Not to take shots at the Wu-Tang Clan, one of the most famous rap groups of all time, but this album sounds exactly like you might think it does: 40 year-old rap artists, way past their prime, recording an album of vaguely inserted “messages” mixed in with what used to be considered enjoyable gangsta rap. I’m not saying that Hip-Hop is dead, because it isn’t, but I am saying that the Wu-Tang Clan sure as hell are.
Nonetheless, bless RZA for trying to get this together. The Wu-Tang have had countless inner turmoil and fights and grudges and disbandment over the years, and to have all 9 members back, (minus the deceased Ol’ Dirty Bastard), could be considered a triumph, even if the result is of a poorly made album, the reunion itself could have been nice, but I don’t know, I wasn’t in the studio. Which I can’t even say for some of the Wu-Tang members, who definitely sounded like they emailed in a couple of verses that had to be mixed in to sound like they were there.
The biggest problem with the Wu-Tang record is that they made it sounding like it was something that had to be done, like as if we needed a new Wu-Tang Clan record, like we deserved it. A Better Tomorrow is stacked with tons of vaguely socially conscience verses that just deal out problems with no solutions, giving the song’s “meaning” little to no purpose at all. RZA backs whatever the Wu-Tang spits out with his classic genre bending hip-hop/soul samples, which also seem wasted as the members slowly deliver whatever they have left to say before the track ends, which most go on for too long, with hooks that make you want to skip the whole song, like “Miracle,” which sounds like it’s a ballad from the next Disney movie. All in all, props to RZA for trying. He had an idea to reunite the ol’ gang to give the world one more Wu-Tang record, and even though that project ultimately failed, we do have another Wu-Tang record.