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beautifulrock
12-05-2012, 12:38 AM
Wu-Block

It's been nearly a year since a major release from the Wu-Tang camp, or any artist(s) that don't sound like they are spitting post modern Dr. Seuss nursery rhymes over watered down reused samples. In that void of real, albeit old school (talking 90's here) hip hop, comes Wu-Block, a mash up of the Wu camp and the rap collective D-Block.

That's generous though.

A more accurate description would be a Ghostface/Sheek Louch duo album with features from both camps, as the two veterans hold down most of the album, appearing on every track. Sheek, for his part, has never gotten the recognition of a Pretty Tony, as he bemoans on "Bust Shots". "Been makin' hits for years, but I'm mad I ain't got no awards". With Ghost at his side, he finally has a chance to do just that.


Cliche.

People are going to throw a word around a lot when describing this album, cliche. They'll say it's the same old misogynist, blunts and 40's gangster rap that permeated the airwaves in the 90's. And for their part, they'd be right. In Hip Hop, there truly is nothing new under the sun. But asking a group of chiseled hip hop veterans to change their ways is like asking a white man from Mississippi to vote for Obama, ain't gonna happen. This is what they do, and they do it well. Certainly better, than anyone else even making an attempt these days. So yes, this album most certainly is cliche, and you might even find you hate yourself for liking the themes so much.


The Bad

I'll start with the negatives, because I really only have a couple of gripes juxtaposed against the mountain of praise that's to come. This is a problem you will hear repeated in reviews for the album around the internet. The song "Guns for Life" is another one of those, weapon personification stories that Nas first dropped on his second album many years ago. It's been repeated many many times, and while Ghost and Styles put their own twist on it, Ghost's narrative comes off rather strange and creepy, as he treats his Glock like a newborn baby, kissing it to sleep, of all things.

On "All in Together Now", a title used by the Wu camp about 50 times, the shouted hook will remain stuck in your head even though you probably won't want it to. It is definitely the most grating song on the album, from the shrieking horns to the deep pounding drums. It is a headache inducer.

Another head scratcher is "Stick Up Kids", an underwhelming beat which is a featured instrumental, and overused hook plague a track whose only respite is Ghost's "My grandmother go to church to pray on my victims". The Jadakiss feature is a giant waste as he drones on about Aids needles and basically blends into the background.

Finally, more of a personal gripe would be the order of "Pour the Martini", which would have been much better served anchoring the album, rather than the second song. There is an overall feeling of completion when listening to the song.


The Classics

The most obvious is the third track, "Pull tha Cars Out", which features one of the most head nodding beats you have heard in years, and an utterly repeatable, yet corny hook. Meth destroys the final verse, as he brags in yet another brilliant triple entendre, "Get my money off the hook like I'm Abdul-Jabbar." This song is certified.

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Been Robbed is a spoof of Jackson 5's ABC, a soulful slapstick tongue-in-cheek look at the stick up game. You will repeat the hook ad nauseum. In the vein of Ghost's more recent upbeat soul tracks like Ghetto.

Driving Round will get some hate for GZA's verse, which kinda sounds like he's on high doses of PCP and NyQuill, seemingly trying to catch the beat forever. Despite this, the content of the track lyrically needs praising. Another repeatable hook by Erykah Badu.

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Comin' for your Head is a modern day mafioso jam that should be used to get locker rooms amped before a football game. This sounds like a D-Block classic.

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Crack Spot Stories is another in a long like of visually stimulating Ghostface tracks, due to his incredibly detailed descriptions. Think Shakey Dog or Maxine.

Take Notice uses synthesizers to create a mood devoid of shiny happy feelings. What the calm before a storm should sound like.

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Different Time Zones has a haunting melody that is the perfect backdrop for a song about missing home while on tour. As I've said before, Inspectah Deck is a beast. He makes any track better. "Pretty boos in Jimmy Chu's with titties loose, in the mood gettin' nude in a swimmin' pool".

Do It Like Us has another repeatable hook, and a beat that experiences both ends of the spectrum from breezy and light, to dark and menacing.

The smooth and cool, "Stella", sounds like one of MF DOOM's patented 80's Dynasty beats. Method Man anchors with possibly the best feature on the album.


Bangers

Pour the Martini, Cocaine Central, Bust Shots, Bust Shots (Remix), and Union Square provide more than ample fill between the absolute head nodders. Notice the order switch as Deck plays anchor on the "Bust Shots (remix), but leads off the original.

Overall


Ghostface once again did a masterful job of compiling worthy beats from unknown producers, and releasing a product which is far superior than the sum of it's parts. Unless you absolutely have no patience left for the tiresome rap game, this album will surely get your head nodding as you shout along with the lyrics in your ride. It's a dark album that sure will fit perfectly into the upcoming winter. Is it cliche? Absolutely. But it's what these guys do. You want Al Pacino and Robert Deniro to stop making mob movies?


74/17= 4.35 out of 5








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Wu Block teaser track not released due to sample clearance issues

Jin10304
12-05-2012, 02:43 AM
FYI, Wu-Block was always billed as a Ghostface/Sheek album. Never Wu-Tang meets the entire LOX. It was meant for GFK to have Wu members & Sheek with LOX members on the album.

noel411
12-05-2012, 07:40 PM
Ghostface is a faggot.

pmack215
12-05-2012, 10:11 PM
can i get the mp3's for 'union square' and 'bust shots (orig)' ?

thanks in advance.

nice review too....although i disagree with a few minor points....like gza feature was fucking nice!!
....and disagree that 'pour the martini' should be the closer.

beautifulrock
12-08-2012, 01:35 AM
"Pour the Martini" starts with the phrase "4th quarter time" and the sweeping strings give it an epic feel kinda like Rae ended SvWT with Masters of Our Fate. That's all I'm sayin.

pmack215
12-08-2012, 10:09 AM
"Pour the Martini" starts with the phrase "4th quarter time" and the sweeping strings give it an epic feel kinda like Rae ended SvWT with Masters of Our Fate. That's all I'm sayin.

i hear ya. i just dont get that same feel. i actually think it sounds like an album opener... comparable to "maxine" on BPW.

for me, the quote "4th qtr time" doesnt really apply to the song/album. its more about... "this is crunch-time.....this is when i do my best work...". like..."im gonna go in like its now or never / 4th qtr time".

its a nice track, but i think it would be a banger w/ harder/deeper drums.

ShaDynasty
12-08-2012, 10:17 AM
1/5 for the album and brocks faggy review

Don Universo
12-10-2012, 07:21 PM
"All in together now" is one of the better joints on the album IMO. Shit bangs in the whip and the lyrics is dope. Album is a Banger!

hotnikks
12-14-2012, 08:31 PM
4/5. Decent album. Stella & Different time zones are my fav joints.

muscularghandi
12-15-2012, 02:12 AM
4/5 on the whole LP. Definite banger.

Ghost killed all his verses, the features (even GZA) came in hard, Sheek Louch was decent. Beats were cool, only a few really had me going crazy.

Lyrics: 4/5 Ghost kills, Sheek has nice verses, Features deliver

Beats: 4/5 Nothing on here is bad, a few are real nice, but nothing too great.

Features: 4/5 Everybody that was on the record did their thing but I really wish there was more Cappa/Meth and even a U-God verse thrown in. They've been killing it lately.

Length: 5/5 LP lasts just as long as it should, didn't drag and I didn't really want too much more.

Hollow Dartz
12-15-2012, 02:27 AM
I wouldn't give this album anymore than a 4/5 and any less than a 3.5/5. I'll probably drop a track by track review soon, Ghost bars are good on some tracks, other tracks he's trying to sound like D-Block too much. Sheek does his thing on here. One more Meth & Jada verse would've been good. Overall this is great for what it is, a banger. Waiting for 12 ways to die now.

muscularghandi
12-22-2012, 05:43 PM
After more listens my rating has dropped a bit.

Album is still real nice though, i'd say 3.5/5. Ghost is the best on the LP but he is trying to sound a bit like D-Block too much. It's like he doesn't realize he's 2x the MC any of them are... and Sheek gets a bit annoying after a few listens.

Martini, Drivin, Time Zones, Stella, & Bust Shots are my favorite tracks.

Obey
12-30-2012, 01:15 AM
Very suprising lol


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KJR
01-04-2013, 09:31 PM
I very much enjoyed this album. Ghost was the best on this one. I really didn't care much for GZA or Cappa's verse though. My favorite songs were "Take Notice", "Pull Tha Cars Out", and "Drivin' Round." probably a 3.5/5 for me. Can't wait for 12 Ways To Die.

WallyG
01-14-2013, 10:40 PM
It's 2013, what's new under the sun? Interesting names of guest artists but the overall quality of the album is mediocre at best. No replay value in my ears.

2.5/5

pmack215
01-14-2013, 11:03 PM
i havent listened to this in weeks.

....and i dont miss it.

....nothing "got" me.

beautifulrock
01-15-2013, 01:24 AM
Talk about the horrible timing award. Kinda hard to glorify gangster shit after the Newtown shootings.

KJR
01-15-2013, 07:13 AM
^Hmm, you think that actually had any sizeable impact on the album's success? Interesting idea.

airwolf91
02-08-2013, 04:49 AM
gave it a 4.. 3.5/5 is what id rate it though... had alot of bangers and alot of real skippable moments... solid enuff tho

VallKano
02-10-2013, 03:25 AM
no replay value, big ghost/sheek fan but it's just a bunch of songs, no theme to it, no lines that really got my attention, beats were nothin

CharlesJones
02-12-2013, 10:51 PM
I listened to most of the songs and there was some songs i liked but i wasn't liking most of the beats. I do think it was a nice idea to have Ghostface and Raekwon do a collabo album with The Lox.

pmack215
03-24-2013, 01:22 PM
i cant front anymore. I tried....really hard. this album is NOT up to standards.
sheek is TERRIBLE here.

some of his god-awful lines that are worse than a 10-yr old with down syndrome....

'Comin' for your Head':
"...still down w/ kobe, gotta feelin he can take it
if miami or oklahoma dont take it..."
"...grab my 9 from underneath the bed
put my vest on, smoke somethin, cock my gun back,
make sure its filled up w/ lead..."

'Different Time Zones':
"...different time zones, steering wheel on the right
drivin down the wrong street thinkin what the fuck im gonna eat tonight,
rae hit me on the txt,
told me that he like that new shit last nite that he heard on flex,
alright cool, hit me up when u get down to brazil,
if the weathers right, fuck it, i'll come down to chill..."

absolutely NO flow!!!! he CANNOT string lines & phrases together! listening to him is like watching a 15-yr old girl that just got her learner's permit try to parallel park in a tight spot for about 8 minutes.

what really sucks is....at the same time GFK is working w/ sheek on this, INS is working on a collab album w/ another guy that isnt exactly OUR top choice......INSTEAD OF DOING A GFK/INS COLLAB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
fuck!

5th state
12-08-2014, 03:32 PM
After having ABT on repeat for a few days I put some other albums in the mix today, this was one of them.

Been quite a while since I listened to this. I played it a lot when it came out, but that was then. This album holds up pretty well two years after its release imo. It's just on some grimy NY gangster shit. Not the deepest verses but sometimes you just wanna listen to some bust yo head in type shit. And Ghost adds enough details to his verses to make it interesting. Sheek is Sheek, I have no problems with what he brings to the table. Obviously he's no Raekwon, but you know that going in. Talking about Rae, the Wu guest spots here are on point. Rae and Meth are entertaining, GZA's verse provides a little something different and Cappa brings that high energy while starting off with a dumb hilarious line 'I jump on stage with my dick in my hand.'

The energy is here, both in the beats and the flows. Actually, some of the smoother cuts stand out as the best. 'Crack Spot Stories', 'Drivin' Round' 'Different Time Zones', 'Coca´ne central' and 'Stella' are placed in the right spots, providing some rest from the harder beats.

'Pull tha cars out', 'Drivin' Round' and 'Stella' are still my ish.

This album could have done with a shorter tracklist but I can listen to this all the way through.

It's good to hear Ghost NOT in concept album mode, what with 12RTD and now 36 Seasons. Here he doesn't have to stick to a script, just spitting some (occasionally dumbed down) gangsta shit.