Album Review: 2nd Generation Wu — The Legend of Shaolin

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Round Table / Blurred Noise / Intellectual Ent.; 2022]
Rating: 6/10

Key tracks: “There Will Be Blood”, “No Place 2 Hide”, “Decimation of Frauds”

Being the sons of Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and U-God, who were part one of the most influential and groundbreaking rap groups of all time, The Wu-Tang Clan, must put a lot of weight on these newcomers’ shoulders. One would think that there would be a strong Wu-Tang Clan influence on any music they make. Sure, there are remixes of Wu-Tang Clan instrumentals, but this new album from the group is an entirely different sound than what you would hear on a Wu-Tang Clan album. This might be seen as a disappointment, but is not a bad thing, as 2nd Generation Wu wants to make a fresh and inspired sound of their own. However, that does not mean 2nd Generation Wu’s second album The Legend Of Shaolin is perfect.

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Right off the bat, the first three songs are worrisome, especially “The Professor” and “Dog Walkin.” With painfully average lyrics and instrumentals, there is really no creative vision behind them. However, as the album goes on, the songs become progressively more creative lyrically and instrumentally. The song “There Will Be Blood” is the most Wu-Tang sounding song that doesn’t just rip one of their instrumentals. It even has a sample from a kung-fu movie like the Wu-Tang Clan would do – It’s possibly the best song on the record. Once you reach the second half of the record, you get the most Wu-Tang inspired section of the album. The songs “No Place 2 Hide” and “Decimation of Frauds” have remixed Wu-Tang Clan instrumentals, and while these are good songs, it just seems like this idea could be pushed so much further and be made more interesting rather than just remixing the old instrumentals. As for the rapping on the album, it’s actually quite good. 2nd Generation Wu definitely got their fathers’ genes when it comes to rapping ability. Even if all the lyrics aren’t great, their flow is generally very good and has the potential to carry a great record in the near future. When the group is rapping at their best, you can really hear the rawness and toughness in their voices. It makes the best songs on the album even better.

Overall, while this album has a lot of good tracks, many things could be fixed. What makes this album just good rather than great is the lack of creativity in the instrumentals, very mixed songwriting, and a lack of an individual voice with many of the songs living in the shadow of their predecessors. While the influences don’t ruin the album or make the album terrible by any means, there just seems to be a lack of a creative vision. However, there is still a ton of potential for this young rap group, and we could be on the brink of a fantastic 2nd Generation Wu album in the future.

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