In one of the more telling lines on “Wu-Block,” Sheek Louch says that he's “never heard of a blog.” For the album's purposes, this is a boast: the only indications that this collaboration between the rapper and his fellow '90s New York rap eminence Ghostface Killah is a recent occurrence are a couple stray iPhone references and the fact that the year 2012 is printed on the cover. The biggest surprise an album bringing together members of the Wu-Tang Clan and The LOX has to offer is the fact that it hasn't been made before.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sheek Louch and Ghostface Killah are both fantastic rappers, and every guest from their respective groups offers a solid performance as well. Thankfully, there's nothing even remotely resembling a crossover concession.
More than anything, the two provide a reminder, in the Rick Ross era, of the charms of a time in which a successful rap song could be a vivid description of guys hanging out in a living room. Ghostface in particular is one of the most detailed lyricists ever, and the fact that he takes the time to point out things like wearing Brookstone slippers or reading L. Ron Hubbard (side note: IS GHOSTFACE KILLAH BECOMING A SCIENTOLOGIST?) makes for extremely fun listening.
While there are surely people who are thrilled to finally see some heretofore unrealized combination of Wu-Tang and LOX rappers on a track, “Wu-Block” doesn't offer much more than what it claims to. The style here is reliable but outdated, particularly due to all the awkward songs about robbing people. Longtime fans will be happy, and neophytes might find it a convenient point of entry, but plenty of others will be just as happy revisiting familiar classics.
Kyle Kramer is a RedEye special contributor. @redeyechimusic
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