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8 Diagrams by Wu-Tang Clan
Released: Dec 2007
Label: Src Records
For their first 15 years, Wu Tang delivered the pop music equivalent of a Trojan horse, dressing their esoteric instincts (hardcore, street lyrics; fringe culture fanboy fanaticism) in beats and hooks that you welcomed into your brain. For their fifth album, group leader the RZA annihilates these easy points of entry, and we're left with a suite of songs built on spaghetti western loops, 5 Percent doctrine and brooding, jazzy ambiance. It's difficult, for sure, but it's also among the most rewarding hip-hop releases of 2007.
Sam Chennault
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