Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture, Vol. 1

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It's taken a while for the Wu-Tang Clan to regain the steam they had in the early 1990s, but this intriguing project, which pairs members of the Clan with underground hip-hop luminaries such as Aesop Rock, MF Doom, Sean P., Del the Funky Homosapien, and others, should help the cause. Conceived by Wu cohort Dreddy Kruger, and with production from the RZA and new Wu producer Bronze Nazareth, among others, this is partially a family affair, and the classic Wu feel is all over these tracks, complete with spare yet high-minded beats and eerie loops.

But it's the rotating roster of MCs that really makes this disc, with surprising pairings like Aesop Rock and Del tha Funky Homosapien on "Preservation," and the GZA and Rass Kass on "Versus" (one of the album's highlights). "Biochemical Equation" boasts a killer beat from the RZA, who also takes the mike to trade rhymes with MF Doom. A tribute to the deceased Ol' Dirty Bastard evokes the ghost of the original Clan, but the overall flavor here is contemporary and fresh, with undercurrents of the classic sound that brought the original ruckus so many years ago.

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