As the song goes, "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta Fuck Wit," the latest offering and fifth studio outing from Brooklyn's finest is no exception. Wu-Tang Clan has always been a hard-hitting, hip-hop collective that has stood tall alongside such marquee names as Jay-Z, Nas and Biggie Smalls.
However, in the current glut of one-hit, hip-hop blunders, someone realized that these eight Shaolin superstars needed to be summoned back to the studio. While it may have been difficult to cram all those egos in after they branched out as solo artists, those successful careers were cultivated in the clan of Wu.
Wu-Tang has always been razor-sharp (2001's Iron Flag notwithstanding). RZA's deft hand at the production console provides a solid backbone for the silver-tongued blades of Meth, GZA, Ghostface Killah and the remaining Clan members. Gems such as "Wolves" (featuring George "Atomic Dog" Clinton), "The Heart Gently Weeps" (with John Frusciante and Erykah Badu, and featuring a sanctioned Beatles sample) and "Get Them Out Ya Way Pa" show that even without ODB, 8 Diagrams isn't that far from 1993's debut Enter the Wu-Tang (16 Chambers). With 16 Chambers forever as the benchmark, 2007's 8 Diagrams isn't as sharp, but it's still light years ahead of the ring-tone rappers currently polluting the scene.