In preparation for Wu-Tang's much anticipated 8 Diagrams due out next month, long time Wu-affiliate DJ Mathematics gives us a preview with the Clan's latest mixtape Mathematics Presents Wu-Tang Returns (The 8 Diagrams Official Mixtape). With five new tracks slated for the upcoming album, lost gems and remixes of some of their classics; Staten Island's finest so far are living up to the hype.As Wu-Tang comes together for December's 8 Diagrams, it's obvious they're missing the heart and soul of their group ODB. The tapes exclusive "Life Changes" is an amazing tribute to their lost soldier. While it's rumored "Watch Ur Mouf" may not make the official release due to sample clearances; the DJ Scratch produced track makes its debut on the mixtape. Method Man spits his best lines on this track: "All my soldiers is lined up, my corners is crimed up/Ni**as know where to find us, settin' the grind up/Police checkin' them pies up, my rims are shined up/Wu! We on the rise up, crops supplied up."Wu is clearly at their strongest when they form like Voltron. RZA's production has never been better especially on the posse cut "Weak Spot." With unpredictable breaks, this Bobby Steels produced track is a throwback to the great days of 36 Chambers. The energy that defines Wu-Tang is apparent on many of the unreleased remixes like "Wu Banga 101" and "Maxine." Macy Gray guests on two ODB driven tracks "Intoxicated" and the Elton John re-make "Don't Go Breaking My Heart. Macy always brings her own uniqueness to any song, but teaming up with ODB creates a loveable quirkiness to each track. Mathematics also gives us a preview of Raekwons delayed Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II work with "State of Grace." Additionally the already popular Jay-Z dis track, "Da Destroyer" features Raekwon's at his finest: "Militant, to play your perimeter, hold wifey now before I get her/You know what Wu do, RZA, tell 'em, now we got, Dre in the kitchen, son/It's on, Part Two, watch me sell 'em /Cuz New York is me, homey, watch me throw the crown in the trash."The Clan's remaining eight original members are putting together some of their finest work since Wu-Tang Forever. DJ Mathematics definitely shows that the swords are still very much sharp at the Wu dungeon. Hip-Hop may still have some hope; as New York's killer bees can still bring the ruckus.SOUNDCHECK:Wu-Tang Clan "Life Changes"Wu-Tang Clan "Weak Spot"