Wu-Tang Meets The Indie Culture

Artist: Dreddy KrugerTitle: Wu-Tang Meets The Indie CultureRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Mark Cilantro

When I first saw this record I thought it was an iTunes Hip-Hop compilation. How they got away with flipping that Apple logo without incurring the wrath of Business and Legal Affairs, I will never know. So that was the 1st thing I got wrong.

The second thing I got wrong was the concept of this album. Some unreliable source told me that this was classic Wu verses over new beats paired with the best indie MC’s. Wrong again.

What we have on Wu-Tang Meets The Indie Culture (Think Differently/Babygrande) is Dreddy Kruger’s self proclaimed attempt at making a “real” album amidst the current state of major label white noise. Having one of the more uninspired Wu names notwithstanding, Dreddy Kruger shows that he is not a C or D level Wu Tang spin off. His beats are nothing groundbreaking, but a relatively enjoyable mix of classic RZA with a pinch of Danger Mouse. The MC’s he chose to rock with definitely highlight the strengths of his compositions. The title track brilliantly pairs Casual and the Arab Nazi (still can’t figure out how that works), Tragedy Khadafi. “Cars On the Interstate” may be the shining star, featuring newcomer Shaconz and RZA’s cousin Free Murda. When I heard Shaconz I thought it was Cormega (the pretty boy with Mafia connections), but after a few bars you realize this cat’s writtens are much tighter than Mega’s. On top of that the beat could have been placed on “Only Built For Cuban Linx…” without missing a step.

The star of this show is without a doubt Ras Kass, the waterproof MC. It appears as though Ras is ready to realize his potential and step up as the premier MC we all knew he could be when he dropped “Soul On Ice.” He shines twice on the album, first with The GZA on “Lyrical Swords” then again on “Verses” with the milk carton candidate Scaramanga and the almost forgotten LA the Darkman.

Overall Dreddy did an excellent pulling the best out of an impressive spectrum MC’s. You have to give it to a cat who can make an album where Aesop Rock, Vast Aire, U-God and J-Live all come off. Except for a few missteps (“Still Grimey”, and the disappointing RZA/Doom collabo “Biochemical Equation”) the album maintains a cohesive vision and sound.