The Wu-Tang Clan backed by The Legendary Roots Crew?! I was not going to miss it.
He is a charter member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He is the creator of The Purple Tape and its stellar sequel. His flow is filthy and his wordplay is wicked. He invents slang and dictates fashion trends. He is a New York rap legend with a long history of competition and collaboration with many of the other greats.
But Raekwon’s most underrated aspect is his ability to craft a hook.
“In the jungle, banging Nas, Mobb Deep, and Wu”
Since 1995, there has been a connection between Nas, Mobb Deep, and Raekwon.
Welcome back to the latest edition of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time.
This week: Wu-Tang Clan’s A Better Tomorrow (2014)
In the twenty-plus years since arriving on the scene, the members of Wu-Tang Clan have released about 50 albums, both as a group and as individual solo artists. Depending on the criteria used (does Cappadonna count? What about Redman & Method Man albums? How about Czarface?) that number can rise significantly. Of those 50, some are undeniable classics.
This is the latest entry of Flashback Friday Flop, a weekly feature in which I will examine a hip-hop album from years ago that was considered a flop, either critically or commercially or both, when it was released and see if it has gotten better – or worse – over time.
This week: Raekwon’s Immobilarity (1999)
But I’m also a realest, an honest disciple, and I’ll be the first to tell you that the Wu has had some rough times. Neither 8 Diagrams or A Better Tomorrow were good and it looks like they’ve become the hip-hop version of The Rolling Stones: no one wants to hear their new stuff but people will still pay money to see them perform their classics live.
This comes off a DJ Clue tape. For the album version, they switched up the beat and Nas spit a completely different verse. I prefer the original, which was only ever heard on mixtapes.