Return of the Wu & Friends is another showcase for the Shaolin crew’s DJ and producer Mathematics, and falls right in line with his previous feature, 2007’s Unreleased. Pulled from the years 2000 to 2008, this one has the benefit of a couple more years of source material, but with a new radio show focusing on the crew, plus some prime productions just in the can, Mathematics was certainly on a Wu high as the album saw release. His work on opening cuts “Clap 2010” and “Respect 2010” tops anything on Unreleased and unexpectedly, second-line member Masta Killa delivers one of the key tracks with “It’s What It Is”, a powerful mix of bright horns, karate movie samples, and high-kickin’ lyrics that “leave you with a mouth full of murder sauce”. Shame the unearthed verse from the late ODB is not up the usual nuttiness and the prime material is mostly frontloaded, making the second-half of the disc noticeably less exciting. Still, as fringe collections go, it is worthwhile, especially for fans of Mathematics. Just don’t be surprised when the faithful turn against the set: they already have too many “pretty good” comps to choose from.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Method Man