Inspectah Deck

The Resident Patient

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Though Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck has only released a few albums in his ten years as a solo artist (his debut, Uncontrolled Substance, came out in 1999, though it was said to have been finished as early as 1995), what he has put out -- not to mention his various excellent guest appearances and work on Wu-Tang Forever -- has been consistently good, a trend that follows on 2006's The Resident Patient, a mixtape that plays more like an official full-length. Though he only gets a little help from his Wu compatriots (Masta Killa is featured on the opener, "Sound of the Slums," and U-God has a verse on "Handle That," while the RZA produces the excellent "A Lil Story"), Rebel INS holds his own both in his beats (on "My Style" and "Get Ya Weight Up") and in his rhymes. He makes sure to pay tribute to hip-hop's stars, alluding indirectly to artists like Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J and more directly to the Notorious B.I.G., as well as the numerous and expected shout-outs to the Wu-Tang Clan and his new crew, House Gang, but he's equally interested in other facets of pop culture. The title of the album itself is taken from a Sherlock Holmes story (later made into a movie), and the rapper continues the film allusions throughout the entire set. "With the eye of the tiger like Sylvester Stallone, I hit the microphone/My life can't be cloned by Spike Jonze/While you'll be busy Being John Malkovich, ain't even bout it....," he spits on the aforementioned "A Lil Story," which, with its string samples over plodding drums, sounds more like part of a soundtrack than anything else, and is one of the best tracks on the record, and on "My Style" he says his technique will "Tear your Face/Off like Nicolas Cage..../Analyze This like DeNiro." The beats on The Resident Patient, with a few exceptions that lack in creativity (the overly bombastic "H.G. Is My Life," the high drone of "C.R.E.E.P.S."), are good, and though they all vary in rhythm and style, they fit the MC's flow well. There's a fluidity and grace to the record that displays the Inspectah's skill, practiced and perfected after years of performing, meaning that, especially since his releases are so few and far between, it should definitely be listened to.

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