Rza Birth of a Prince

[Sanctuary; 2003]

Rating: 1/5

Styles:  hip-hop
Others: Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah, Method Man

The worst thing that Rza ever did was to open his mouth and start rapping. Way back in ’94, Rza and his collective, Wu-Tang Clan, stormed the hip-hop world with their stellar 36 Chambers: Enter The Wu-Tang. Rza’s recognition didn’t come from his slurred and incomprehensible hip-hop verses, but from his poignant street production; a sound that was unique and refreshingly uplifting, on the heels of gangsta rap and its ultimate demise. And as the fame exploded and the pockets got fat, Rza hid in the shadows of the decks and produced some of the finest hip-hop albums ever made. An example, Liquid Sword by Gza. Until one day Bobby Digital, Rza's overpowering alter ego, took over his mind, body, and soul -- completely. And in this transformation, Rza lost touch with his ability to compel and entertain the listeners with his beats and one of a kind creativity.

Birth of a Prince is the newest release from Rza. And again, I sit and ponder why he hasn’t attempted to release an instrumental album. His stories and anecdotes are completely boring and irrelevant. His vocal delivery is unsatisfying and extremely droopy in mumble. Even a presence from Ghostface Killah doesn’t revive the monotonous drive of this record. Furthermore, he has totally forgotten what made him one of the most sought after producers in hip-hop; great beats. This album has approximately two songs with respectable beats and production. The remainder linger between the helms of other hip-hop producers, some I won’t quote in this review to avoid any embarrassment. Rza has become his ultimate nightmare, a mediocre beat creator hiding behind the mask of an even worse emcee. And with his uncanny heart-wrenching vocals, Rza has completely bombed and hit an all-time low. And I thought that he was on the rise again after his copy and paste production of the Ghost Dog Soundtrack. But again, that particular soundtrack showcased his mind-blowing production abilities, not his ‘Digital’ stance.

So my recommendation is that the Rza sits himself down and creates an instrumental record by drawing back to his previous work prior to the overpowering Bobby Digital Era. Although exorcising his Bobby Digital demons is a good first step, he might want to consider cutting loose from being a rapper altogether. Because when it comes down to it, Rza is a producer, and a great one at that.

1. Bob `n I
2. The grunge
3. We pop
4. grits
5. Fast cars
6. Chi Kung
7. You'll never know
8. Drink, smoke & fuck
9. The whistle
10. The drop off
11. Wherever I go
12. Koto Chotan
13. A day to God is 1,000 years
14. Cherry range
15. The birth
16. See the joy