Since the early 90’s America has experienced its first black president, six iPhones, the inventions of Facebook, Snapchat, and zero Knicks championships. America has made its case as one of the world’s most developed countries, yet we seem to spend the same amount of time defending domestic civil rights issues today as we did 20 years ago. Back in 1994, when America had restored itself from the Rodney King incident, and then readied itself for the OJ Simpson trial, the Wu-Tang Clan dropped their irresistible single “C.R.E.A.M.” A nostalgic track now, its release presented the Wu-Tang Clan as raw lyricists that have hustled, gotten money, and publicly told the police to fuck off.
A Better Tomorrow is the Wu-Tang Clan’s just released 20th anniversary album. Currently represented by RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killa, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and unofficial member Cappadonna, it’s certainly been a while since the Wu-Tang Clan has made music together. But on the flip side that’s what I truly dig about their anniversary album. Besides the facts that ODB passed away, Raekwon and GZA took two years to confirm artistic visions and Method Man and Ghostface Killa have their own solo careers, the Staten Island hip-hop legends put aside their LARGE egos to drop 15 brand new songs that feature those earthly Shaolin vibes. The Wu-Tang Clan’s geeky lyrics about murdering you with their punch lines are deliberately meant to remind listeners that they basically pioneered the modern day rap game.
The most duplicated, anticipated, validated
Urban legends in the books with the ones who made it
Highly celebrated, everything was work related
At various instances, the members reflect on their pasts as OG rap hustlers.
We movin’ ratchets, no Kat Stacks, it’s magic
The way we flip the package before the coppers can catch it
I’m past that chapter in life, let’s live it lash
And like most of America, the Wu-Tang Clan still has a bone to pick with the police and their recent injustices.
We Want justice, police supposed to protect and serve
And then they shoot us down like wild animals
The nerve of them cold-hearted killers with blue suits slaying our black youth
The Earth cries from all the blood that’s being spilled
Considering that the Wu-Tang Clan disbanded for 7 years, A Better Tomorrow’s obvious shortages of chemistry and semi-redundant material are often noticeable. “Ruckus In B Minor,” “Mistaken Identity,” “Keep Watch,” “Miracle,” “Ron O’Neal” and “A Better Tomorrow” are the album’s highlights, which may be enough for a respectable rap album.
I think it’s awesome that the Wu-Tang Clan dropped A Better Tomorrow. Their nostalgic reunion alludes to how far America still needs to go, while also reminding our generation of all Wu-Tang’s OG members who paved the way for Eminem, Kanye West, Migos, and Lil Wayne artists.
Check out “Ron O’Neal” below and purchase Wu-Tang’s A Better Tomorrow off iTunes!
[Header image via Shutterstock]