Wu-Tang Clan – 8 Diagrams [Review]

8 Diagrams

“Wu-Tang! Wu-Tang!” Yeah, the unthinkable has happened, Wu-Tang Clan has released another album. It’s been six years since Wu released an album and let’s be honest; the climate in Rap music has changed immensely. Even though the stats say Wu-Tang released five albums, shit ain’t been the same since 1997’s Wu-Tang Forever (Especially with the passing of Ol’ Dirty Bastard). With all that being said though, this may be the best time for a Wu-Tang album. We need an alternative from today’s “ringtone rap”; at least when Wu-Tang was running shit they had lyrics. So to all the people who went and got a Wu-Tang tattoo back in the late 90’s, this one is for you.

1. Campfire
Method Man & Ghostface Killah featuring Cappadonna; Produced by RZA
The album starts out like it suppose to be; with a Kung Fu flick sample. The beat hits and it sounds like vintage hard hitting Wu. All involved sound rejuvenated especially Method: “Spittin like a calico, kush from a Cali hoe/Tell that joker ‘tally ho’, put shots in that Denali yo/RZA you know how we go on them 20’s, that’s how we roll/And I don’t eat berries but eat a Berry like Halle though” Okay, now I’m excited.

2. Take It Back
Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, U-God, & Method Man; Produced by Easy Mo Bee & RZA
The beat on this one reminds me of Ghostface’s “Daytona 500”. I don’t fault it for that though; I love that song. I like this song also even though the hook is suspect.

3. Get ‘Em Out Ya Way Pa
Method Man, U-God, Masta Killa, Raekwon, & Ghostface Killah; Produced by RZA
I think one problem I might have with this album is its cohesiveness. With this track, it sounds like the members weren’t in the same room when they recorded it. Besides that, I think the track is average at best. The beat is okay and reminds you of track 2. I’m also getting tired of U-God.

4. Rushing Elephants
Raekwon, GZA, RZA, & Master Killa; Produced by RZA
This reminds me of something that would have been on a Raekwon solo album. It’s good to hear RZA finally get on the mic too even though he still sometimes rhymes off beat. Yeah, I know what you saying out there, “But that’s his style”. Whatever. Not a bad track though with the horns and such.

5. Unpredictable
Inspectah Deck & RZA featuring Dexter Wiggles; Produced by RZA
For some reason, this sounds a little like the theme form Shaft. Don’t know why though. The hook on this one is awful and not that awful like I don’t get it either. Just bad.

6. The Heart Gently Weeps
Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, & Method Man feat. Erykah Badu; Produced by RZA & George Drakoulias
This is the first single off the album. I heard like three different versions and at first I really didn’t like either. But now I see that I just wasn’t used to hearing Wu-Tang Can like this with all the live instruments and all. The song kinda grew on me a bit now thanks to the Badu hook.

7. Wolves
U-God, Method Man, & Masta Killa featuring George Clinton; Produced by RZA
The paring of George Clinton and Wu-Tang is lost on me. The actually beat sounds like Wu; they just should have kept it without George Clinton. Not really feeling this one.

8. Gun Will Go
Raekwon, Method Man, & Masta Killa featuring Sunny Valentine; Produced by RZA
This track is more laid back than the ones before. Even though I once again don’t like the hook, the actual song is good. It’s your standard looped up style you expect from RZA.

9. Sunlight
RZA; Produced by RZA
The only solo track off the album. Personally, I don’t think there is room for a solo on this album when you have eight members. The track is average I guess; you might like it if you like RZA’s rhyme style.

10. Stick Me for My Riches
Method Man, Inspectah Deck, RZA, & GZA featuring Gerald Alston; Produced by Mathematics & RZA
I like they way that the beat changes up on this track. What’s up with all these wired ass hooks though? GZA makes an appearance here which is a good thing I guess.

11. Starter
GZA, Inspectah Deck, & U-God featuring Streetlife, Sunny Valentine, & Tash Mahogany; Produced by RZA
It’s always weird for me to hear the roughest looking members of Wu rapping about women. I don’t know if this track was a attempt for a radio; I hope not. If you in Wu-Tang and you wasn’t on “Ice Cream”, you shouldn’t be rapping about the ladies. Oh yeah, get Sunny Valentine off these songs please.

12. Windmill
Raekwon, GZA, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, & Method Man featuring Cappadonna; Produced by RZA
RZA samples Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang”. Not a bad use; I’ve heard it used better on Lil’ Wayne’s “Dedication 2” though. This is not a bad song though. No hook; just rhyming.

13. Weak Spot
RZA, Raekwon, & GZA; Produced by RZA & George Drakoulias
This one is more straight forward and right to the point. It incorporates more of the Kung Fu flick sampling too. Nice rugged beat and nice rhymes; what else could you ask for?

14. Life Changes
Method Man, Raekwon, GZA, Masta Killer, Inspectah Deck, U-God, & RZA; Produced by RZA
This track is a dedication to ODB. Clocking in at 7:21, everybody doesn’t get a lot of time but it’s still a nice eulogy and the Freda Payne sample here fits the mood. I still wish all the members would of got to rap (Ghostface is missing), but this is the most members you get on a song for this album. R.I.P. Dirty.

15. Tar Pit (Bonus Track)
U-God featuring Streetlife, Cappadonna, & George Clinton; Produced by RZA
I see why this is a bonus track. This sounds like it’s from U-God’s solo album…thats not a good thing. I’m sorry, back in the day I used to stick up for U-God but that nigga just be saying bullshit now. And why is George Clinton on this track too?

16. 16th Chamber (ODB Special) (Bonus Track)
Method Man & Ol’ Dirty Bastard; Produced by RZA
This sounds like it’s from a live performance or a DJ mix. Not a new track but you get to hear ODB.

Bottom Line:
Okay, I’ve been seeing a lot of great reviews for this album but honestly, I don’t hear it here. This is not a terrible album at all. But this is a an album from Wu-Tang; feel me? What I mean is that being that it’s Wu-Tang Clan, its got to be more than average. This is supposed to be the return of the Killer Bees. I understand why Ghostface and Raekwon had problems with this album coming out. It’s not at the level that they should be at. I know I gonna get grilled on this rating, but I was a big fan of Wu back in the day and this album ain’t giving me that feeling again. I guess I’ll just have to wait on the next album supposedly being put out by the Wu that doesn’t include RZA.

nappy Picks: “Campfire”, “Windmill”, “Weak Spot”, & “Life Changes”

Download: Wu-Tang Clan – “Campfire”