GZA: Pro Tools (Album Review)

 

 

It’s been three years since we last heard from Wu-Tang’s GZA. This time around he connects with fellow Clan producers True Master, Mathematics and Bronze Nazareth with guest appearances from RZA, Masta Killa and his son Young Justice on Pro Tools (Babygrande).

 

Not only are some of the elite members of the Wu together on this album, but GZA continues to take shots at 50 Cent and his G-Unit entourage. Petty beef aside, his top notch lyricism is met with solid production making this release his best effort since Liquid Swords.

 

On the first single “Paper Plates,” GZA fires some darts at Curtis, his crew, and their “disposable” music. “I spray the Flea Unit with pesticides, and you can get / Your best ghost writers, get ’em all to testify / Have you ever been stung by a thousand hornets / Five hundred Killa Beez, buzzing and really on it.” It’s true the Clan does sting, especially when RZA and Masta Killa join up with GZA to show off their trademark flows and prolific lyrics on the Mathematics produced “Pencil.”

 

The razor sharpness of GZA’s sword is ever evident on “Alphabets”. “A legend in my own lifetime, from one rhyme / That was specially designed, from the hook to bottom line / Shine’s like a precious jewel, cut up in the workshop / With specialized handcrafted tools.” GZA’s delivery shines on tracks like the Black Milk produced “7 Pounds” and the rock-infused “0% Finance”.

 

You’re either with the Wu or you’re not; that’s a theme GZA sticks to throughout here.  But politically heavy songs like “Columbian Ties,” although intellectual, fall off track and break the record’s pace. But GZA does pick it back up on “Cinema” and “Life Is A Movie”; as they teeter that a thin line between reality and entertainment.

 

Pro Tools is GZA merging thorough beats and his mastery of lyricism into an album that defines Rap music — a mixture of musical flavors while the wordsmith supplies the perfect verbiage. GZA and the gang are sick of no-talent MCs throwing their garbage into Hip-Hop, and they’re here to prove there is a science to their art.

 

GZA Featuring RZA & Masta Killa

“Pencil”

 

GZA

“Alphabets”

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