*....getting my suit of armor out to protect me from the wrath.....*
to get it out of the way first....i am one who was disappointed when i first saw the tracklist w/ production credits BECAUSE we already knew they got beats from rza for this album, plus rza did the first "wu-block" song which was a B-B-B-BANGER, but didnt make the album. HOWEVER....i am very pleasantly surprised at the production here.
for me, anticipation for this album was through the roof...mainly because i'm a huge GFK fan and he absolutely shredded all the pre-release mixtape tracks they let out. my mouth was watering. ultimately, i'm a tad disappointed in sheek & GFK's rhymes on the album, as i thought their rhymes on the pre-release joints were better, especially for ghost.... again thats because i have almost unfairly high standards for GFK.
i think the 2 best tracks they made are "hands up" (#1) and "wu-block" (#2), both didnt make the LP. although i think thats puzzling, i'm grateful i have them, so props to them for releasing them, which is exactly what should always be done.
all features were great! all wu features brought their A-game....especially MEF. that kid is out of his mind w/ lyrics & flow. just as an MC, he's one of like the 7 best ever probably. still cant believe he hasnt been able to release a 5-star album yet. but still got my fingers crossed. INS is always perfect on features. even gza i thought was great. he didnt sound sleepy, and his demeanor fit the track. great lyrics too!
like 'angry!', i was disappointed in jada here. he has way better shit than this.
for "drivin round", badu was so dope!!!....but i wish her spot was longer. and i also think her appearance actually clashed w/ that vocal sample in the beat. u didnt need both that vocal sample and a soulful hook. and who is better than GFK on soulful songs? why was he absent here?
shroomz had the best beat on the album.
very glad to see e.sermon break from his usual mold. beat was refreshing, as i think his typical formula is ultra-repetitive.
i can see rza as the producer of "bust shots" since sheek actually mentions rza, and because the bassline is the same as "the jumpoff" from 'the W' album.
i love the skit where they're talking about the jewelry! fuck rappers!!!
i know it sounds like i'm really nit-picking here, but thats because i had high expectations & i'm actually really into the album. the negative always sounds more prominent than the positive when you're talking about it.
overall, i really like the album as a whole.....especially because i cant think of skippable tracks right now....and i know i havent skipped any yet as many times as i've listened to it.
kinda struggle to give it a 4/5, but its close. i understand HHDX's review.
.....of course, all just personal opinion.