W

The W

3.9 10
by Wu-Tang Clan
     
 

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With a classic debut, Enter the Wu (36 Chambers), a canny collective ethos, a clothing line, and an acknowledged production genius in the RZA, the Wu-Tang Clan seemed unstoppable. But in time, the strength of Shaolin's warriors was diluted by lackluster solo careers, glossy pop songs, and jail time. So it's

Overview

With a classic debut, Enter the Wu (36 Chambers), a canny collective ethos, a clothing line, and an acknowledged production genius in the RZA, the Wu-Tang Clan seemed unstoppable. But in time, the strength of Shaolin's warriors was diluted by lackluster solo careers, glossy pop songs, and jail time. So it's especially satisfying to report that The W is as much a rebirth as a reunion. The RZA reels in the Clan members -- an unbelievable assemblage of proven talents including Method Man, Ghosface Killah, Raekwon, and Ol' Dirty Bastard -- to bring the ruckus on an album filled with soon-to-be classics. The head-bobbing first single, "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)," picks up where 36 Chambers' streetwise anthem left off, while the dizzying "Gravel Pit" takes the Wu into up-tempo territory with ferocious results. Bolstered by the soulful croon of Isaac Hayes on "I Can't Go to Sleep," the Clan deliver their most wrenchingly emotional performance on record. It's arguable whether a starting lineup as strong as this needs guest shots, but Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Redman put icing on the cake -- as does Snoop Dogg in a surprise duet with (the incarcerated) Ol' Dirty Bastard on "Conditioner." A must for thugs and the clubs. Ryan Crosby

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
After a host of disappointing solo albums and quickly diminishing celebrity (most of the latter devoted to the continuing extra-legal saga of Ol' Dirty Bastard), Wu-Tang Clan returned, very quietly, with 2000's The W. The lack of hype was fitting, for this is a very spartan work, especially compared to its predecessor, the sprawling and overblown Wu-Tang Forever. While the trademark sound is still much in force, group mastermind RZA jettisoned the elaborate beat symphonies and carefully placed strings of Forever in favor of tight productions with little more than scarred soul samples and tight, tough beats. The back-to-basics approach works well, not only because it rightly puts the focus back on the best cadre of rappers in the world of hip-hop, but also because RZA's immense trackmaster talents can't help but shine through anyway. Paranoid kung fu samples and bizarre found sounds drive the fantastic streets-is-watching nightmare "Careful (Click, Click)." Unfortunately, though, The W isn't quite the masterpiece it sounds like after the first few tracks. It falls prey to the same inconsistency as Forever, resulting in half-formed tracks like "Conditioner," with Snoop Dogg barely saving Ol' Dirty Bastard's lone appearance on the LP, a phoned-in vocal (in terms of sound and quality). When they're hitting on all cylinders though, Wu-Tang Clan are nearly invincible; "Let My Niggas Live," a feature with Nas, isn't just claustrophobic and dense but positively strangling, and singles material like "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" and "Do You Really (Thang, Thang)" are punishing tracks. Paring down Wu-Tang Forever -- nearly a two-hour set -- to the 60-minute work found here was a good start, but the Wu could probably create another masterpiece worthy of their debut if they spent even more time in the editing room.
Rolling Stone - Kris Ex
Wu-Tang Clan were the best rap crew ever. Seven years and umpteen hip-hop supergroups later, The W simply reaffirms this Wu-world order.
Vibe - S.H. Fernando
This album goes against the grain of everything that's going on in rap right now. But if originality, innovation, and a mastery of the fundamentals of beats and rhymes still mean something to people, then The W stands for "winner."

Product Details

Release Date:
11/14/2000
Label:
Epic Europe
UPC:
5099749957626
catalogNumber:
499576
Rank:
120233

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The W 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wu-Tang Clan's junior album seems to be as good a classic as was their freshmen album, which very few artists can claim. The Clan delivers a usual head banger album. Very few album are ever contain a track line up that gets you hooked in every track and where no songs are skipped, and The W, The W is one of those albums you can just play all the songs over and over and you won't get tired or feel the need to skip any song. The clan had a fantastic performance and is as strong as ever. The Clan turned back to the streets, to the ghetto, to that raw flava. Ghostface hits again with an emotional lirycal spit, while Meth and O.D.B. blazes the joint up with Snoop Dogg in ''Conditioner''. Everyone plays their role and adds their grains of sand to the effort. If you don't already own this album, you ought to cop it quick. Show ya support for the Clan. Knowledge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wu-Tang Clan's junior album seems to be as good a classic as was their freshmen album, which very few artists can claim to have achieved. The Clan delivers a usual head banger album. Very few album ever contain a track line up that gets you hooked in every track, and The W, The W is one of those albums you can just play all the songs over and over and over and you won't get tired or feel the need to skip over any song. The Clan had a fantastic performance and is as strong as ever. The Clan turned back to the streets, to the ghetto, to that raw flava that crowned them as kings and baptized them as the Black Liberace. Ghostface hits again with an emotional lirycal spit, while Meth does his thang in his songs, and O.D.B. blazes the joint up with Snoop Dogg in ''Conditioner,'' a classical thug anthem. Everyone plays their role and adds their grains of sand to the effort. If you don't already own this album, you ought to cop it quick. Show ya support for the Clan. Peace to the Clan, mad love. Knowledge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I will never buy another wu-tang album again. The W is the worst! I will neer support the Wu again. Ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS IS ANOTHER WU-BANGER. THE LYRICS ARE RIDICULUS- IF U KNOW WHAT I MEAN. THIS IS REAL HIP-HOP... TIGHT TRACKS THAT MAKE U WANT TO BREAKDANCE
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is the best cd he has ever made
Guest More than 1 year ago
2 EVERYONE WHO NOT GOT THIS ALBUM: BUY IT! JUST BUY IT! GRAVEL PIT AND REDBULL R THE BEST SONGS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think ''The W'' was a weak cd. I have enjoyed past Wu Tang cds like ''Wu Tang forever'' and ''Enter the Wu'' but not this one. Right when i popped this cd into my cd player i noticed right away that i would probably not enjoy it. The sound quality was low. It sounded like listening to an old vinyl record. You can hear the popping and static noises in the background. Some of the beats within the cd are cool though as well as some of the rhymes. I liked 2 songs out of this whole cd and to me that is not worth buying. The songs i liked were ''protect ya neck'' and ''gravel pit''. Everything else was weak to me. I think i will stick to buying these two singles instead of the whole cd. My advice to everyone is to listen to the cd before buying it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wu Tang has officially lost hold on its domination as the lyrically superior rhymes artists. The W tracks are soft and not as tightly hard hitting lyrically as previous Wu joints. It's open season now, the title for rap lyrical domination is up for grabs. Word!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The W is another example of The Wu Tang Clan's forever love of Hip-Hop. Every few years, another Wu album comes out and raises the bar of the definition of hip-hop. This album's goin classic, it ain't becomin famous before it comes out, like that mainstream bull. Be in it for the love of music not money! It will slowly gain respect, and work it's way up. It already has my respect and my stereo jammin time. Big thanks to the Wu for keepin their raps real! The white kids respect you too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
wu tang is the best hip hop group ever. this wu cd showcaces hip hop excellence. i love wu............. peace to all my shaolin people