Release Date: 12.18.01
Record label: loud records
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.
A Yo, The Wu Is Back
by: tom reiter
Attempting a comeback in the music industry is never an easy task. In the urban music genre, which is always riding on the newest trends, it's basically impossilbe to mount a successfull one. But that's exactly what the Wu set out to do on their fourth album (minus countless solo albums), Iron Flag. The Clan has to overcome the lack of success The W saw, as well as the challenge of making an album without m.i.a. member Ol' Dirty Bastard, who's currently serving time in prison.
Right out of the box, "In The Hood" takes a step back in time to a more street-oriented WTC, like that found on Wu-Tang Forever. Stripping back the glitz and glamour, "In The Hood" aims at getting the Wu back onto the forefront of ghetto hip-hop making use of gunshot samples, sirens, and a blaring R&B horn section so familiar to the Wu.
As if "Soul Power" didn't sound old school enough with classic dj-looped beat behind a flute sample and freestyle-emulating rhymes by various members, RZA brings in Flava Flav to lay down the catchy refrain. "Uzi (Pinky Ring)" has RZA inserting some classic Wu samples and scratching behind another R&B horn sample.
"Babies" is the Iron Flag's "Can It All Be So Simple". Emotional, slowed up tempo, ghetto story, "Babies" fits the bill. And for everyone still trying to compare the new Wu to the one that surfaced nine years ago, "Ya'll Been Warned" and the first half of "Iron Flag" will stand out.
Each member provides his input as usual on Iron Flag. Raekwon the Chef is under-utilized however, and Ghostface doesn't make an impressive appearance. The GZA is lyrically tight as usual, and Inspectah Deck and U-God once again play the supporting roles and don't disappoint. Method Man is, well, Method Man, nothing more can be said about that. The real improvement on Iron Flag, however, is RZA. He not only more than adequately fills the production end, he shows refinement in his normally edgy, sketchy rhymes.
While the Wu-Tang Clan may have experienced varying success over the years with their solo and group albums, they have never really left the hip-hop scene. Iron Flag will once again attract attention to the hip-hop-evolutionary group. 27-Feb-2002 11:30 AM