Written By: Brandon Basile
Rewards to the Real
Originality: (4.0 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (4.0 / 5) Lyrics: (5.0 / 5) Production: (4.0 / 5) Average: (4.3 / 5)
Longevity is a peculiar thing in the music and entertainment business. To many, commitment to the craft defines the authenticity of the artist and their passion for the culture (the Hip-Hop culture and others). The (Motherfucking) Wu-Tang Clan has undeniably been Hip-Hop’s most influential group. This is a known fact without even researching the multiples of awards and accolades the group’s members have earned throughout the years in music and in film. Since the release of their first album Enter the Wu – 36 Chambers the 9-man group have been pioneers of hip-hop and some of the gulliest rappers to spit a sixteen on any coast whether it be on their group or solo projects. You’ve got to have a favorite (or four), but whether you resonate with Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Method Man, or the late great Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the artists of this collective have enhanced hip-hop culture with video games, movies, and served as iconic voices within Black culture as a whole. But with a legacy lasting 20 years and scores of albums in tow for the collective, is there any gas left in these hardbody rap veterans? Press play and swing a sword or sum’ bish!
Yung. Cat will listen to a new Wu-Tang album any day son. With as much trash rap that makes it to the airwaves, the classic Wu-Tang styles and -isms of The Saga Continues are refreshing by comparison. “By comparison” is necessary because the album isn’t exactly any of the rappers at their best nor prime. But it would seem that when mixed with hardcore NY raps, nostalgia doesn’t have an expiration date. How many times have you heard Ghostface mention the wallaby shoes? Sometimes you have certain topics, tones, and even lyrical rhythms and rhymes that you come to expect from certain artists and genres and long time Wu producer, Mathematics, curated The Saga Continues to be deliver some of the most memorable elements of Wu-Tang.
Yeah, it sonically and thematically sounds like a lot of what you’ve heard before, but it is trill to imagine how much these lyricists styles can be heard in newer rap spawns throughout the years like The Game, Action Bronson, and Dave East. Drake did make a song called “Wu-Tang Forever” for a reason. Wu-Tang has always been the truth and to real hip-hop heads and lyricists know that if you can’t go anywhere else with raps you can always say fuck the commercialism and drop a raw Wu-Tang flow. The Redman features, though he is not a Wu-Tang member, are solid, though somewhat anti-climactic, but Method Man’s energy at time carries the track through when other verses come out staggered or lackluster.
The Saga Continues features the usual Chinese movie audio clips and soulful boombap hip-hop beats that you would expect from a Wu-Tang album and hot and aggressive feature verses from Wu-Tang affiliate spitters Killah Priest and Streetlife, but if you’re looking for an artistically innovative hip-hop album then this is not it. But yo, The Saga Continues displays some skillful lyricisms and flourishes of the sword. These samurai warriors have set the tone for us and successes that can be attained with Hip-Hop as a culture. Let the saga roll on until the wheels fall off!!