Masta Killa No Said Date

[Nature Sounds; 2004]

Rating: 5/5

Styles: underground hip-hop
Others: Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah, GZA

Within the last few months, I've attempted to review as many new releases by members of the famous Wu-Tang Clan. Since its inception in 1994, Wu-Tang Clan has been an influential and grossly fascinating collection of eclectic emcees. While many have perished or have left a sour taste in my mouth recently, including Method Man's Tical 0: The Prequel and Ghostface Killah's The Pretty Toney Album, no Wu-Tang affiliated album released in the last few years have matched the intensity and near-perfection of 2003's Legend of the Liquid Sword by Gza. Until now, that is.

Crowned as the ninth official member of The Wu Tang Clan, Masta Killa has patiently waited until all eight other clan members have released at least one album prior to releasing his own much-anticipated debut. The reason why this debut is generating such anticipation may be due to the fact that Masta Killa possesses an admired secrecy about his persona and his musical derivatives. In fact, Masta Killa has provided an overabundant amount of clever, witty lyricism to many of The Wu's most underrated tracks. While most fans said eight was enough, Masta Killa added a depth of at least five more emcees, directing The Wu-Tang Clan into a darker, sinister, and ultimately more acceptable identity in hip-hop's crossover game.

Masta Killa's debut is titled No Said Date, a convincingly ironic title considering its long awaited arrival. Yet, from the debut dialogue in pure Wu fashion, No Said Date encompasses every aspect that has made The Wu-Tang Clan such a highly popular group in hip-hop. Masta Killa's flow is uniquely his own, slow and hardcore, matching his intelligent banter and knowledgeable repartee. Painting horrid pictures of ghetto warfare, religion, and mis-education, Masta Killa utilizes a near-flawless production to convey his fantastic vivid imagery. In fact, No Said Date is the first Wu-Tang record that unifies a faultless production between such high-profile producers like RZA, Mathematics, and True Master. And with above-average collaborations from Ghostface Killah, Rza, and Raekwon, No Said Date frequents everything that The Wu-Tang Clan has attempted to capture since its debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers.

Masta Killa's No Said Date is a perfect ode to the empire of The Wu-Tang Clan. It is ironic, however, that the most unlikely member of the group has crafted this near-flawless work. But again, it was 10 years in the making. Let's hope that the sophomore follow-up doesn't take 10 years, too.

1. Born Chamber (Intro)
2. Grab The Microphone
3. No Said Date
4. Last Drink
5. Love Spell
6. The Future (Skit)
7. D.T.D. (feat. Raekwon & Ghostface)
8. Whatever (feat. Streetlife & Prodigal Sunn)
9. Secret Rivals (feat. Killah Priest & Method Man)
10. Skit
11. Digi Warfare (feat. RZA & U-God)
12. Old Man (feat. Ol Dirty Bastard & RZA)
13. Queen
14. School (feat. RZA)
15. Silverbacks (feat. Inspectah Deck & GZA)
16. Masta Killa