Holy fucking Moley! Not even a day after Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint 3″ leaking and I’m downloading getting another advance listening copy of Raekwon’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt II” from my same friends in high places. Since the big wigs in the industry continue in recognizing me as a world renown taste maker and want my take on it, it’s only right that I share those much valued thoughts with you.
Having the two most anticipated rap albums of 2009 drop within the same week is a blessing and a curse. A blessing to listen to and a curse in having to review them. Alotta ya’ll seem a bit aggie about my BP3 review, questioning my tastes and what not. Like we can’t like or dislike what we do. I thought this was America, people. Freedom of speech and what not. We here at the Daily Math encourage expressions of thought, we don’t have to agree, but we agree to disagree. Like how my homie Dallas Penn swears by that god awful “808′s and Heartbreaks” album. I never question where my dude is coming from, cause he’s thorough like that. I like to call that sharing of opinions a true Slang Rap Democracy. You dig?
Back to “OB4CL2″. How is it? Does Rae deliver? Does it come anywhere near the classic piece it’s 1995 predecessor was? Is it better than “BP3″? Let’s go down the line and peep the results:
How ill is this teaser cover last year?
Return To The North Star (Feat. Papu Wu) (Interlude) (Prod. Bt) – The album starts off with Wu mentor Papa Wu dropping some cautionary guidance in the vein of jail-house mathematics. The background music is pure soul, lush and rich with strings and horns. Cinematic and so ’70′s. This is smoke-filled room ambiance. The scene changes to Rae getting prepped for the come-up, Ghost talking in the back-ground, sounding high as hell. The bond between these two Wu bandits never ain’t change. The set up for the movie, for the album is perfect. It’s evident that some major shit is about to go down.
House of Flying Daggers (Feat. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah & Method Man) (Prod. J-Dilla) – You already know. I forgot how much I missed the Wu sound, authentic Kung-Fu flick samples rushing in on the track, followed by that regimental marching beat produced by the late J-Dilla doing his best RZA impression. No frills, just violence is how gutter that beat is. Inspectah Deck opens and kills with his verbal darts “I pop off like a mobster boss, angel hair with the lobster sauce…”. Rae, Ghost and Meth take turns raping the beat. Totally ravaged, the beat ends with more Kung-Fu movie samples. It’s clear, anyone coming with lesser heat this year best step from the Wu-Tang’s path. Ni**as really sound like they’re fucking pissed at other rappers who have sullied the craft of rapping, who forgot about the craft making hot gully street, phlegm on the subway in December music. There’s no doubt once this bish starts that the Wu is finally back!
Sonny’s Missing (Prod. Pete Rock) – Rae goes dolo on this Pete Rock produced snippet. Grimey project hallway scenario going down, ni**as not wanting to come up off that drug money and info. Penalties being dealt to those for going against the wrong team. Pete Rock delivering atmospheric Wu sounding classic ear candy. Feels like ’95 here. In a good way. Good to see Pete Rock being down with classic sounding newness. Unlike Jay-Z’s “BP3″ where after each track, I was hoping the album wouldn’t take a turn for the worse, falling apart with the upcoming track, I am so anxious to hear what’s next on this. This is not a “keep my fingers crossed” kind of album.
Pyrex Vision (Prod. Marley Marl) – Blaughflooshbwaugghhllluhhhh! Ugh. So sorry. Just threw up, naueous from how SICK this Marley Marl beat is. *wipes chunks from my chin* Jazzy, lazy, strings played like wisps of incense smoke twirling around in my circumference. Rae switching up his style, more laid-back, nose sounding kinda stuffed. Crack rap at it’s fucking BEST. Rae cooking shit up in the kitchen with the Pyrex. So mad that this song is only 54 seconds long. Should be 54 minutes long. Face muscles feel like I’m getting lockjaw on how many times I was forced to give up the scrunch face. Only 4 songs in and I’m already calling this album a masterpiece. I am fiending for more. The highest of salutes to Marley.
Cold Outside (Feat. Suga Bang & Ghostface Killah)(Prod. Atl) – Completely forgot how I used to rep Suga Bang. A young kid with a golden voice filled with 400+ years of pain, generations of projects and prison in his DNA. I did his deal years ago when he initially signed to the Wu. Had mad talent. Glad to see him still in the game, singing the hook. Atl(?) serves up some more cinematic shit, Mexican horns, rainfall and thunder coming in through the auditory. Having the best fucking time of my life reviewing this album here. It’s cold outside, Rae comes in with “religious with hammers”. New York City might be Disney Land, but there’s still a war going on outside in the hood. He crafts a pretty picture about how it ain’t nothing pretty to it. Ghost bleeds his verses into the mike. I’m already re-thinking who the greatest rapper alive is. Me, you and everyone we know has been suckered, lulled into accepting sub-par shit for too fucking long. No more.
Black Mozart (Feat. Inspectah Deck) (Prod. Rza) – Rza shows up with his rendition of “The Godfather”. Sounds like something he cooked up while he was building with Quentin Tarantino. Not crazy, like the tracks that played before, but fitting in perfectly. Actually sounds like something that was left off “OBFCL 1″. Not in a bad way.
Gihad (Ghostface Killah) (Prod. Negro) – Dunno who Negro is but he picks up the pace with a great vocal sample, great chord progressions, clean smooth beat. No lie, Ghost steals the show, can’t really get into it, but his performance hon this as me laughing out loud, spitting out my beer. Bill Clinton’s mom’s effs with the Chinese.
New Wu (Feat. Method Man & Ghostface Killah) (Prod. Rza) – Vintage Rza. Meth sounds brand new, like, uhm New Wu. Rae drops a gem, including the line “move like 91 Romans”. Meth comes back to kill the hook, Ghost spazzes, steals the show once again. “Ya’ll “Planet Of The Apes” standing next to King Kong”. Word. Meth wraps the song up, reminding me why he was the official breakout Wu star from a decade plus ago. Throw your W’s up.
Penitentiary (Feat. Ghostface Killah) (Prod. Bt) – Transactions going on in the big house. Rae and Ghost having shit on lock, making arrangements with C.O.’s. Who the fluck is BT? I need to know cause he drops another ill beat. Sounds like Tunnel music, Funkmaster Flex dropping bombs and shit. They testing anything with bling. Hip Hop is prison. Rae and Ghost stay committing mess hall murders. Scrunch face worthy.
Baggin Crack - Being that this is a leaked an advance copy, I’m not seeing this track on any of the prior track lists. I’m not even sure it’s going to be on the actual album. More crack rap. Pure crack with no cut in it. Filler though. The next three tracks and sequence their in is unreal.
Surgical Gloves (Prod. The Alchemist) – Bloodclaat. Sounds like Alchemist sold his soul to Satan to come up with a track this evil. Stench of brimstone is billowing in smoke clouds. Rae cautions “this ain’t no Wizard Of Oz shit.” It isn’t. Shaolin Island elbowing the rest of the 5 boroughs on how we slept on the Wu. Reminds crack rappers like the Clipse where they got they blueprint from. No pun intended. So Michael Moore. Sicko.
Broken Safety (f. Jadakiss & Styles P) – More madness. Jada murders this.
Canal Street – Wow. Rae takes it back to the days of Lee’s and Wrangler’s. Haven’t heard the word “poo-put” used in a very long time. Track sounds like Darth Vader just walked in the room, how menacing it sounds.
Ason Jones (Prod. J-Dilla) – So soulful, it’s Dilla, so you know how deep this ode to fallen Wu soldier Old Dirty Bastard is sounding. Wondering why Jay-Z didn’t snatch up some of these beats, Lord knows he has the money. Even though it’s been years, Rae drops a proper send off to Ason Unique.
Have Mercy (Feat. Beanie Sigel) – Wondering again why Jay-Z didn’t recruit his former shooter Beanie Sigel on the “BP3″. Sigel sounding so right comglomerating with the Wu. This album won’t fucking stop delivering with the heat. Another track that Jay-Z slept on. Losers weepers.
10 Bricks (Feat. Cappadonna & Ghostface Killah) (Prod. J-Dilla) – Respect to the dead but I was never a Dilla fan like that. I might be after this piece here. The late beat master surpasses Rza in Rza doing Rza. The haunting echoing strings on this is piercing, in a good way. Not only is face scrunched, head is bobbing ridiculousy. [||]. Cappadonna is on some new Wu shit too. Ghost cleans up.
Fat Lady Sings (Prod. Rza) – Rza returns to the crime scene, Rae lacing this story of him ape-ing on a dred as he muscles dude off his turf. There’s made action and visuals happening here.
Catalina (Prod. Dr. Dre) – Damn. This how Rae woulda sounded like on a Dr. Dre produced album. Dre sounding young too. Steel piano keys, slinky, Lyfe Jennings croons his ass off. Rae never losing focus. Rhyming like he knows how we joked him out as to how long this album took to get done, if it would ever see the light of day even. He shuts us all up. Wow.
We Will Rob You (Feat. Slick Rick, Gza & Masta Killah) (Prod. Allah Justice) – Allah Justice does his best Rza impression. Slick Rick opens up and delivers the hook. I’m wishing he would spit. Rae blacks out on the crack rap. Good to hear Gza’s scientific monotone flow. Mastah Killa sounds like New Wu too!
About Me (Feat. Busta Rhymes) (Prod. Dr. Dre.) – More Aftermath Dr. Dre goodness. Busta sounds good like usual. Rae lets you know he’s also anti-auto tune. I’m believing him wholeheartedly. I like Bussa Buss/Rae collaboes. This one delivers. Is this what I have to look forward to if Dre ever stops fucking around and drops “Detox”?
Mean Streets (Feat. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface) (Prod. Allah Mathematics) – More murderousness. New York criminology rap is back. I promise not to sleep on the Wu no more.
Kiss The Ring (Feat. Inspectah Deck & Masta Killah) (Prod. Scram Jones) – It’s a celebration bitches! Song is about how these Wu cats put work in, so when you see them, make sure you kiss the ring. Wu Costra Nostra for real.
Wow again. Listening to something this dope was an exhausting experience. In a good way. I’m claiming first flawless album of ’09. Yes, Rae brings it home. Being that this album rightfully earns it’s title as being a sequel to the original that banged in ’95, all is forgiven in how long it took for Rae, Ghost and company to deliver. This is one of those clear examples of why later is greater. I wish more artists of today would employ the time tested greatness that is Marley Marl, Pete Rock, Alchemist, Rza instead of staying with they same crew. Wondering also why Jay hasn’t had a Preemo track in so effin long. Speaking of BP3, OB4CL2 just bumped it outta my play list for like the rest of the year. Run cop this! If you don’t like this, either you never liked Hip Hop or you’re just dead. FLAWLESS!
Finally. Nas fucked up. He needed to be on this more than Rae needed him. Thats word B. Looking at how everything played out up til the final presentation, Rae was really looking out for Nasir by holding a spot open for him on this. Nas fucked up. The Lil’ Homie stays losing.