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Thread: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

  1. #1

    Default Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    Save some space on the board, post all your Mathematic reviews on this thread. I'll post up any official reviews I find too. Here are the first couple. (mods, might be a good idea to sticky this?)


    Quote Originally Posted by Pitchfork Media
    The Problem
    [Nature Sounds; 2005]
    Rating: 7.5

    We're a long way from 1997, when the Wu-Tang Clan's second album moved 600,000 units in its first week. Eight years later, in The Wu-Tang Manual, RZA marks '97 as a turning point, when he began "converting Wu from the dictatorship it had been to a democracy." Maybe Ezra Pound was onto something when he famously argued that fascism was beneficial art: The democratic incarnation of Wu-Tang has birthed stellar efforts from Ghostface and RZA, but has also turned out some forgettable solo joints and spotty group albums. Method Man seems to be spending more time on screen than on wax. Cappadonna's driving a taxi in Baltimore. Dirty passed on. "After the laughter..."

    Mathematics has been a quiet Clan associate since day one-- he designed their famous logo (an early draft had a hand clutching a hilariously gory severed head sticking out of the now-iconic W), and contributed RZA-sanctioned beats for albums like Ghost's Supreme Clientele and Meth's Tical 2000: Judgment Day. On his second LP, Mathematics succeeds where other recent Wu efforts have faltered by keeping it hot and simple. Instead of trying to push things forward, Math sticks to the basics, and The Problem plays like a subtly modernized précis of vintage '90s Wu-Tang styles. Should've been called The Solution: Take mid-to-up-tempo, cinematic beats and use them for blazing posse cuts that mingle the entirety of the Clan (including Dirt) with competent Nü-Tangers like Eyeslow, Hot Flames, and Bald Head; repeat as necessary.

    The Problem opens with a reminisce, natch: "C What I C", where Mathematics's skittering drums and snake-charming melody pave the way for Eyeslow and T-Slugz to reprise the street-reportage/pining for simpler times themes of "Can It Be All So Simple"-- see also the beautifully expressive horns of the elegiac "Tommy". "Strawberries and Cream" is a honeyed, profane slow-jam with a watery soul melody (remember "Love Jones"?) and swaggering romantic raps from RZA and Ghost (one hopes his line about "high school pussy" is a reminisce as well). Where was U-God on that one?

    You've got your party jams: "John 3:16", where Meth monkeys around on a springy cartoon beat, sing-songing hooks and punchlines ("got Milton Bradley hating the game") like Nelly with a personality; "Rush", which pits Meth's rubber chickens against GZA's precisely clipped fingernail rhymes; the bounce-funk club banger "Two Shots of Henny". Then there are the thrillingly grim tracks: "Winta Sno" gets stupid frosty with silvery minor chords and nihilistic crime rhymes; Ghost and Rae slang-bang "Real Nillaz" over frantic drums and skeletal metallic accents; on "U.S.A." the bombastic spook-house synths are well-contrasted by Masta Killa's stark straight-talk. There's something sly about imbuing all new songs with a "best-of" aura, and it makes for a strong Wu release. -Brian Howe, June 13, 2005

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapreviews
    Mathematics :: The Problem :: Nature Sounds
    as reviewed by James Corne

    Mathematics released "Love, Hell or Right" last year as the beloved Wu-Tang Clan was once again on the rise. They seemed to be slowly gathering strength for another campaign. Solo albums were dropping left and right, RZA resurrected his adored fame through "Kill Bill", and their long lost brethren Ol' Dirty Bastard had finally been uncaged. Just as things seemed to be going beautifully for the Wu, ODB died tragically in their own 36 Chamber's studio. The family collapsed inward at the unexpected blow, snubbing their presumed re-re-re-resurrection. It seems no matter how hard they try to do right, something horribly wrong always spoils it. Since then, news of the kung-fu-conceit crew has been discouraging, almost whispering at their final disintegration. Yet, here is Mathematics returning with a follow-up album featuring the entire clan. Say What? In fact, "The Problem" is the first, real sign of life for the group since Dirty's death.

    Originally the clan's road DJ, Mathematics finally surfaced as a true producer on "Love, Hell or Right", although an unstable one. It is probably the most mercurial album I've ever heard. The juxtaposition of material is amazing, jumping from radio worthy Wu-bangers to bootleg quality, sample-screaming interludes. It was an oil-n-water mix of material. The album is still enthralling somehow, in that manic, I-don't-give-a-fuck type of way, and good enough to give Mathematics a second chance at a solo career.

    "The Problem" starts off with "C What I C", featuring T-Slugz & Eyeslow—an MC that covered most of songs on Math's last album. It's a pure adrenaline track, like a Ludacris beat overdosing on speed. For contrast, Math follows it up with slow, sexy "Strawberries and Cream" with Inspectah Deck, the RZA, and Ghostface. If you are familiar with Math's original version "Strawberries" on Ghostface's "Bulletproof Wallets", this is a completely different form of eroticism. "Strawberries" is like the pounding, out of control kind of quickie, while "Stawberries and Cream" is the slow, sensual, tantric-type of sex. It's hard to pick a favorite—as in real life—but both are equally eargasmic. Ghostface sounds at home talking dirty on both versions:

    "Five and a half in Boys, ass is off the hook
    High school pussy, heard you got the best nookie
    Sugar walls, watch and love, slide right on my dick
    Gon' palm on ya ass like this while you ridin' it
    I'm about to cum boo-boo, chill for a sec
    Feel it at the tip ma', ya pussy's too wet
    One false move and I'ma blast like the very first time
    Burnt you with candle wax while you was slobbin' mine
    Dick is sensitive, you move, baby here it is
    Oh Lord, I told you not to move you dirty broad!"

    There is another song here. Method Man shows up on "John 3:16", a previously "unreleased" song that managed to make onto about every Wu-Tang mixtape in the past year. Eyeslow, L.S. and Ali Vegas compile an assortment of sordid, hood stories on "Winta Sno". Then things heat back up with "Two Shots of Henny" featuring a whole slew of artists broken up by a brief chorus. It's a hot party track, even with six MC's sharing air time. Much like the rest of the clan, Mathematics mustered an idiosyncratic style all his own. His beats are easily distinguished from fellow Wu producers RZA and Tru Masta, the same as picking out RZA's slurred "talk like Bjork" voice against Ghost's whiny-crying flow. It is an unusual style, intense but erratic; the loop comes as a chaotic, jumbling of instruments, samples, and scratching—that all roll together rhythmically somehow. "Bullet Scar" with T Slugz

    "Real Nillaz" is more your stripped-down, raw Wu-Tang beat. Ghostface and Raekwon, a historic rap pairings, sandwich _______ while _______ runs the chorus. Next, newcomer Bald Head handles "Coach Talk", confidently like a aged vertern, rideing the pimped-out gangster beat with his slow, savvy tone cocky demeanor. Method Man and GZA bounce over a funeral organ in "Rush", trading verses like old times. GZA is still one of the most terrirfying MC's I've ever heard.

    "The sound echo through the neighborhood to vibrate
    circulate the roughest throughout the tri-state
    the wise attract to it because it's magnetic
    though slow kids stuck on the block they don't get it
    they don't want to set it, put the track on immediately
    quick fast, clock ticks to the blast you see, bugged out
    they scatter with the lights on
    we raid those local spots when they cut the mics on
    rollin' with the talent, the beats, and rap verse
    crowd get excited with the heat and clap first
    musta' had a hot hand to go in his waist band
    said he had to lick a shot for a top-notch clan
    multiple swordsman, blades sharp
    rip through your heart, MC's want no part
    of any type of conflict, or non sense, them will be spun quick
    get thick, the problem goes beyond sick"

    Ghostface, Masta Killah and a handful of other artists go back to back in a true Wu-Tang fashion on "U.S.A.". "Tommy" tells the story of packs another six-shooter of MC's including Allah Real, Eyeslow, Angie Neil and Bald Head. Ol' Dirty Bastard manages to while U-God provides the bass:

    "Little Tommy got his hands on a gun
    He only thirteen, smokin weed
    runnin' with thugs that's like 33
    he tryin' to grow too fast
    cuttin' school, at a hooky party feelin' on ass
    till some haten cats came in
    Tommy started grippen
    Dude looked Tommy up-n-down and Tommy got offended
    Shots went off, everybody runnin' rapid
    Little did they know Tommy loved gun clappin'
    The kid bounced him before he even got hit
    It lets up, but shortie got caught in between that shit
    Now, who's gonna honey's moms how she cut school
    At a hooky party with girlfriends and wild dudes
    Who gonna tell the cops?
    Who getting' locked for it?
    Tommy fled the scene before somebody else saw him
    He ran fast down Fulton Ave, tossed his gun
    Thinkin' to himself, 'What the fuck I done!'"

    Mathematics sticks to the hardcore, time-tested Wu-Tang style: rough, rambunctious beats, a six-shooter of MC's firing off back to back, no R&B, no bullshit, just hardcore hip hop. But Math's adherence to the "Wu-Tang Manual" doesn't end with his production design or his family-first selection of guest MC's, the album stays loyal in content as well. Wu-Tang ran much deeper than skill or even style. The kung-fu movie theme the public used to identify them was only a staging ground for a true temple. They trained their "student" not just in the art of fighting, or in this case rhyming, but in self-empowerment and spirituality. In short, they fought for a better tomorrow. "The Problem" centers around the same idealism, the same principles. Although rap relapsed back into the ‘money, drugs & hoes' rehab center, Wu-Tang still made a difference for their listeners. Mathematics knows this, so he focuses much of the content on "The Problem" on the issues affecting Black youths. Songs like "Tommy" and "Winta Slow" and "Bullet Scar" draw subtle attention to the woes of street life by exposing the lost, and more realistic, stories of the hood: the rappers who don't make it, the drug dealers who get incarcerated instead of getting rich, the lost sons, the debauched daughters, the suffering, the cycle. In essence, the problems in America's ghettos.

    Mathemtaics' intentions are admirable, being that he debases violence instead of glorifying it, but "The Problem" ultimately succeeds because it is an excellent album. The music is vibrant, dynamic and lyrically backed by the Wu Tang Clan and family. (What else do you need?) Also, "The Problem" improves on its predecessor by its consist quality. Math still jumps around somewhat unpredictably, but the divergence comes in creativity. Each song may feel instrumentally different, but all are original, winning tracks. Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    so is this out yet?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    Nah, but promo copies have been sent out and it's leaked. Comes out 28th of June, COP IT.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    Alright, I've spent a few days chilling to it and that, so here's the review..

    For almost 10 years we've had the Wu-Elements hold it down on any project they've touched. From Wu-Tang Forever where RZA allowed 4th Disciple & Tru Master some shine through to more recent collaborative Wu-Element efforts like No Said Date, the producers have each brought their own vibe to the table, while staying true to the Wu-Tang blueprint laid down by the RZA. However, like the RZA on his solo projects (especially Bobby Digital In Stereo), Mathematics used his previous solo (more of a compilation album, really) Love Hell or Right (Da Come Up) as a platform for both his own changing musical style and a chance for acts such as Allah Real, Eyeslow, Baldhead and more to shine. With The Problem it's easy to see that Math has found his musical niche. Merging the Wu-Fam and his own crew together over his beats, Math reaches to both ends of the spectrum for the albums individual tracks. "Strawberries and Cream", a remix of Ghostfaces "Strawberries" (also produced by Math) is a slower, more intimate version, with Allah Real providing the backdrop while RZA and Deck kill the track. Unfortunately, Ghostfaces verse is the same as the original "Strawberries", which was never all that good to begin with. Nonetheless, it's a highlight of the album. Without going into too much depth (check it out yourself!) the other highlights of the album include "Tommy", featuring Math's own crew, with a slow pounding bassline and a somber horn sample. The two Method Man tracks, "John 3:16" & "Rush" (featuring GZA) are pretty much what I expected from Tical 0, a party vibe mixed with that trademark Wu-Tang rawness. Break That is pretty much a Wu-banger despite the obvious bass, while Real Nillaz & USA combine Wu-Tang, Maths crew and tight beats.

    Overall, it's a great LP. While Maths crew occasionally disappoints (C What I C could have been done much better) his beats stay on point, and demonstrate his growth as an all-round producer in a smoother transition then RZA's 2001-2003 slump (Dashing? Drop Off? What the fuck were you thinking, RZA?) and it has that trademark Wu-sound that we all fiend for, just a bit updated for the times.


  6. #6
    The Don Bishop bringoutthegimp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    this album is no less than a 8/10, rapreviews was on point i thought

    In the ways of the world today
    It's so easy for us to stray away
    Trying to keep our mind from all the drugs and crime
    Material things keep us blind

  7. #7

    Default NOW Magazine Review


    Quote Originally Posted by NOW Magazine

    GZA's cousin Mathematics first entered the Wu-Tang production fold after the Shaolin crew blew the fuck up, everyone started making all these solo records and RZA was popping Anacins and rubbing his face, all stressed-out, like "Guys, there's just no way I'm gonna be able to make 41 new classic Wu beats by Friday morning." Then Math started appearing on most members' solo discs, and ever since RZA's shitty Bobby Digital dropped, has been rightly credited with reviving the original Wu sound. In true 36 Chambers fashion, gloriously twisted sloppy funk and classical cuts, breaks and raw movie clips for the Wus and (many) Wu-Gambinos to rock wit' appear here. It's a raw, hot, hungry sound. Method Man does serious damage control after his bullshit Tical 0 with two of the dopest flows/tracks he's done since the 90s, while Ol' Dirty, Masta Killa & U-God sound like they just smoked somethin' and threw some shit down on a dirty four-track under the project staircases. Protect ya neck, god.

    NOW | JUNE 16 - 22, 2005 | VOL. 24 NO. 42

  8. #8

    Default Delicious Hip:Hiop

    Sorry bout the shoddy translation.. it's the google one. For any germans, here's the original link - http://www.48-empire.de/delicious/so...athematics.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious:Hip Hop
    Kindist: Mathematics
    Title: The problem
    Label: Nature Sounds/Neo distribution/Sony BMG
    Format: CD/2LP
    V.Oe.: 27.06.2005

    Mathematics is both the inventor Wu-seaweed of the Logos and that
    route DJ and producer of many years legendary Wu-seaweed of the CLAN. 1993 - when the legendary "Enter the 36 Chambers" album was published, was already it the official route DJ.

    Mathematics was located rarely in the footlights, yet he carries a substantial portion of the development of the clan as a producer. He worked among other things on the albums "The W" and "Iron flag", as well as on the solo albums of Method one, Masta Killa, RZA, Cappadonna, GZA and Ghostface Killah.

    "The problem" is probably the last work with that all Wu-seaweed-members completely - inclusively that the 2004 deceased Ol'Dirty hybrid - represented is. Gefeatured become beside O.D.B. all its brothers RZA inclusive of the Wu ang clan, Ghostface, Method one, u-God, Cappadonna, Reakwon, Masta Killa and all different one!

    "The problem" comes with the typical Wu-seaweed sound from the boxes, compares one however the first album of Mathematics (Love bright or right) with the current in such a way can one only say, "The problem" has more Groove and more variation wealth.

    As single uncoupled "John 3:16" ft. Method one & P.I. sounds - nevertheless the Beat a little reminds me of "Got your Money" from ODB - however makes straight in this case nix, it remains in the family and Meth & P.I. sounding used freshly and to full energy!

    And if Method one meets on GZA, how it is with the TRACK "Rush" the case, then feels one the insanity, that in the clan prevails - bomb flows meet on Bombenbeats and let the head nod - to RUSH!!!

    To ease one can go off the absolutely typical Wu-sound with "Strawberries & Cream, with the Ghostface and RZA soulful and easily psychedelisch over a calm Beat and gets one up" material Nillaz "(ft. Ghostface, Buddah, Eyeslow & Raekwon).

    "BREAK That" with the legendary Ol'Dirty hybrid has again a simple, Wu-typical Beat and so quite everyone the source of the bass LINE will recognize! In addition, Masta Killa and u-God deliver a hammer TRACK here beside ODB.

    Mathematics delivers here a classical author - alone already, because he created it here to unite all Wu-Member again! This plate may be missing in no good disk collection!

    Review by Sub

    © by Delicious hiphop:magazine

    Added to 06.06.2005

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    Strawberries and cream
    John 3:16
    Real Nillaz
    U.S.A. (this track is growing on me, I dont care how digi it sounds)
    Break that (I love that mellow note that drops here and there.)

    And a few of the others were good as well. Cop this. If I like it it must be hot, you know?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews


    Stick this thread!

  11. #11

    Default inthemix.com.au REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by InTheMix
    In the mid 90s the Wu-Tang Clan were at the top of hip hop’s tree. Brilliant group albums were followed by ground breaking solo releases, then it kind of all went pear shaped. Here to resurrect this once mighty crew is Mathematics, and with The Problem he might just do it.

    Mathematics may not be a familiar name to you, but alongside RZA he was one of the Wu’s in house producers, probably best known for the brilliant Spot Lite (included here as a bonus track). The Problem is actually his second foray into the solo album market and it is all the things a great Wu-Tang release used to be. When they were firing, each Wu MC brought something unique to the table, enabling them to make brilliant posse cuts and individually themed solo albums. For some reason the fire left them, the beats stopped being innovative, and we were left with artists who were a shadow of their former selves. Perhaps it is the talk of a reformed Wu releasing a new album, the buzz following their live album after their first gig in years, or even the passing of Old Dirty, but every MC here sounds fresh and hungry to be on top again.

    Production wise Mathematics has sharpened his sound as he looks to push his name to the forefront. Relying heavily on some well dug funk and soul samples layered with keys, strings and clever drum patterns, each of the fourteen tracks are unique yet fit together well. From the upbeat club track Two Shots Of Henny, to the chilled out Tommmy and Strawberries & Cream, or the Method Man laced party track John 3:16, the beats are versatile and almost flawless. The one exception is the somewhat disjointed Bullet Scar, it’s clunky production seems out of place with all other tracks, although at a little over two minutes it doesn’t take away from the albums overall appeal.
    Lyrically it is a combination of the old and the new, each original member of the Wu making an appearance, including the late Dirty’s drunken flow on Break That. Alongside them are a slew of relative newcomers such as T-Slugz, Eyeslow, Ali Vegas and PI, who all hold their own. For me though the best moments are when the old heads reunite, such as when GZA and Method Man trade verses on the album's highlight Rush. Meth sounding as good as he has for years and GZA reminds us why many consider him one of the best of all time. There other classic combinations as well, like Raekwon and Ghostface on Real Niggaz, or ODB, U-God and Masta Killa on Break That. It is a pleasant reminder of how good the Wu-Tang Clan can be.

    If you were a fan of the Wu-Tang back in the 90s you need to own this album. It is an exciting look at what to expect as the Wu mount a new charge to reclaim there place atop of hip hop and prove once and for all – Wu-Tang Clan aint nothing to fuck wit

  12. #12

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    i still say he looks like Jay-Z in that CD Cover...but i got Da Come Up, not lookin forward to this...well given that i havnt lstened to a Wu-Tang album, solo ro group or wu-fam song in months.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    Fuck a review, just go out and cop the album!!
    Forgotten Brotherhood

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    4 mics at least, definately a nice effort. i see some cats puttin it on the same level as his first,thats crazy to me this is much more well rounded musically and guestwise

  15. #15

    Default Re: Mathematics - "The Problem" Reviews

    Very hot album so far listening to it, Strawberries and Cream is amazing. But I like the lesser known artists so far - Winter Sno shows that in my opinion!
    Quote Originally Posted by logitrax
    Damn, I was hoping Minister Mase and Priest-Diddy would remix "Mo' Money Mo' Problems" into "Mo' Masses Mo' Prayers." With Faith on the hook of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skale
    there was a gun battle in my house Max Payne style where my sister escaped and my mom and I fought Lil Jon and the East Side Boys plus the Ying Yang twins...
    Pray on Praya.

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