For almost 20 years, the Wu-Tang Clan has managed to hold the attention of listeners by releasing a steady amount of content that remains just as original as their classic material.
Hoping to continue that reign is U-God, as he returns with his third album, Dopium.
Enlisting the help of artists like Sheek Louch [Click for Sheek interview], Large Professor, Jim Jones [Click for album review], and fellow clansmen such as, Killah Priest, Cappadonna, GZA, Raekwon [Click for Raekwon interview], Ghostface Killah, and Method Man [Click for review]; the “4-Bar Killer” puts together one of his strongest solo efforts to date.
The album gets underway with the vintage Wu sounds of ‘Train Trussle’ featuring Ghostface Killah and Scotty Wotty; leading up to Cappadonna and Killah Priest on ‘God Is Love.’
Behind the soulful backdrop provided, all three MC’s brandish their own unique styles that can never be copied:
Cappadonna: “Ya just wild to yourself/ya not wild in the club/ya with your boys all the time like a homo thug/you ain’t never with the honies, you don’t get no love.”
U-God: “I picked my path, my wrongs is right/I used to hustle to the morning light/then I found out son that there’s more to life/stay focused indeed/my songs is tight.”
Killah Priest: “Cast visions of a beautiful world/no funerals/God’s musicals are usual pearls/then after the judgment, and after the blood rinse/off the body and soul.”
Raekwon loans some assistance on ‘Coke,’ (which also features Slain). Over the mid-tempo production, they all discuss their experience with cocaine—how to sell it, stash it, and cook it.
One of the strongest records on the album comes in on ‘Magnum Force,’ which features Jim Jones and Sheek Louch, with The LOX and Dipset affiliates jelling together smoothly with the Wu over the violin-ridden track.
U-God goes songs like ‘Hips’ and the title track ‘Dopium’ alone, while inviting Method Man in on ‘Wu-Tang.’ From there, the most recognizable member of the Clan drops lines like, “I know this money like the back of my hand/you get the back of my hand/just like a fein who took a package and ran.”
U-God good finishes up his third effort with other contributions like ‘Lipton,’ ‘New Classic’ featuring Large Professor, ‘Stomp Da Roach’ featuring GZA and Scotty Wotty, and a few remixes of some of the aforementioned songs.
“Ugodzilla” might not be one of the most formable or noticeable soldiers to come out of the Wu-Tang Clan, but he proves through his Dopium project that he is still worth a listen after all these years, and that’s all an artist can ever ask for…