When the announcements
for this album were first poppin up, I was mad skeptical...it seemed kinda weird throwin together such a large group of emcees, especially when Bronze and Priest were already in other groups..I really didn't know what to expect, but once the tracklisting was released on the web my expectations shot WAY up and amazingly I think the album actually met my high hopes for it.
I like the concept of the speakers and phonographs just seemingly exploding out of one spot. The other artwork is cool and I also like the album title a lot, it’s got a few different interpretations to it: most obvious of course is the suggestion of the occurrences in the Book of Genesis, which is what led to (mythologically speaking) the beginning of mankind. But also “Original Sin” connotates the original raw, heavy hip hop sound that they are tryin to bring back with an album like this. The acronym of Strength in Numbers also works perfectly for an album which so many ppl were involved in making. The bitten apple behind the cd is pretty cool and clever… The booklet is nothing special at all, which seems pretty common with albums nowadays…the last good one was Priest’s The Offering that had all the lyrics in there…I’d really like to see more artists do that but I guess maybe it’s a hassle or an unnecessary album expense.
A quick note on the star, the interlocking triangles commonly known as the Star of David or Solomon Seal that appear on the front and back of the cd case….this symbol of interlaced triangles is actually a universal image---the same appears in the “heart chakra” chakra 4 in the Indian kundalini yoga system and it denotes “the center of spiritual awakening” where it is symbolic of “the spiritual condition of one who is, in life, enlightened.” This is implied because the upward-pointing triangle is of the spiritual eye while the downward-pointing triangle is of the claims of the “temporal world” aka everyday reality. I think it’s actually a perfect symbol for what they’re trying to bring with this album: some uplifting, deep spiritual shit to we who are stuck in an era of bullshit music. The same symbol was also popular in Classical times as a Pythagorean ‘tetraktys’ but I think I’ve made my point……..
(for more on that stuff see Inner Reaches of Outer Space by Joseph Campbell pgs 95-99)
Originally Posted by the silencer
i think Bronze is gonna really surprise some ppl on this shit...i have the feeling he's gonna shine like crazy lyrically and solidify his status for those who don't get it yet
^^this is what I said about a month before the release.
And he did indeed shine like a fuckin supernova on this album. His output on tracks like Handle the Heights, Daylight, and Dead Flowers are not only highlights of the album but highlights in hip hop for the year 2008. This is the type of stuff that would help lift hip hop music out of the commercial grave if ever given mass public exposure. His beats not only formed the backbone of the album but he dropped a fuckin phantasmagoria (yup it’s a word, look it up) of jewels lyrically which will keep listeners thinkin’ about his lines for a while. It’s time for ppl to start fully recognizing the talent this dude has---he’s like a 4th Disciple who comes out hard spittin FLAMES over his own beats…and the best part is that he is in his prime right now in front of our very eyes (or perhaps we’re watchin him ascend to it). For those that haven’t realized it yet I hope this album makes u dig into all the top-quality material he’s put out the last 2 years, this guys music is the best part about being a Wu-Tang fan nowadays. Enjoy it.
-I had never heard of him before but this cat is absolutely ridiculous on here. He sounds hungry as fuck on every verse and his lyrics are very solid in pretty much every one. His verse on Rising Sunz is one of the (non-Bronze-involved) highlights of the whole album.
I know alotta ppl would throw Killah Priest in there too, he was definitely his usual amazing self on the album but there were a couple verses that were....i don't wanna say 'bad' but it just seemed like he tore out a random page from his (seemingly) immense rhyme book and spit it with no regard for what the song was...aside from that he also had some patented Killah Priest verses like on Obey the Statesmen and Think Piece....the other emcees all did nicely as well, I was surprised at M80 and this was my first real exposure to C-Rayz Walz and I gotta say the dude is skilled..definitely a top notch lyricist and he's got his own unique style (which unfortunately does get annoying a few times though)..
another thing that might get overlooked was DJ-JS1 who did all the cuts and scratches u hear on the album...he did a sick job and it gave some of the songs that classic Premier-beat type of sound on a few of the choruses..
now let's get on with it.......
1. Wise Words Roll (prod. by Kevlaar 7)
The jump-off is perfect. Kevlaar gives us a banger and the many quotes cut throughout it are sick, preparing us perfectly for the album. Sweet-ass beat with all kinds of little instrumentation creepin in and out, awesome drums. The Detroit brother-duo have a gift for making beats that strike and always remind me of the mid-to-late 90s classic era of hip hop.
performed by: M-80, C-Rayz Walz, 5-Star, Son One, Bronze Nazareth, Killah Priest (in that order)
Kinda hard to make a track with 6 emcees each spittin a full verse and not have it get boring at all. They did an okay job of it. Not an amazing track, the beat is a little soft and tempo slow but when it flips it’s a little better.
Son One spits absolute flames on this one, he’s the one right at the beat change, his flow is crazy hungry.
“half-man half-terrorist” Bronze spits a few nice darts and Killah Priest here doesn’t blow me away at all. I lose Priest each time I listen to this song, sometimes he’s gotta just spit that ‘Cross My Heart’ type shit and not get so far off the track. (Coming from someone who lists Priest in his top-3)
performed by: Canibus, M-80, Bronze Nazareth, Keith Murray
produced by: Bronze Nazareth
The beat is an absolute fuckin banger, that’s for sure. Strong, emotional violins over a hard bass with a great rhythm to it. But the only two cats who really handled the heights that the beat rises to were Bronze and Keith Murray. Actually I should say Canibus did spit a pretty nice verse but I personally can’t stand his voice and it’s annoying on here especially, sometimes it’s hard to listen to. And when I first heard the snippet to this track on the mixtape and then saw that M-Eighty spits on the album version I was a little worried, thinking like I hope he doesn’t try to hop on this unbelievable beat and then ruin it with a weak verse. I honestly thought he held his own pretty well, though and I was surprised. ‘Bis and 80 definitely ain’t terrible but this is just such a monumental beat that they get completely outshined by it. When Bronze comes on it’s like the song just got an injection of energy.
He stomps all over this beat with his flow. When the mixtape dropped and this song was featured on it I described Bronze on here like this:
..and the orchestratic maestro beatsmith behind the gritty rap tune jumps all over his own shit doing flips like on a trampoline made of a stretched canvas painting...
I haven’t heard Keith Murray rap in ages but he brought MAD energy and his verse is fire:
“I got too much mental capacity,
for an un-educated street punk to FUCK wit me”
Keith Murray deserves mad credit he did a sick job on here. Definitely the best guest verse on the whole album.
performed by: Bronze Nazareth
produced by: Purpose of Tragic Allies
The beat is absolute butter, I love it. And surprisingly it’s not even the Bronzeman but a cat named Purpose from an up-and-coming crew called Tragic Allies (I have a mixtape from them where they spit over all classic 4th Disciple beats, and Purpose also posts stuff in our Audio Booth subforum). I was hoping for more than one verse but it’s still dope as it is. Bronze on here reminds me of his verse from To The Table off Thought for Food Vol. 1, just flowin crazily with plenty of dope lines. Even though it’s pretty short (and I dono where the skit/sample comes from) it’s actually one of my favorites on the album. I could bump this joint all day.
Planet Asia, Killah Priest, Son One, C-Rayz Walz
The first single from the album, the highlight of this song is the jee-oh-dee Killah Priest. His verse is absolute flames on here, I wish he would’ve brought this to all his verses. This is the type of stuff that makes me say he is THE best in hip hop.
“Priest is a poet, a preacher, a painter
prepare pictures for people who are listeners and thinkers..”
^^that line ought to sum up the appeal of Killah Priest
The underrated star of the album, Son One also has a fuckin ridiculous verse---this guy is talented and hopefully gets some shine after his performance on this album.
I was feelin Planet Asia on the Wisemen album and he’s good on here too.
C-Rayz is just all over the place, somebody already mentioned how he’s got a tendency to throw random shit into his verses. He has some pretty crazy wordplay and slightly reminds me of MF Doom…definitely an unusual (or ‘unique’) style he’s got. But he can just get a little too far out there sometimes and does on here.
M-80, Philly, 5-Star, Kevlaar 7 (Bronze, Son One, and C-Rayz all on the hook)
The sample sounds so familiar but I have no idea where from. What’s most notable about this song is that M-Eighty is flat out good on here. The dude has caught alotta hate on this forum (a lot of it from jealousy I would say) and I’ve respectfully said a few times before in the past that I ain’t feelin his rhyming at all but he is perfect on this beat—flow, lyrics, everything.
The worst thing here is that the chorus is just horrible. It shouldn’t be there, they shoulda just let the beat play instead its like 5 guys WAY too loud and it kinda fucks up the song.
Killah Priest, Kevlaar 7, Bronze Nazareth
Produced by: Bronze Nazareth
Some people hate when the word “classic” is thrown around too much so I’ll just call this a classic for the ‘00s (the 2000s).
When the tracklisting came out and I saw this track I was just trying to imagine what kinda crazy shit these three would put together and I was actually surprised by the result. All three give deeply poetic and extremely vivid descriptions of a man’s last seconds of life---of daylight---and what he goes through, all over what is a bangin but yet also smoothly beautiful beat.
This is the type of unconventional beat that first made me a fan of Bronze (ex: Sinuhe’s Impasse)…the pounding sound reminds u of the guy’s last heartbeat and then the violins just illuminate the whole song and every word they say…it becomes heavenly…all with some drums that just make u wanna blast the stereo volume.
All of their verses are awesome, superbly delivered. Above all, this is CREATIVE---this is fucking ART. Matter fact, it is art at it’s finest. I’ve pondered a personal philosophy recently as I’ve studied the arts (painting, poetry, literature—look at my blog on here sometime if u care) that might sound naïve or daring but I plan to put it forth at some point when I enter graduate school in the spring and it is that HIP HOP---done the right way---is one of the greatest art forms in human history. Poetry as smooth and elegant as ever but also thought-provoking recited melodically over music with rhythmic tempos and beats, drums that make u tap your feet. I remember reading somewhere (either James Joyce or Friedrich Nietzsche) that MUSIC alone is the greatest art form but then combining it with vivid poetic art---to me I don’t think it can be better than that.
And at a time when rap is at its most commercialized, the art form mostly degraded and abused, THESE cats---Bronze & Kevlaar especially but for sure also Killah Priest---are givin’ us that true art. I sometimes get mad that they don’t get more shine and publicity but I also just soak in the fact that it’s a blessing to have these guys around and feed us that real soulfood classic type of music that we need.
Killah Priest, C-Rayz Walz, Warcloud aka Holocaust aka Robot Tank
Produced by: Pro the Leader
These two tracks (this and Daylight) together are one of the highlights of the album listening experience. Especially with headphones on as these are both two heavily lyrical songs.
The beat here is pretty simple but I like it, works perfect with the verses. Priest is wild on here, give this dude a pen and a topic to rhyme about and he’ll spark ur brain cells. Simple as that.
C-Rayz’s verse I’m gonna have to really study a little more cuz I honestly can’t catch his story in it. I like the wordplay and flow but I’m gonna have to get this whole song stuck in my head before I understand the whole thing (kinda the same with his Dead Flowers verse).
I wasn’t as amazed with Warcloud as I was expecting to be but he still spit a nice one definitely. His first few lines are just insane.
9. Interlude 1 (produced by Bronze Nazareth)
Lovely. I can’t remember the last time an album featured all GOOD interludes (or skits) and this one definitely does.
Bronze Nazareth, Timbo King, 5-Star, Killah Priest
Produced by: Bronze Nazareth
This track (minus the last 3 guys) was floatin’ around for a while, IIRC it was originally left off TGM. Nice to see it get put to good use—and getting exposure---and also nice to hear it as a mastered version. I always thought Bronze verse on here was fuckin crazy, he spits a few ill darts especially:
“My thoughts worth the earth’s weight in the purplest dimes”
“Stingin’ precision with a sawed-off paragraph,
seduce ya queen bee into a bubble straw-berry bath..”
[I’m definitely gonna be checkin this out--as well as probably all his verses on here---in the Lyric Breakdown section.]
I love Timbo King but I thought he was mediocre on here. His verse has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the track it seems like and I just ain’t feelin his metaphors, shit was weak. 5-Star did come pretty nice and Priest is almost getting bored with rap, he is super talented and just keeps on recording more and more material. His verse isn’t bad---painting a vivid Gladiator-movie-esque war scene---but again doesn’t seem to fit the song too well.
(note: it’s funny how on the leaked version of the album they listed the title as “Killa Bee Swamp”. If u look at the back of the cd case it does actually look like it says swamp because they used a pretty crazy font for the lettering.)
Killah Priest, M-80, Doe Boy, Son One
Beat is solid and Priest spits some hard shit on here. Ain’t feelin Doe Boy at all and it brings to mind the initial complaint I had when the Clan put the W album out: if u got a group with 6 members, why bring in all these guests? Let one of the group members spit another verse. That’s not to try to hate on all the guest appearances but it’s just a thought.
M-80 is pretty good on the chorus and Son One spits another nice verse.
Bronze Nazareth, Killah Priest, C-Rayz Walz
Produced by: Kap Thinking & M-Eighty
You know an album is high-quality when u can’t decide what the best track is. This album doesn’t have one BEST track, there’s just too many that are outstanding. This track is one of those.
I’ve never heard of Kap Thinking (and I also dono how much M80 was involved in making the beat) but the beat is fuckin awesome. They both deserve props.
As for the emcees, this is simply a well-crafted song---three crazy lyricists spittin one after the other. And it all seems to revolve around the mind—thoughts—the “think piece”; even the producer is Kap Thinking.
Bronze is just launchin handfuls of jewel-shaped darts on here, dude is just fun to listen to and get his lines stuck in your head.
Priest is lovely on this fuckin beat…he’s got a sick flow…the guy was just born to be an emcee, and then C-Rayz spits a damn good one but his verse seems to carry on for a while.
M-80, C-Rayz Walz, Son One
This one is a skipper for me. And---even tho this ain’t a horrible track---this kinda song is really what keeps this from being a perfect album. I don’t like the beat too much and would’ve rather seen a Son One solo or maybe another Kevlaar 7 track. Best part is the scratches, DJ JS-1 from Rocksteady did a nice job on the scratches all throughout the whole album.
14. Interlude 2 (produced by Preservation)
I could play this on repeat all day and just be in a zone. This is a dream beat. Respect to Preservation.
Killah Priest, Son One, Born Sun, C-Rayz Walz
Produced by: Preservation
Another crazy beat. Preservation produced a few songs on Wu Meets Indie Culture including the Give it Up which was one of the better songs on there. He also did Deep Space off the 5% Album which I thought was a Rza classic forever but it was this dude instead. I’d like to hear a lot more from him.
All the emcees come correct on here, flowing nicely over this great beat but the star here is Son One---probably his best verse on the album.
“Shame on a nigga, got the soul of Dirty
the raps is Magic, the beats play the role of Worthy”
(No disrespect..) but I think a lot of the European fans on here won’t catch that one but this cat has major skills on the mic and he really blows up on this album.
Dono who Born Sun is but he also has some seriously dope lines. This song just rules.
At this point, you realize this is a pretty special album cuz this is another certified banger and it ain’t even over yet.
60-Second Assassin, Bronze Nazareth, C-Rayz Walz (KP on the hook)
produced by: Bronze Nazareth
Might be my favorite song on the album if I had to pick just one. This shit is just amazing. The beat dives into the bloodstream and flows right to the pumping heart, practically causing a musical high.
60 Sec sets it off so perfect and even Killah Priest, man of many talents, cuts in with the chorus and sings at the end and it’s actually good!!
Bronze is on his own level right now. He’s just creatin beats that form a colorful, almost cinematic landscape most of the time and on here he dives right into a smokey tale of his own, it begins in a “smoke-filled room, with two rottweilers howlin’ at the moon” and then ends with the character meeting a brother inside “a smoke web” who tells her this dope ending line:
”Only true niggas will advance
I’m becoming a Buddha but for now I’m still man…”
C-Rayz Walz is also great on here with a vivid dead flower description and story of his own. This is the kinda song that Wu members should be lookin’ at and trying to emulate. There hasn’t been a banger that even came close to this on any general’s solo album in I can’t remember how long. Where the fuck is Method Man?? I hate to say it, but would Meth even know what to do with a beat like this anymore?? Think about it.
God bless these Wu ninjas like Bronze and Priest who are still tryin to bring that raw, bangin classic shit to the diehard Wu fans and SUCCEEDING at it.
This song couldn’t be more perfect; beat, chorus, lyrics, scratches, even the singing if u wanna call it that.
Solomon Childs, Son One, 5-Star, M-80
This beat is reminiscent of a ‘Hell on Earth’-era Havoc beat—when Mobb Deep was awesome. Again, Kevlaar 7 really shoulda got more work on this album. His two beats are flames and I even think he shoulda spit a verse on here cuz M-80 flat out does not belong on this song.
**edit: It seems that Solomon Childs is only on the hook....and I am a retard
Son One and 5-Star are awesome, especially 5-Star---this is really his highlight on the album..
Not too crazy about this song even though the first verse is insane. I don’t like the beat at all really---not that it’s horrible but there’s so much supreme-quality stuff on this album that it just sounds skippable.
KP takes forever til he starts his verse and it’s annoying but it’s also pretty funny when he sayin “cowbody n Indians!” and stuff like that. Overall it’s a pretty dark ending to the album and one of the more skippable so it sucks that this is the ending. It might’ve been better to throw on another beat interlude as the outro cuz those definitely worked well.
I was thinking of giving the beats a 3-and-a-half but the good ones so far outweigh the bad ones that it works fine. The lyrics—it’s hard to give anything less than that. There’s very few bad or weak verses on the entire album which is a surprise with so many emcees and guest appearances but that’s just a testament to the quality of the cd. I feel it still could’ve been a little better, some more shine for Kevlaar or maybe even another few Bronze beats as his music really ignited the album but as it is, it’s a very fine piece of hip hop material and my honest feelings on it are really GRATITUDE. I’m glad somebody’s recognizing the fans like us and working hard to put out something that we could really enjoy.