On June 28th, the Wu-Tang Clan will release what's being advertised as their new album, Legendary Weapons. But is this really a new Wu album? We have some concerns that something fishy is going on in the 36 Chambers.
First clue: Debut single "Only the Rugged Survive" features the RZA rapping, and only the RZA rapping. That's strange, since the single artwork announces the track "features RZA," instead of it being a foregone conclusion that the mastermind is involved. Check out "Only the Rugged Survive" at Nah Right.
Second hint: The album is coming out on E1 Music, the label that's released not-quite-real Wu albums like 2009's Chamber Music. On these discs, leftover verses are strewn together under one beat and packaged as real deal Wu recordings, even though the last official Wu-Tang album was 2007's 8 Diagrams.
What's promising about Legendary Weapons is all of the core members are on it (according to a press release). Ghostface Killah, who was reduced to almost a spectator on 8 Diagrams, features on eight of the album's 11 tracks, so that's positive. RZA also had a hand in most of the production on the album, working with the Brooklyn-based band the Revelations to create the LP's dark beats. We've missed the kind of interplay between Wu-Tang members that was so prevalent on their earlier releases -- Raekwon would recite a line or two, Ghostface would respond, then Raekwon again, etc. -- but considering that this is probably just a cut-and-paste job of verses, that won't happen here. It'll likely still be a good Wu-Tang "album," but it won't be on par with the great ones.