A few months ago, I wrote the following 8 posts (which will be appearing 1 per day over the next 8 weekdays) with the intention of counting down to the release of 8 Diagrams on
November 6th December 4th December 11th. At that time, I would’ve never imagined the string of events that followed: the release date mix-up with Ghostface’s The Big Doe Rehab, Wu members unhappy with RZA’s direction and sound, money missing, and — something I thought I’d never hear — the possibility of a future Wu-Tang Clan release without the RZA. As a Wu fan stan (fuck it, I’m not ashamed to admit it), I had always heard rumors of inner-Clan turmoil and heated studio sessions, but never took it as anything but evidence of friendly competitiveness, intended to make everyone better. Now, instead of the release of 8 Diagrams being a joyous occasion, it seems as if all parties involved would rather pretend that the album never existed.
The album leaked a few days ago, but — like a couple of y’all out there, I’m sure — I’m waiting until the actual release date to cop. That hasn’t stopped me from reading what others have been saying about the album, and it seems like for every person whose commended the RZA’s production efforts on the album, there’s another person who has deemed 8 Diagrams as something along the lines of a “shit sandwich”. For those of y’all in the former category, let this series of posts be a toast to the Wu’s longevity, and perhaps the greatest catalog of records in hip hop history. For those of y’all in the latter category, let this series of posts be a eulogy of sorts, reminding of the greatness that the Wu embodies, which (hopefully) isn’t soiled by the release of an ill-conceived, off-6-year-hiatus album. And for those of y’all who have avoided the 8 Diagrams leak like the plague, let this series of posts boost your anticipation for December 11th, when you can then decide for yourself.
I’ll be posting 4 tracks each day, broken down as follows:
- a solo track from a Wu member;
- a track from a Wu-Tang Clan album, in which that Wu member’s verse stood out;
- a track from a different Wu member’s solo album, where the highlighted Wu-member made a notable guest spot; and
- a track from a non-Wu artist featuring that Wu member.
And, to show that I’m not making these posts in any particular order (for example, in order of my personal favorite Wu members), I’ll be starting things off with U-God.
I kid, I kid. I mean, U-God isn’t my favorite member of the Wu, but I wouldn’t say he’s the worst of ‘em. More like the “least best.” Read on…