Wu-tang Clan

8 Diagrams reunites Wu-tang Clan after a six-year hiatus, but it doesn

Wu-tang Clan

8 Diagrams

(SRC/Universal/Motown)

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8 Diagrams reunites Wu-tang Clan after a six-year hiatus, but it doesn’t reconcile the rap group’s differences, said Kitty Empire in the London Observer. Hip-hop has never seen a more intriguing cartel of performers than the nine New York rappers who hit the streets in 1993 with Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). But in a group filled with massive talent and even more massive egos, conflict is inevitable. The production of 8 Diagrams resulted in the biggest clash yet. Two members, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, have berated the group’s leader and producer, RZA, for making the record too cerebral. It’s no wonder the troops are restless, said Tom Breihan in The Village Voice. “Deeply weird,” 8 Diagrams is the product of RZA’s eccentric imagination. The album plays like a “dense, inaccessible hunk of drugged-out space rap.” A few tracks hit the mark, said Christian Hoard in Rolling Stone. “Unforgettable” and “The Heart Gently Weeps”—which weaves a tale of the street around George Harrison’s guitar melody—“prove that the Wu can still dish pummeling grit-hop as well as anyone.” But RZA’s brand of hip-hop is no longer cutting-edge. Just compare 8 Diagrams to the excellent new solo album from Ghostface Killah, The Big Doe Rehab, also just released. It turns out that while his bandmates bickered, Ghostface “was busy becoming one of the greatest MCs ever.”

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