Wugazi – 13 Chambers

In the post-Dangermouse era, where the Beatles met Jay-Z and created history in the process, the rap/rock mash-up has been a mixture of occasional high peaks, and diminishing returns. For every triumph of introduction and re-imagination (The Grey Album), there have been hundreds of poorly conceived and executed efforts by numerous imitators (The Slack Album). 
However, the creation of Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy from hip-hop crew Doomtree Wugazi’s 13 Chambers (a fusion of the iconic Wu-Tang Clan and Fugazi) is a refreshing and precise take, reminding the listener what was so great about the genre to begin with. Although the vocals are mostly all familiar cuts, under these new circumstances the Clan sounds more assertive and authoritative than ever. Opening with ‘Sleep Rules Everything Around Me’ a melodic and mournful sample bestows an almost surprising emotional weight to the cash driven rhymes of the Wu Classic ‘C.R.E.AM’. On ‘Ghetto Afterthought’, a Beatles piano drives a swaggering, head nodding beat that matches the vocal aerobatics of a classic Ol’ Dirty Bastard verse featuring excerpts from his infamous stage interruption at the 1998 Grammy Awards (“Wu-Tang is for the children!”). 
While not every track blends as smoothly, the spiky punk foundation of ‘Forensic Shimmy’ and ‘Slow Like That’ fits the Wu-Tang’s “like it raw” mantra perfectly. Easily more than the sumof its parts, it adds the reputation of two already seminal acts.
Posted 4:11am Monday 5th September 2011 by Sam Valentine.