Written By Webb Squared
Edited by Maad Queen
Anyone who knows me knows this is my favorite group in all of music. I’ll start by saying it was a struggle to listen to every other song. Even though Raekwon, Method Man, and Ghostface were very sharp on this album, they could not save it.
Honestly, after listening to the Kendricks, Coles, A$APs, Jeezys, and K.R.I.T.s of the world, I can honestly say, lyrically, Method Man remains in the top ten of this era. His lyrics were a breath of fresh air for the album. His sharp sword cut through steel the entire album.
Ghostface and Raekwon were both excellent and are just light years ahead of everyone else in the group. U-God and Cappadonna (not an original member) both need to retire. It was hard listening to them and honestly, Cappadonna hasn’t spit a hot verse since “Winter Warz”. Besides the title track, immediately once you heard their voices on a song, you knew it was a dud. Inspectah Deck was aggressive as always, but unimpressive.
Masta Killa and GZA were both complex but seemed uninspired. The ODB snippets were nostalgic, but I haven’t been too impressed with anything they’ve done collectively since he passed. He was the soul of the Wu; like your favorite cousin who doesn’t contribute to Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s always so much better when they are around. RZA’s production was more of a movie score than a hip-hop album, especially a Wu album. And just putting a few snippets from Samurai Sunday in the middle of a song doesn’t make it Wu!
Describing this album is like trying to explain to your kids how great Roy Jones was as you all are watching him get knocked out by bums. As you try to explain to your kids how great he was, they simply reply, “Dad, I love you, but this guy is a bum”.
What have you done for me lately Wu? Individually, I see masterpieces, but collectively, it’s obvious you guys just shouldn’t work together anymore.
On a positive note, in the wake of the Mike Brown murder and the decision for Darren “Kill”son to not be brought to justice, Wu-Tang put together two perfect songs that provide the voices and social depiction of how the disenfranchised feel at this time. The title track, “A Better Tomorrow”, laced with Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes in the background, is a beautiful song of encouragement, and even Cappadonna has a good verse on the song. “Miracle” is another example of Wu genius and how they can still remain socially relevant and always speaking with a voice for the street.
But overall yes, it is always good to hear your favorites play, you just hate to see them crash and burn like a lip-busted Bleek Gilliam from Mo Better Blues as he plays the last notes on his trumpet.
It is time to put the trumpet down, Wu, and stick to individual projects. I’ve streamed Ghostface’s new album 36 Seasons and it is amazing. But, if you choose to listen to A Better Tomorrow, check for the Ghost and Meth verses, some of the best you’ll hear this year. The good news is it’s better than 8 Diagrams!
Now I’m about to go cry like I did as a kid when “Iron Man” AKA “Iron” Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglass. I recommend this album to Wu heads, because it will grow on us, and we will proudly defend this album at drunken New Year’s Eve parties. WHY? Because it is still and will always be Wu-Tang Forever! I give it a 6 out of 10.
Click here to listen to Wu_Tang’s A Better Tomorrow and see if you agree.