RZA Presents... - Afro Samurai: Resurrection
The album is very reminiscent of the post-Forever era when the RZA went more executive producer than producer. That isn't to say he didn't man the boards from start to finish here, it is just not as meticulous as its predecessor or his early work
RZA's fondness of martial arts-inspired music catapulted Wu-Tang's music to great heights in the '90's, and his appreciation for Asian culture brought a much needed breath of fresh air to East Coast Hip Hop. Despite some downturns throughout the years, and a tendency to run off and satisfy the acting bug he caught from Quentin Tarantino, he's maintained a level of respect for what he brought to the game. Now, as the RZArector pulls double duty in front of and behind the cameras, he releases Afro Samurai: The Resurrection. The album serves as a sequel to the official soundtrack he released for the television series in 2007.
Much like the last effort, RZA opts not to walk solo. By mixing powerful beats with some star studded guest spots, RZA is able to slash in and out of hard hitting raucous and smooth soothing melodies like a masterful swordsman. Kool G. Rap ("You Already Know," "Whar"), Inspectah Deck ("You Already Know"), Ghostface Killah ("Whar") and Rah Digga ("Girl Samurai Lullaby," "Bitch Gonna Get You") all assist to play major roles. More importantly, Thea Van Seijen helps creates the mood of the album with various guest spots ("Bloody Days Bloody Nights," "Bloody Samurai") where she shines including "Fight for You," where she steals the show for a moment.
Other standouts include "Blood is Thicker than Mud (Family Affair)" featuring Sly Stone, Stone Mecca and Rev. William Burks as well as Rugged Monk's "Kill, Kill, Kill." But, there are some pitfalls to watch out for. "Dead Birds" isn't necessarily a bad song, but stands out in a negative way as the rock/rap clashes with sounds already appearing on the album. Boy Jones' "Nappy Afro" may be made for a cartoon, but sounds corny on the album.
Overall, this will not disappoint many Wu fans, nor will it wow them.. The sound is true to form on many occasions, sometimes sounding very much like his past work ("Yellow Jackets," "Whar") when he resuses samples he already flipped years ago.