Golden Arms Redemption

While [a]Method Man[/a] and [a]Ol' Dirty Bastard[/a] grab the headlines, [a]U-God[/a]'s always taken on a more low-key role in the [B]Wu-Tang Clan[/B]'s quest for world domination....

While Method Man and Ol' Dirty Bastard grab the headlines, U-God's always taken on a more low-key role in the Wu-Tang Clan's quest for world domination. Apart from the time he's said to have assaulted a journalist for leaving him out of the Clan line-up, of course...

U-God's the smooth assassin of the Wu, all trilby hats and leather waistcoats, the man who delivered the classic, Wu-defining line, "like cocaine straight from Bolivia" on '36 Chambers'.

But while a lot's changed in Wu-World since then (boutiques, nail polish and video games), U-God's still walking the same grimy streets of old and, on his debut solo album, coming out as raw as anything from The RZA's stable since 'Protect Ya Neck'.

With guest appearances from Chef Raekwon, Inspectah Deck and (surprise, surprise) Method Man, 'Golden Arms...' is a must for Wu devotees, although the impenetrable streams-of-unconscious rhymes and relentlessly doomy production may prove too much for the occasional fan. Standout tracks like the soul belter 'Bizarre' and the machine gun-fired brutality of 'Lay Down' are prime Wu-Tang cuts, but there's just a bit too much flab to qualify 'Golden Arms...' as a classic contribution to Wu-lore.
7 / 10

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