounding voice.

The production on this album is consistently excellent. GZA employs Wu affiliates like True Master, Mathematics, Arabian Knight, Jay Waxx Garfield, and Bronze Nazareth (the heir apparent to RZA's throne) to layer the album in the typically sinister, melodic beats that Wu Tang is known for. Even Black Milk sounds a little like RZA on his track. The RZA graces the album with a couple of beats, and a couple of guest appearances. The only other member of the Wu to appear is Masta Killa.

This is by no means a ground-breaking album, but it is a strong addition to the Wu Library.

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