Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another Chamber (Part 1): Wu Syndicate

There was a time when you could count on a majority of the satellites in the Wuniverse to deliver consistently dope shit. You could even argue at a certain point in the LATE 90s their quality of output exceeded the planet they orbited. My personal favorites were these kids (originally named Crime Syndicate), a duo from Virginia Beach of all places with era appropriate mob affiliated aliases and Mobb Deep sensibilities. Myalanksy and Joe Mafia deliver self serious raps with life or death stakes and threats galore. They were a passable knock off of the Queens duo if nothing else, their shockingly solid self titled debut features decent levels of NY-influenced aggression complemented by familiar grimy soul beats and Puzo suggesting strings courtesy of the always underrated Mathematics (at the beginning of his career producing for Wu, contributing 2 of the albums best beats), random producers Smokin Joe, Dred and some guy named DJ Devastator. You don’t feel the cloak of Wu mythology over this and its independence works for these guys who take a more direct approach to the drug trade Rae, Ghost and Gza bury in bizarro slang, Shogun Assassin snippets and otherworldly Rza bangers.

Devastator is responsible for “Where was Heaven”, their lead single for good reason. Myalansky’s standard hard luck narrative rivals any in the cannon. Slow, soft and sad, for me the beat presents the desire to escape dire circumstances but the knowledge that there’s no hope. Utterly dark and bleak. My mind could be playing tricks on me but I’m 99% my LP had a more subdued performance from Myalansky that I prefer to this more angry and energized take as opposed to the sad and resigned version I knew and loved.

Weary Eyes

Golden Sands

Thug War

Pointin Fingers (Prod. by Mathematics)

Muzzle Toe (Prod. by Mathematics)

Ask Son

1 comment:

Zilla said...

"Weary Eyes" was my SHIT off this album! I dubbed it on cassette in high school during the Rush Of Wu B-Teamers ('98-'00). One of my buddies has it on CD and I re-listened to it about 2 months ago and realized that it's a truly mediocre album sadly. But man--there's about 3-4 GREAT songs on that album from 2 guys who had the vaguest Wu association ever.