Wu-Syndicate

Wu-Syndicate

Score

Rap's love affair with the Mob may long be over, but down in Wu-Syndicate's Virginia, where they "rob shit like De Niro", cigars and moustaches are [I]de rigueur[/I]. An unhealthy obsession...

Rap’s love affair with the Mob may long be over, but down
in Wu-Syndicate’s Virginia, where they “rob shit like De Niro”, cigars and moustaches are [I]de rigueur[/I]. An unhealthy obsession with”niggas who snitch”, a partner named Joe Mafia, and the appropriate choice of headgear complete the new gambino package.

Formerly known as Crime Syndicate, ‘Executive Producer’ The RZA has instructed snarling MCs Mafia, Napoleon and Myalansky that to raise their game, they have to take on the Wu name. Thus equipped with suitably Godfatherly patronage, they proceed to stalk the streets with authority and menace: their ghetto tale ‘Where Was Heaven’ is one of the best since Ice-T’sThat’s How I’m Livin”.

The album lacks the wit of the true Wu, as barking insanity is traded for a sombre intensity, but Joe Mafia’s fluent raps on tracks like ‘Ice Age’, coming from “32 degrees below poverty”, cast a dizzying spell. Although solid,
ol’-fashioned hip-hop engineering outweighs sonic surprises, The RZA-style beats and loops (spasmodic strings on ‘Metropolis’, newsroom flourishes on ‘Global Politics’) crackle with veracity, while some low-throttle scratching from producer DJ Devastator contributes to the paranoid urgency.

Joe Mafia boasts that, “We’re hungry right now while others are eatin’.” Believe him.