Zilla Rocca, Has-Lo and Curly Castro pay tribute to the Wu: Wu-Tang Pulp (Free album!):
It's come a long way since its early days as an excuse to jack beats from Wu Tang Forever and appropriate Iron Fist artwork, but Zilla Rocca's epic tribute to the Wu-Tang Clan, Wrecking Crew Presents: Wu-Tang Pulp, is finally here after three long years of development! You should know all the details by now, but a quick recap for the late arrivals: Zilla and his Wrecking Crew partners Has-Lo and Curly Castro gathered up many of their closest allies in the music biz, producers and emcees alike (virtually all of whom have appeared at some point on this site. The full lineup: My Man Shafe, Floodwatch, Al Mighty, Disco Vietnam, Small Professor, BLKHRTS, Son Raw, Gee Dubs, Ethel Cee, Y?ARCKA, Deal the Villain, Castle, Alaina Nelson, Random, and Boogieman Dela), reconstructing classic Wu beats from the original samples and recording all new verses for sixteen incredible chambers tracks.
Tribute albums have been done before in hip hop - and typically sound as if the sole motivation behind their recording is to cash in on the nostalgia of an established group's fanbase - but Wu-Tang Pulp is the rare effort that remains entirely respectful to its source material without ever sounding redundant. Zilla Rocca has never been bashful about playing the Devon Sewa to Ghostface's Marshall Mathers - and really, there is hardly an emcee that came of age during the 90's who hasn't been strongly influenced by the Clan - and this album is the ultimate fan letter to the rap Tony Stark. Like the finale to all of the Saturday afternoon kung fu flicks that inspired the Wu Tang Clan wherein the pupil rises to the level of his master, Pulp puts everything Zilla learned from his Shaolin studies on full display here, as both an emcee and a producer, and it is the peak of his musical career thus far.
This album is far more than a Zilla Rocca solo effort, however, and like a true Wu project it features a ton of memorable appearances. There are so many great things happening on here that highlighting just a few necessarily leads to many other noteworthy points being overlooked, but among the standout moments: Curly Castro, to paraphrase what Zilla himself said about the album, uses Wu-Tang Pulp as his coming out party as a lyricist, dropping quotable lines throughout. Floodwatch steps out of blogger retirement just long enough to help BLKHRTS fully realize their potential as the true successors to M.O.P.'s aggressive style of shout rap on FCK YR LF. Small Professor further proves that he's the best there is at flipping uncleared samples, while My Man Shafe continues to build on his recent debut with the help of Canadian dubstep aficionado/Passion of the Weiss contributor Son Raw and the ghost of Blue Raspberry's long deceased career as channeled by Alaina Nelson. Has-Lo not only offers up a remake of the Bring the Pain beat that I've been playing constantly for months now even before I heard the full version with Ethel Cee's vocals, he also puts in one of the best verses of his own career on the knowledge-dropping, paranoia riddled remake of Impossible:
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