Monday, November 17, 2008

Spontaneous Combustion

My favorite moment in one of the best movies made in the 90s, David O' Russell's conflicted, genre tweaking 3 Kings, comes during a climactic sequence in which Spike Jonze's character gets a splinter planting a bomb. The point is made: A premeditated work lacks the energy, immediacy and unpredictability of real life. Of course it was written in, but the splinter represents that element of randomness that permeates experience.
Slowly, Ironman has become my favorite Wu-Tang solo. Ghost's debut is often shuffled behind OB4CL and Liquid Swords, and even thought of as a lesser work in comparison to the innovative, stream of conscious classic Supreme Clientèle when debating the catalog of Tony Starks. For me it's gritty, unfailingly consistent and has it's feet most firmly planted on the ground. Rza tends more toward the 70s then the Plutonian soundscape that forms Liquid Swords and Ghost responds with Rastas cadging ungreatful bitches and glasses of sugar water.
The first voice you hear on "Iron Maiden" after Sonny Carson's is Raekwon's. When you think about it, this decision alone is remarkable, for another rapper to be given first rights to the first song on your album. For me it's indicative of vintage Wu. A crazy and free form collective of styles, wildly different but weirdly compatible. You can see 9 kids and a few weed carriers sitting around a smoke filled studio in Staten Island, a Kung Fu flick is on mute and a Rza beat blasts as all heads nod in unison, waiting for someone to catch a vibe and grab the mic as if they're choosing the next pope. Ironman contains a life and energy that delivers that immediacy, often I feel like I'm in the studio with the gang, and I have no idea what's going to happen next.

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