Raekwon "Shaolin v.s. Wu-Tang" Review
The album incorporates many factors from CLII that made that album successful from the producers (Jones, Mathematics, Alchemist, B.T.) to the guest spots (Method Man, GZA/Genius, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Busta Rhymes)
1. Shaolin v.s. Wu-Tang [SCRAM JONES] 2:30
2. Every Soldier In The Hood w/ Method Man [OH NO] 2:54
3. Silver Rings w/ Ghostface Killah [CILVARINGZ] 1:49
4. Chop Chop Ninja w/ Inspectah Deck & Estelle [BLUEROCKS] 4:25
5. Butter Knives [BRONZE NAZARETH] 2:48
6. Snake Pond [SELASI] 2:29
7. Crane Style w/ Busta Rhymes [SCRAM JONES] 1:55
8. Rock `N Roll w/ Ghostface Killah, Jim Jones & Kobe [DJ KHALIL] 5:40
9. Rich & Black w/ Nas [SEAN C & LV] 3:36
10. From The Hills w/ Method Man & Raheem DeVaughn [KENNY DOPE] 2:56
11. Last Train To Scotland w/ Lloyd Banks [SCRAM JONES] 2:43
12. Ferry Boat Killaz [ALCHEMIST] 2:01
13. Dart School [MATHEMATICS] 2:28
14. Molasses w/ Rick Ross & Ghostface Killah [XTREME] 4:13
15. The Scroll [EVIDENCE] 2:35
16. Masters Of Our Fates w/ Black Thought [TOMMY NOVA] 3:23
17. Wu-Chant (Outro) [TOMMY NOVA] 0:42
18. Wu-Crime w/ GZA/Genius & Killah Priest [B.T.] 3:00
19. Your World & My World w/ Havoc [HAVOC] 4:23
y did u delete your other thread?....newayz i voted superior
1. Shaolin v.s. Wu-Tang 4/5
2. Every Soldier In The Hood 4/5
3. Silver Rings w/ Ghostface Killah 5/5
4. Chop Chop Ninja 3.5/5
5. Butter Knives 5/5
6. Snake Pond 5/5
7. Crane Style 4/5
8. Rock `N Roll 2.5/5
9. Rich & Black 5/5
10. From The Hills 4/5
11. Last Train To Scotland 5/5
12. Ferry Boat Killaz 4/5
13. Dart School 4/5
14. Molasses 5/5
15. The Scroll 5/5
16. Masters Of Our Fates 5/5
17. Wu-Chant (Outro) 5/5
18. Wu-Crime w/ GZA/Genius & Killah Priest [B.T.]
19. Your World & My World w/ Mobb Deep [HAVOC]
I think its a cool as fuck album. Great follow up to CL2.
First of all the song titles are just crazy as fuck haha - Last Train to Scotland? Chop Chop Ninja? Butter Knives? Ferry Boat Killaz? Molasses? Damn son! Rae's still giving lessons in that.
Intro to Rich and Black is crazy, and even though this track doesnt live up to the ridiculous high standards of Nas/Rae collabos (the beat on the end of the song is far better than the actual one), Rae keeps up his record of getting the better of Nas when he's on the same track as him. (IMO).
"Bolivian connects restless, Chef ambidextrous" haha
Molasses carries faint memories of Ironman, and all the guest spots on this album were dope.
I wish Rae would make his hooks more obviously seperate from his verses like he used to though. Like on Molasses, he has a sick hook, but it doesnt stand out much because he doesnt change anything about his voice when speaking it.
Crane Style is creeping up on me the most right now. That beats crazy.
The sequencing of the album is off to me though - I wouldve put Masters Of Our Fate near the beggining, same with The Scroll. Rock N Roll just seems weird as fuck on this album, and putting it right in the middle, makes things even weirder. From The Hills shouldve also been closer to the start of the album. Coming in at track 10 just doesnt make sense for this song.
Ferry Boat Killaz and The Scroll just tell me Rae's next move needs to be an Alc/Ev album. Evidence slow flow would also blend real nice with Rae right now too.
(out of 5)
the scroll is perfect for where it is , at the end.
I voted Superior.
Time will tell if it is considered a classic but it's definately at the higher end of superior.
i can finally cop this shit tomorrow
Has a really smooth flow to the album, very Chef like....listening now and love it.
I voted it to be a banger. Raekwon is a favorite and i'm still stuck on Built 4 Cuban Linx (the purple tape) i think he did real good on "Shaolin v.s. Wu-Tang" but it will never top Cuban Linx!
corky i didn't, it was closed down for me
i voted BANGER
superior..classic shouldnt even be an option at this point imo.
"(the beat on the end of the song is far better than the actual one)"
Yeah that beat reminds me of some old RZA production from like 1997. Similar almost to "Presidential MC"
^^^^ Welcome Oleg!!!!!!
Right now on first listen(sober @ work) shit is superior.
The song sequencing is just about perfect for me. The album gets better as it goes(unlike most albums). I think unlike CL2 when Rae made "certain types of songs" to fit the CL formula he scratched that and went in on this album. Time will only tell if it's a classic but right now shit is fire and song for song is better than Apollo Kids.
Well in my full review on the other thread I gave it a 7/10 i guess that would equal Banger status?
Raekwon The Chef - Shaolin vs Wu-Tang
1.Shaolin vs Wu-Tang - 8/10
Great intro track and maybe the hardest beat on the album. The violent staccato string really set the tone and puts you in a Wu-Tang state of mind, getting you excited for the album. Raekwon kind of fails to match the energy of the beat at times but its still a great intro. (4/5)
2.Every Soldier In the Hood- 6.5/10
The beat here is kind of generic(typical Erick Sermon) but it has a nice bounce to it and manages to carry the momentum of the intro. Raekwon sounds hype over the beat and shoots some greasy darts then we get a Meth verse that is kind of just straight from his regular bag of tricks. Its an average joint that gets kind of a boost by being stuck between two of the albums better joints.
3.Silver Rings - 7.5/10
Producer Cilvaringz produces a beat that makes a pretty solid attempt at being a RZA sound alike. Its got that BOOM BOOM BAP pattern that should be familiar to most wu heads but its kind of missing something. I guess it was good enough to get Rae and Ghosts juices flowing because Rae and Ghost deliver two hardbody verses. You start to really get into it and the track just cuts out abruptly into the next one. Its a track that benefits from being short due to the beat being repetitive.
4.Chop Chop Ninja - 5/10
Estelle comes in with a dope acapella intro that really makes you think a legendary wu joint is going to follow. Instead, we get a beat that sounds like an immobilarity reject and a lack luster inspectah deck verse. When Estelles hook gets brought back on the beat it doesnt even sound like she ever heard the track and its really off putting. Its too bad because Rae's verses are really dope, a blow for blow account of a deadly encounter with a ninja and the storytelling skills are great... really needs to be remixed or something.
5.Butter Knives - 8/10
Probably the most vintage wu sounding beat on the album, sounding like a cut that could have been on Ghostface's Ironman album. Raekwon goes in. This is the song that got everyone interested in the album again after a quiet period and rightfully so.
6.Snake Pond - 8/10
This is another strong album cut in the vein of the old Wu-Tang sound. Dope strings, very eastern sounding and very hard. It blends right into the next track.
7.Crane Style - 7/10
A seamless transition from the last track, this beat continues the eastern influence but adds some great percussive sounds and you really start to get into the vibe rae has tried to set with the first half of the album THEN BAM. Busta comes in dropping one of his bullshit one off verses and sounds mad out of place on the track and de-rails everything.
8.Rock and Roll - 5/10
DJ Khalil really needs to drop this Kobe dude. He ruined the track from the clipse album and he just diarrheas over what could actually be a pretty dope Raekwon single. The beat slaps and is possibly the only track on the album with true banger potential but instead of being a potent stand out,the track just drags on at a length of 5:40 which is about twice the length of any other joint on the album. It just really fucks up the flow here and the majority of the track is Kobe's bullshit Autotune hook. Cut out the hook and you lose about 2 minutes and have a hot joint on the album, Id even leave Jim Jones in.
9.Rich and Black - 9/10
The Nas and Rae reunion track we've been waiting for since "Let my niggas live" off The W. The beat is a perfect Wu-Gambino, 90's eastcoast, banger and you can really feel the energy between the two on this one. Raekwon sounds invigorated compared to alot of the other joints on the album where he sounds like hes bored as fuck.
10. From The Hills - 7/10
Another Raekwon and Method Man track. This time they both deliver heat and the beat, which consists of a triumphant trumpet loop, is pretty great too. But then we have the hook which is really just some terrible crooning by Raheem DeVaughn. It Really puts a shit stain on the track and makes me reach for the skip.
11. Last Trip to Scotland - 9/10
This is typically the kind of joint you would hear Rae and Ghost on, a riveting crime drama story joint. However, this time cast in the role of Ghostface we have Lloyd Banks and he does a pretty great job (although he kind of sounds like hes losing his voice here). The pulsating beat is on some old school mobster shit and really moves the track along with its walking bassline.
12. Ferry Boat Killaz - 7/10
I was excited to hear that Alchemist had a beat on the album especially after the heater he had on Cuban Linx 2 but instead we get a more low key type of beat here, which is something the album has too many of already. Rae drops a typically descriptive Raekwon verse. The whole thing sounds a bit boring, kind of disappointed.
13. Dart School - 6/10
At this point the album starts to wear out its welcome. Its another OK track that kind of just slides by at around 2 minutes. Completely unmemorable.
14. Molasses - 8/10
Rick Ross joins Raekwon and Ghostface for another album highlight. This is the kind of shit you would want to hear from Rae and Ghost and Ross holds his own as he barks on the track. A Short choppy Horn sample reminiscent of this one particular track from a RZA album that I cant put my finger on at the moment sets a great background.
15.The Scroll - 10/10
Man something about this track just really hits the mark for me. Evidence produces a really eerie and mysterious sounding beat with some great percussion and Raekwon just gels with it perfectly. It sounds like a creepy version of Cuban Linx's "Ice Cream" classic.
16. Masters of Our Fate - 9/10
Another really strong track. Epic beat, Triumphant strings, heavy bassline, and great use of vocal samples throughout.THEN Black Thought pretty much steals the album.
Its the wu chant over The good the bad and the ugly.
There are 2 bonus tracks that are Itunes only which I havent had the chance to hear.
This album suffers from having a lot of good transitional type tracks but very few REAL bangers that you want to replay again and again. Its definitely solid but some of the lesser tracks should be cut to make it more of a digestible, short but sweet experience (Like appollo kids, that was good for a few weeks) or replaced to really fill out the albums with the bangers it needed to have replay value. Raekwon is the type of rapper that weaves into a beat rather than dominates it and to do so effectively he really needs the kind of tracks that would get you interested in what hes saying and HIM interested in rapping. Many tracks have Rae just seemingly going through the motions on a Ho-Hum production and as a result are just boring and forgettable. The nods to old wu-tracks put a bit of a grin on my face but to be honest I would rather hear something new and interesting from Rae. With this album he had the opportunity to call in his favours from all the guest spots on big albums hes done over the year but he squandered the opportunity by NOT grabbing some Kanye joints and getting a B-level Alchemist cut. There are a lot of Producers on the album that I havent even heard of and Rae should have learned from the success of Cuban Linx 2 that shelling out the extra dough to get the big names is worth it. Instead of one Alchemist track it should have been 3 or 4 and I definitely would have loved to hear more of what Evidence had for Rae because he dropped the most interesting track on the album.
OVERALL the album scrapes a 7/10 just because of the great Collabos with Nas, Banks, Ghost, and Ross but I really dont see myself listening to it more than a few more times.
^^ very interesting review though I'm sure it differs greatly from what most people's opinions will be
i agree with almost the entire thing except for the fact that im not diggin Last Trip to Scotland that much at all (and can't STAND Banks)...also, i've noticed that the beat appears on OB4CL2 at the beginning of Fat Lady Sings
i need to soak this album in a lot more before I post a review
J-Don you gotta hear the bonus cuts, very worth it & you may wanna fix your production credit, Oh No handled Every Soldier. Does anyone with the actual LP tell me if Sermon is still wrongly credited in the CD booklet?
On twitter Eric Sermon said he produced Every Soldier...why would he lie about that
/\ because apparantly it's NOT true according to Alchemist. Why would he lie about that? If you didn't notice Alchemist's influence is a little stronger on this album by trying to get his boys more involved with this record (Evidence & Oh No).
From Alchemist's Twitter:
RT @ acehustle: yo everybody @Raekwon Every Soldier In The Hood Ft. Method Man was really produced by @OhNothedisrupt not Eric Sermon
its still very blah. Alc and Oh No saved all the bangers for Gutter Water (one of the best produced albums of the year)
I voted superior, very decent album, but I don't think I'll ever be voting classic, that only goes for a few albums ever, such as Cuban Linx, Liquid Swords, Tical, 36 Chambers and Forever.
are the wu tang contemporary rappers?
I know they used to be popular when i was a teenager
rapping is more of a youthful enterprise
so are they considered the ll cool j's of today?
let's look at rockers:bands like the rolling stones can gain credibility from the work they put in the past so when they drop a wack album in 2011 its not a big issue because of they still have their back catalogue to recruit new fans
is this where wu falls in? are they still cool from the Rza classics of the 90s?
Its just I know for a fact that Rza is the John Cage of hip hop
so if rae is concerned that the fam aren't feeling Rza beats maybe its because their in their 40's and their ripity rappin' like 1982 or whatever
I think it's clear that they are experiencing a renaissance, 2005 was their absolute low point, and they have rebounded greatly since then. 2009 was one of the best years they ever had musically and popularity wise, thanks in large part to the publicity and acclaim surrounding Cuban Linx 2. 8 Diagrams may have been a mess internally, but critically, and fan-wise, it was acclaimed. If they can get their shit together and make a classic group album for 2012, sky's the limit, 40+ or not.
/\ Iono...2005 produced Grandmasters & Indie Culture (overlooked LP imo)
i love the album. rae has guaranteed his hall-of-fame status.
i was rae's biggest critic for a long time...and i was not interested in this album until a few months ago.
its such a shame he released 'immobilarity' and 'LDS' back then instead of 'Cl2' and 'shaolin vs wu-tang'....back when he could still go gold and make wayyyyyy more $$$$ than he will today!!!! its a tragedy.
i'm a very harsh critic of hiphop today...and i think this album is definitely superior!
rae did an awesome job picking beats....again! this is an awesome lineup of producers.
also, rae continues to improve as an MC! he has been my fave & most respected MC the past 3 yrs. he has full redemption in my eyes.
the only track i listened to before march 8th was "butter knives".
although i dont think "rock & roll" fit on this album, and i was expecting to hate it, i actually really dig this joint. its catchy but hardcore....and dope! that wasnt really autotune. it IS definitely a dope beat....pretty different...and very 2011 hiphop. i even like jones' references to rock legends.
that being said, i think the track sounds perfect for royce 5'9. i think he woulda went off...bragging like a mofo on this with GFK! i can almost hear him now.
despite all the pre-hype, i actually believe this is partly a homage to rza. the 2 rza samples on "molasses" and the 1 rza sample by ringz are obvious. i think rae was adamant w/ that. this is definitely an album for the wu heads! thank u AGAIN chef!!
i think this was a call to everyone (including the generals + rza) that they need to get back to that traditional WU shit they're known for....AND that they can STILL do it.
i think rae is trying to encourage rza to give us the shit everyone knows rza still has....that true-WU shit.
still, was rae taking a shot at rza on the 1st track when he says:
"...the WU manual....u hid it....we found it.....stay grounded...".
again, w/ the final track "WU chant" as the exclamation point, rae is definitely pushing WU to the forefront and trying to remind everyone (again including the generals) that WU is the greatest group ever...and that they've made the greatest ever contribution to hiphop.
all the praise aside, this is NOT a classic/perfect album.
rae needs an exec producer. it still seemed like something was missing overall. it just didnt have the ....complete tight-ass finishing touches that rza used to craft classics.
although i like it a lot, "chop chop ninja" seemed kinda awkward and oddly pieced together somewhat. the song does not flow/evolve THAT smoothly.
the beat for "every soldier" seemed like it woulda fit better w/ the title "ferry boat killaz". it sounded like it had a horn-type of a huge boat / oceanliner.
the only track i dont like is "from the hills". awful track w/ a god-awful hook. shoulda used suga bang instead.
so....15 tracks i like a LOT!!! that equals a great great album.
thank u chef!
*(this album shits all over 'apollo kids'.)
"that wasnt really autotune"
Of course it was & wat sample from RZA did Ringz use for his track? That Molasses joint was just another slap to the face to RZA utilizing his past samples
Shaolin VS Wu-Tang- 8/10
Every Soldier In The Hood- 8/10
Silver Rings- 10/10
Chop Chop Ninja- 10/10
Butter Knives- 9/10
Snake Pond- 8/10
Crane Style- 9/10
Rock N Roll- 6/10
Rich And Black- 10/10 (beat at the end MUST be used for a real song)
From The Hills- 8/10
Last Trip To Scotland 10/10
Ferry Boat Killaz- 9/10
Dart School- 9/10
The Scroll- 10/10
Masters Of Our Fate- 8/10
Wu Chant- 10/10 (HYPED)
You World, My World- 8/10
Total- 8.8 = Superior.
ringz or rae threw a snippet of "as high as wutang get" in the middle of "silver rings".
and yes....i think "molasses" was, in part, a NOD to rza.
....and i'm not at all a rick ross fan, but i did really dig him kickin a "suuu wu-tang" before his verse.
Shaolin VS Wu-Tang- 8/10
Every Soldier In The Hood- 9/10
Silver Rings- 8.5/10
Chop Chop Ninja- 9/10
Butter Knives- 10/10
Snake Pond- 9.5/10
Crane Style- 9/10
Rock N Roll- 2/10
Rich And Black- 9/10
From The Hills- 9/10
Last Trip To Scotland 10/10
Ferry Boat Killaz- 8.5/10
Dart School- 9.5/10
The Scroll- 9/10
Masters Of Our Fate- 10/10
Wu Chant- 10/10
by the way ross was dope on molasses and i not even a fan of him
also i like the singing on chop chop ninja. I like the vibe it brings.
Shaolin VS Wu-Tang- 8/10 (Didn't like HOFD so I thought I wouldn't like this either...I was wrong, it grew on me a lot.)
Every Soldier In The Hood- 4/10 (enjoy the lyrics quite a bit but I really don't like the beat at all)
Silver Rings- 8.5/10 (This actually sounds a lot like a modern Rza beat to me which is kind of ironic, but Cilva made those drums go hard. It's short and straight to the point but I wished it was a bit longer, would have been a nice back and forth for Ghost and Rae.)
Chop Chop Ninja- 7.5/10 (I love, love the beat on this, dark and sinister with a nice kung fu fighting loop, can't get more wu than that in this day and age, BUT it's hindered by a corny chorus but not by Estelle's performance. Too corny for the whip, good for the player.)
Butter Knives- 8.5/10 (And they said Bronze couldn't do hard beats. Like Concrete Jungle, Bronze proves he's got a lot more to offer in his production ability. Rae merks it too.
Snake Pond- 8/10 (Another track that sounds like a modern Rza beat, like something from Masta Killa's No Said Date. A nice slow paced but hard track with Rae just going in.)
Crane Style- 8.5/10 (Another short track but one in which Busta delivered, and this is coming from someone that hasn't liked Busta's work since Genesis. A nice smooth beat and Rae did his thing too.)
Rock N Roll- 6.5/10 (People really need to get off their high horse about this song, it's really not that bad, yeah you could nit pick it to death but for what it is it's solid. An above average wu joint but an excellent club joint.)
Rich And Black- 7.5/10 (Great back and forth between Rae and Nas, this is one of those joints where the artists made the most of an otherwise so so beat.)
From The Hills- 9/10 (A very nice uplifting joint, I get a nice nostalgic feel from this.)
Last Trip To Scotland 8/10 (Lloyd Banks delivered, joint went hard, that's all I have to say about it.)
Ferry Boat Killaz- 7.5/10 (I've heard much better from Alchemist, Rae did his thing on it. A solid joint.)
Dart School- 7/10 (I don't really get why people are hyping up this joint here, it's good though, can't front on it either.)
Molasses- 9.5/10 (Now this is what im talking about, this joint is ill and I can't believe im going to type this but...RICK ROSS DELIVERED!. Ghost and Rae smashed it too. THIS IS WHAT I WOULD BANG IN THE WHIP.
The Scroll- 9.5/10 (Wow, I really wasn't expecting this to hit like it did. A sleeper hit, you know it is, one of those joints that very few are going to talk about but most are going to love.)
Masters Of Our Fate- 9/10 (An epic final track, Rae is on reflection mode and Black Thought just steals the show. Epic, absolutely epic.)
Wu Chant- 10/10 (Yeah yeah I know what you're thinking, how can I give the outro a 10/10?...let me tell you, it was because after listening to this album I had my hands in the air with a W doing the EXACT SAME THING. Captured my feelings exactly.
Cuban Linx 1 was such an incredible piece of work, not only for it's time but for the genre as a whole, that as a result it has seemily left Rae at a constant disadvantage as he's always being measured up to it with each subsequent release. Some might say that Immobilarity was doomed from the outset and that it was unfairly criticized just because it followed on from CL. Well that might have been the case but my memory of the album tells me differently, and the less said about Lex Diamonds the better. Rae of course had to go away and do some soul searching, wake up to the fact that the fans were just not responding, he knew it at the back of his mind and to a certain extent I applaud Rae from trying to be a bit more independent from his wu roots but lets be real here..CUBAN LINX WAS A DEFINING PIECE FOR A REASON, RAE HAD TO GO BACK, and he did to great acclaim with Cuban Linx 2. CL2 lit a match under the game and suddently everyone took notice, Rae was back in the game and the wu-tang name was being talked about again.
Shaolin Vs Wu-Tang is the result of the fixing and fine tuning Rae has had to go through in order to bring that wu hype back, time will tell if it has any lasting appeal but for now I will just say this...Rae has restored my faith in the Wu for 2011 and beyond. Rae swallowed his pride and listened to the fans.
Thank You Chef.
shoalin vs. wu-tang 6.5/10
every soldier in the hood 6.5/10
silver rings 9/10
chop chop ninja 6.5/10
butter knives 10/10
snake pond 6.5/10
crane style 5.5/10
rock and roll GARBAGE/10
rich and black 7/10
from the hills 8/10
last trip to scotland 8/10
ferry boat killaz 9/10
dart school 8/10
the scroll 6.5/10
master of our fate 9.5/10
half of this album sounds like a parody of the wu sound. some "national lampoon's wu-tang album" shit. lyrics are excellent throughout. raekwon definitely holds up his end of the bargain and most of the guests contribute excellently.
far from a bad album but not one i would recommend.
my track by track review
Album is fire!!! Raekwon did his thing once again and gave HipHop a great album in 2011!
i voted superior. anyone who is giving "from the hills" a higher grade than "every soldier in the hood" is on drugs. or are emo lmao. in my opinion that is. that song is worse than anything on 8 diagrams or wizard of poetry. that shit is so sappy it doesnt fit the album AT ALL. the rest of the album is FLAMES except if the hook of rock n roll only played once instead of twice that song would be cool but i tend to skip after ghost's verse cause i dont wanna sit through the hook again just to hear jim jones.
and dude who said the sequencing was off. wow. the sequencing is magnificent. one of the best sequenced albums i've heard in the 2000s. shit flows so smooth it makes it so easy to just press play and listen from beginning to end.
It DOES fit the album way more then Rock N Roll, its talking Raekwon growing up in Shaolin (Staten Island) so it goes along with the theme.
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