GZA - Pro Tools
GZA tore shit up with this one, this matched the expectations I got after listening to the albums first official
single, Alphabets. A little remark, some songs are just plain, too short. I am disappointed I didn't hear a verse from True Master, or at least another verse from GZA on Columbian Ties. All in all, this album is more than worth copping. It's worth copping three times, one for bumping, one for framing and hanging on the wall, and one left wrapped in plastic. Some might find my review too "soft" with too high scores, but fuck it, this ain't nothing professional. This is just a 15-year-old kid enjoying an album. You'll get a top-notch review from Hollow,Sheepish,claaa7,brock,the silencer and others... Peace to y'all.
1. Intromental (Unrated)
A nice intro for things to come, musically. With RZA shouting out GZA/Genius at some points, this really gets you in a relaxed mood... but...
2. Pencil ft Masta Killa & RZA (4/5)
A certified Wu-Banga, with a sick Allah Maths beat with a creepy-ass sample. GZA comes sick, a nice MK verse, but RZA is on some next level shit. He destroyes everything. A great verse, that trademarks this track.
3. Alphabets (5/5)
What Can I say? A sick True Master looped beat (All I need is a beat, with a continous loop, and a live vibe that hypnotize like a flute), and GZA's flow is on point. Great delivery that matches the beat, and the lyrics are vintage. With a classic chorus that gets every letter of the alphabet covered... in style "Y, Zig-Zag-Zig... and now I'm back home". Classic track. I'll be bumping this in front of my kids proudly in 10-15 years.
4. Groundbreaking feat Justice Kareem (4/5)
It looks like Bronze Nazareth is the hottest producer in the hip hop game right now. Everything he produced lately takes down the wall. A storytelling first verse from the Genius, followed by a familiar chorus "We roll together as one, I call my brother son, cuz he shine like one". The second verse is pretty strong, but he's joined by his son Young Justice that has some nice lines, but nothing Groundbreaking.
5. 7 Pounds (4/5)
Banger. A sick intro by Preservation, and a great beat produced by Black Milk. GZA comes true on this, with his flow/delivery matching the beat perfectly. A crazy-ass sample and nice old-school raps. Takes you back. A great joint.
6. 0% Finance (4.5/5)
This is near-classic. The much-discussed re-used Stay In Line beat is very enjoyable, and I'll regard it as an authentic beat. Classic GZA flow, a little sleepy delivery and mindblowing lyrics. Reminiscent of Queens Gambit, the storytelling lyrics with incorporated car names, simply blow you away. "Took her of the showroom floor, no money down"
7. Short Race (4/5)
A nice Arabian Knight beat laced with guitars in the background. GZA's delivery is too sleepy on this one, but the storytelling lyrics make up for it to some point. A good verse from Rock Marciano, with a real enjoyable chorus from the cat. A real slept on rapper. I slept on him too. This woke me up.
8. Interlude (Unrated)
A cut from an 8 Diagrams interview that grips the topic of the massiveness of the Wu-Tang Clan. An interlude that immediately sears into...
9. Paper Plates (4.5/5)
Already discussed. A diss to an industry giant, 50 Cent. Calling his art "disposable" like a Paper Plate in the title... GZA goes on a lyrical rampage here. With a simple RZA beat, a very simple RZA beat, intended to emphasize the lyrics, although the lyrics are followed by a somewhat sleepy delivery. GZA is destroying 50 Cent on this one. In the same time he reminds 50 about a lot of flaws in his career, but at the same time touches the classics, and touches the masiveness of the Clan. All with vintage lyrics.
10. Columbian Ties feat True Master (5/5)
Classic joint. Nothing less than classic about it. A great hook from True Master (In his own iniquity he dies, through Columbian Ties), great jabs from the GZA, with a Bronze Nazareth beat that perfectly matches the "killing" vibe of the track. This shares Alphabets' spot as the favorite cut on the album. The only flaw is that it is too short, as I mentioned in the introduction to the review.
11. Firehouse feat Ka (3/5)
3 nice verses from an unknown cat Ka, with an enjoyable hook from GZA. The nice vibe of the track is focused by the nice Rock Marciano beat. This is just that chill track. Nothing special about it.
12. Path Of Destruction (4/5)
A great beat, a trademark of the famous producer... erm... Jay Waxx Garfield. Sorry, but I never heard of this cat. Anyway, the beat is very enjoyable, that follows the storytelling about a young criminal. A very enjoyable track, nothing less than what I expected at this point of the album.
13. Cinema feat Justice Kareem (3.5/5)
With GZA's creepy whispering over an Arabian Knight beat, this gives you the chills. Again... storytelling lyrics. A hook from his son, that you can't hear unless you turn your volume the fuck up. Great cut, I'd listen to this only after 11 P.M. because of it's real creppy night vibe. GZA's flow is on point here, with a great delivery.
14. Intermission (Unrated)
A nice break that relieves you of those chills you got from Cinema. Nice shit, for real.
15. Life Is a Movie feat RZA & Khan-Acito (3.5/5)
Nice to hear RZA & GZA sharing a beat alone. Well, with this cat Khan-Acito too, but that doesn't count. A beat that marks RZA's recent musical evolution. A nice beat, but could be better. With the nice lyrics both from GZA/Genius and Bobby Digitech, this is a good song that isn't amongst my favorite cuts.
16. Elastic Audio (Live Performance) (4/5)
1112 beat. In GZA's words "There's always something about this beat right here, Dreddy". And for real, this beat is monstrous and this whole song is a banger. But the lyrics last too short (Over the beat), with GZA's delivery being very very energetic. The only flaw about this, is the censure of the curses. "My Wu-Tang wwwp ain't nuthin to wwwwp with". The second part of this, and the ending of the album, is his second verse off General Principles from his DJ Muggs collabo Grandmasters.
53/65 = 4.1/5
Although I'm giving this album a 4.5/5.