“It sounds like Channel 5,” Raekwon said grinning as he played his fifth solo album, Shaolin Vs Wutang for a group of reporters. He was referencing the overdubbed karate flicks from channel 5 ‘s “Drive In Movies” made popular in the 80s. “When you make an album called ‘Shaolin Vs Wutang’ you can’t make any soft records.”
Several years ago after the release of the Wutang Clan’s 8 Diagrams the crew decided that they wanted to rebel. The lukewarm response from critics and the departure from the traditional Wutang sound convinced Raekwon that they needed to do an album inspired by one of his favorite Kung-Fu flicks, Shaolin Vs. Wutang. Over time the project morphed into a Raekwon solo project and he premiered the finished product for several websites and magazines at the EMI offices in lower Manhattan.
The seventeen track follow-up to 2009’s Only Built For Cuban Linx II lives up to the theme of the movie, blending contrasting styles. Guest appearances come from unusual suspects like Estelle, Raheem DeVaughn, Black Thought, LLoyd Banks and Rick Ross. However, Wutang members Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Inspektah Deck also appear alongside previous collaborators Busta Rhymes and Nas.
Much like Cuban Linx II most of the production work is handled by producers other than the RZA. Scram Jones, DJ Khalil, Erick Sermon, Alchemist and Kenny Dope provide beats as well as Wutang staples Bronze Nazareth and Allah Mathematics.
“It’s filled with some ill stories and great features. Just have an open mind and enjoy it,” he told the crown before going into the tracks.”I wanted to incorporate different people but bring them into Raekwon’s world.”
Shaolin Vs Wutang will be out on March 8, 2011
1. Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang (Prod. Scram Jones)
2. Every Soldier In the World f. Method Man (Prod. Erick Sermon)
3. Silver Rings f. Ghostface Killah (Prod. Cilvaringz)
4. Chop Chop Ninja f. Ghostface Killah & Estelle (Prod. Bluerocks)
5. Butter Knives (Prod. Bronze Nazareth)
6. Snake Pond (Prod. Selasi)
7. Crane Style f. Busta Rhymes
8. Rock N Roll f. Ghostface Killah & Jim Jones (Prod. DJ Khalil)
9. Rich & Black f. NaS (Prod. Sean C & LV)
10. From the Hills f. Method Man & Raheem DeVaughn (Prod. Kenny Dope)
11. Last Trip to Scotland f. Lloyd Banks (Prod. Scram Jones)
12. Ferry Boat Killaz (Prod. Alchemist)
13. Dart School (Prod. Allah Mathematics)
14. Molasses f. Rick Ross & Ghostface Killah (Prod. Xtreme)
15. The Scroll (Prod. Evidence)
16. Masters of Our Fate f. Black Thought (Prod. Tommy Nova)
17. Wu Chant (Outro)