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Old 03-08-2011, 11:45 PM   #18
J-DON
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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.

17. Wu-Chant
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.

OVERALL

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.

Last edited by J-DON; 03-08-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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