The Saga Continues
Wu-Tang is back, or so they would claim, sans the “Clan”. The Saga Continues hits nearly everything you’d want from a Wu album, the production hits those soundtrack and dusty, soul gem notes and the rappers sound at the top of their games, especially Meth, who’s all over this album.
The only real issue I have with the album is that there is not any tracks with a swag of members trading verses. The biggest giveaway that this isn’t a true Wu-Tang album is that each track lists the members featured on it, something that hasn’t been included before.
Regardless, the album is pretty satisfying. Mathematics is on production duties; RZA executive produced the album which I guess means he signed off on the tracks. As mentioned above, Mathematics hits the Wu-Tang theme, allowing the various rappers to do their thing comfortably. Those various rappers are predominantly Method Man and RZA. Raekwon and Ghostface get two verses each, GZA gets one verse and U-God is completely absent (some would argue for the better). Wu-Tang affiliate, Redman meanwhile gets three verses.
After an intro by RZA, Inspectah Deck and Redman start things dirty with second single Lesson Learn’d. It’s slow and edgy, warning everyone not to mess with Wu-Tang and the Def Squad, and big ups Mathematics. It’s a decent intro to follow the actual intro. Fast and Furious follows, with great storytelling from Hue Hef and Raekwon about slinging drugs. Rae sounds stellar, the track sounds dangerous.
Method Man makes his first appearance on If Time Is Money, and he gets the track all to himself. He excels, not just on this track, but throughout. Meth seems to get better with age, or at the least he hasn’t dropped off (for proof of this check his freestyle with Black Thought on Sway from last week – shit’s fire). As Meth states in key track Hood Go Bang! “Bars better than Willy Wonka’s”.
RZA is the other rapper with his presence all over the album. He too is sounding great, probably best exemplified in Why Why Why. RZA tackles racism and Black Lives Matter in the first verse, before moving onto the choices young, poor kids need to make in order to survive in the second. It’s rapped like only RZA can, including a reference to Deck’s verse in C.R.E.A.M.
The Saga Continues scratches an itch for Wu fans, and is their strongest offering of late. More presence from Rae, Ghost and GZA could have made this album even stronger. It will be interesting to see where they will go next. With the members sounding on point on this album, hopefully we get a proper Wu-Tang album, if not off the back of Hood Go Bang! I think it’s time for Meth and Red’s Blackout! 3.