Label: Epic, Sony, Razor Sharp
The once mighty Wu-Tang name had lost some of it's shine as the 90s drew to a close. Following a dream run of solo LPs from Raekwon, GZA, ODB, Method Man, and Ghostface himself, the Clan spread their collective wings and expanded beyond The RZA's firm hand, with mixed results. Second and third tier "Wu Affilaites" diluted the name further, and the rap world had moved on to the stark minimalism of crews like the Ruff Ryders.
Leave it to Ironman to save the day, as Ghostface swung through with a giant golden eagle on his wrist and a slew of new slang technologies. With a fresh team of producers ranging from Mathematics to the Beatnuts adding on to the RZA's science, Ghost Deini reminded us of his razor-sharp techniques on "Nutmeg" (which he wrote without a beat while visiting Africa), while "Child's Play" presented the kind of innocent naivety that only Slick Rick in his prime could have pulled off.
The center-piece is clearly "Mighty Healthy," a magnificent collection of stream-of-consciousness observations that cement GFK as Wu-Tang's most enduring representative.