Art imitates life imitating art, as famed DC and Marvel graphic master Chris Bachalo’s three separate album covers for WU MASSACRE present larger-than-life portraits of three Wu-Tang Clan brothers: One cover for Method Man, one for Ghostface Killah, and one for Raekwon. The three anti-heroes of hip-hop take Wu science and theology to the next step on WU MASSACRE, an adventurous collaboration that moves them closer to the immortality suggested by their individual album covers.
Starting March 30th, the in-store release date of WU MASSACRE, loyal followers will have a chance to find a special print of Bachalo’s original un-inked pencil sketch of one of the three explosive color covers. 300 randomly distributed albums will contain the rare pencil-sketch print insert (although not necessarily corresponding, e.g. a Meth cover album may contain a Rae sketch). The 100 Meth cover albums, the 100 Ghost cover albums, and the 100 Rae cover albums with those inserts are destined to rank among the Maltese Falcons of hip-hop limited editions.
It took a perfect storm of cosmic forces in world-shaking times to unite the three MCs, but Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon are no strangers to life on the edge of the apocalypse. Their rhymes pour out like Kristal on “Our Dreams,” the soulful street single produced by fellow clansman RZA, that preceded WU MASSACRE’s release. For an added tug on the heart-strings, “Our Dreams” samples Michael Jackson’s “We’re Almost There.”
In addition to “Our Dreams,” Meth, Ghost and Rae take the trio spotlight on two more tracks: the thunderous opener “Criminology 2.5” and “Miranda.” Ghost and Meth take the lead on “It’s That Wu Sh*t.” On the “Smooth Sailing” Remix, Ghost and Meth are joined by Solomon Childs and Streetlife. On “Gunshowers,” Meth and Ghost are joined by fellow WTC rapper Inspectah Deck and Sun God. On “Youngstown Heist” Ghost is joined by Trife, Sheek and Bully.
In addition to RZA, WU MASSACRE features a number of guest producers, starting with Allah Mathematics on “Mef vs. Chef,” “Dangerous,” “Miranda,” and “Made Men.” Ty Fyffe produced the “Smooth Sailing” Remix. Emile produced “Pimpin’ Chipp.” And Scram Jones produced WU MASSACRE’s climactic closing tracks, “Youngstown Heist” and “It’s That Wu Sh*t.”
The springtime 2010 arrival of WU MASSACRE follows a busy year of album releases and performance schedules by the three Wu-Tang Clan mainstays:
Ghostface Killah returned as The Wizard Of Poetry (released September 2009), his 6th Def Jam album (and 10th major label album). The Wiz focused on duets with an A-list of guests including Raheem DeVaughn (on the first single, “Baby”), Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Fabolous, Lloyd, Vaughn Anthony & Estelle, and others. Ghost spent July and August with Method Man and Redman, keeping the Wu-Tang Clan spirit alive and well on the month-long, 21-city Foot Print in Hip-Hop Tour.
Raekwon aka The Chef gave WU fans something to believe with the long-awaited Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II (also released September 2009), which spun off a pair of all-star singles: “New Wu” featuring Meth and Ghost, produced by RZA; and “House of Flying Daggers” featuring Meth, Ghost, GZA, and Inspectah Deck, produced by J. Dilla. CLII is the sequel to Rae’s groundbreaking solo debut of 1995, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, one of the very first solo albums released by a W-TC member after the group’s 36 Chambers entry back in ’93. Rae spent the summer 2009 on the massively successful Rock The Bells Tour alongside GZA, RZA, Nas, Damian Marley, the Roots, Ice Cube, Common, and others.
Always larger than life, Method Man is still basking in the glow of Blackout! 2 (released May 2009), his critically acclaimed collaboration with Redman. It was the long-awaited sequel (ten years!) to Meth and Red’s RIAA platinum Blackout, a defining hip-hop event of 1999 (with “Tear It Off,” “Y.O.U.,” and “Da Rockwilder”). Blackout! 2 blasted off with a trifecta of new single releases showing off Meth and Red at their very best: “A-Yo” featuring Saukrates, produced by Pete Rock; “Mrs. International” featuring Erick Sermon, produced by Buckwild; and “City Lights” featuring Bun B, produced by Nasty Kutt.
WU MASSACRE – track listing:
1. “Criminology 2.5” featuring Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Method Man, produced by BT.
2. “Mef vs. Chef” featuring Method Man and Raekwon, produced by Allah Mathematics.
3. “Ya Moms” skit featuring Method Man and Raekwon.
4. “Smooth Sailing” Remix featuring Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Solomon Childs and Streetlife, produced by Ty Fyffe.
5. “Our Dreams” featuring Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Method Man, produced by RZA.
6. “Gunshowers” featuring Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck and Sun God, produced by Digem.
7. “Dangerous” featuring Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Method Man, produced by Allah Mathematics.
8. “Pimpin’ Chipp” featuring Ghostface Killah, produced by Emile.
9. “How To Pay Rent” skit featuring Tracy Morgan.
10. “Miranda” featuring Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Method Man, produced by Allah Mathematics.
11. “Youngstown Heist” featuring Ghostface Killah, Trife, Sheek and Bully, produced by Scram Jones.
12. “It’s That Wu Sh*t” featuring Ghostface Killah & Method Man, produced by Scram Jones.