Results for RZA

8-Bit Diagrams8 Diagrams available on iTunes

Wu-Tang Clan 8 Diagrams

It's been six years since pioneering hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan released an album, but now they're back with a new one called 8 Diagrams. Greg explains that you can‘t underestimate how groundbreaking and influential the group has been. They’re known for their spooky, layered sound, which often includes sci-fi and martial arts film clips, as well as their cryptic lyricism. There's not a whole lot of that on display on 8 Diagrams however. The group's central emcee, Ghostface Killah, appears to have put more effort into his solo album, The Big Doe Rehab. He's only on three of the Wu-Tang tracks, and has openly criticized the album. The one member who is fully invested in Wu-Tang is producer RZA. Both men could have benefited from some collaboration. Greg gives Wu-Tang's album a Burn It, and Ghostface's a Trash It. Jim appreciated the appearance of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, but he agrees with Greg 100%: Ghostface needs RZA, and RZA needs Ghostface.

Go to episode 106
FishscaleFishscale available on iTunes

Ghostface Killah Fishscale

Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah also has a new album out. Fishscale is the fifth solo record for this hip hop veteran, who joined the Wu-Tang Clan over a decade ago. Ghostface has always been known as a complicated, skilled lyricist, and he lives up to his reputation on this release. Fishscale, itself a slang term for uncut cocaine, gives a narrative of life on the streets in New York. These stories are paired with samples and beats from producers like Jay Dilla, Pete Rock and Just Blaze. Listen to the sample of a blaxsploitation-style education film in the track we play, "Kilo." Incidentally, this is the first Ghostface solo album without any production from fellow Clansman RZA. Whether or not that bodes in Ghostface's favor is up to our hosts. Jim believes gangsta rap and songs about drug dealing are pretty played out, but admits that Ghostface brings something completely new. He compares the rapper to writer Jim Thompson and gives Fishscale a Burn It. Greg has to go with a Buy It rating. He is compelled by the stories of Ghostface's childhood, the surreal rap tangents and the immense hooks. According to Greg, this record parallels early NWA records and is not only one of the best albums of Ghostface's career, but of 2006.

Go to episode 20

Halloween Scary Rock Songs

Jim and Greg celebrate Halloween by playing their favorite Scary Rock Songs. Not to dismiss a classic like "Monster Mash," but for this episode our hosts wanted to pick songs that would actually spook and scare. Here are the tracks they recommend for this Halloween season:

Go to episode 205

Music News

Museums will soon get to display an artifact as precious as the Rosetta Stone or the Shroud of Turin: the new Wu-Tang Clan album. The Clan is creating only one copy of the upcoming record, The Wu—Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which they'll take on tour around the world before auctioning off. (Unsurprisingly, the Clan has already been offered millions for the disc.) The idea is to provoke a discussion about the value of music in the modern era, RZA explained—but as Greg notes, it's a lot of spectacle and money for an album that few may even hear.

Coachella is coming up, and several celebrities will be in attendance—for a price. It turns out stars are getting paid big bucks to not only attend the festival, but also get spotted wearing certain brands. Lea Michele of Glee will get $20,000 from Lacoste to wear its clothes, while McDonald's is paying High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens $15K to stop by one of its parties. Other celebs, like Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul and Joe Jonas, have named their prices and are waiting on offers. Jim would gladly support any Kickstarter campaign that sends a Jonas brother to the desert.

Go to episode 437