Review : Wu-Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams
AllmusicWith anticipation so high it caused debate not only among fans but among the group itself, Wu-Tang Clan's fifth studio record, 8 Diagrams, found itself at the center of attention as 2007 wound down. First there was the announcement of the successful obtainment of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" sample (which was later corrected to "interpolation," as it was actually played by Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante with help from George Harrison's son, a Wu enthusiast himself, Dhani). Then Raekwon did a highly publicized online interview in which he accused the RZA of taking a dictatorial stance regarding the shape of the album, calling him a "hip-hop hippie" who was moving the Clan in the wrong direction. Then Ghostface Killah followed suit, also protesting the timing of the release (it had been set for December 4, the same day The Big Doe Rehab was to come out, but was then pushed back a week). Finally, RZA responded, diplomatically, thoughtfully, respecting the opinions of the dissenting MCs but standing by his own work....full text
BillboardThe biggest revelation on Wu-Tang's first record in six years isn't the Beatles "reinterpolation" "The Heart Gently Weeps" or even that the album actually came out. It's that the project is as strong as it is—for all the years of obligatory infighting there's a cohesion and strength to these "8 Diagrams." RZA keeps his foot in the sludgy gutter beats and extended chopsocky decoration of Wu-Tang past, but he's also expanding his reach. George Clinton cameos on the nodding "Wolves," and "Rushing Elephants" rolls on a shimmering string section from hell. Ghostface Killah is as wickedly esoteric as ever, Method Man sounds reinvigorated and snapped out of his recent slump, and Raekwon, who's been on record decrying "8 Diagrams," is ice-pick sharp....full text
PitchforkmediaThe general consensus seems to be that RZA has lost his fucking mind. Rap critics, bloggers, and comment-box choirs haven't taken to his strange new mutation-- and that would be a problem even without fellow Clan members Raekwon and Ghostface lashing out at him. Rae complained in an interview with Miss Info that the production on 8 Diagrams "is not the vibe I want," saying RZA was turning into some sort of "hip-hop hippie." Ghost has been down on RZA, too, quoted in The Village Voice as saying the producer's "fumbling the ball...his music wasn't sounding like how it was when we first came in."...full text
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