As the Wu-Tang Clan's leader the RZA feels compelled to remind us again, the band's debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) made its epochal impact on hip-hop back in 1993.
Last year's 8 Diagrams was good enough, but their status has been dissipating. This third album as his alias Bobby Digital has the artful sampling of soundtrack scores he lent to his now equally outmoded contemporary Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. "You Can't Stop Me Now" uses the strings of The Spinners' "Message from a Black Man" to sculpt an epic in the style of Isaac Hayes's languid "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", but the same sample was used by the far more potent Nas.
And, while the martial arts movie dialogue and spiritual metaphors that made early Wu so mysterious are largely absent, references to Marvel comics characters and DVDs the RZA has liked are no substitutes. His crime movie-style scenarios and skits don't pass muster. "World's like Iraq, and I'm just a soldier," goes a line. There's no convincing world, real or cinematic, here.
Pick of the album:'Can't Stop Me Now', 'Dawn'Reuse content