Monday, April 11, 2005


Ben is back this week as we run down some tuff-to-find Wu-Tang Clan tracks. Due my many weekend travels, Ben will handle day one solo and we shall collab after that. Day features what should've been the 4 best tracks on Ghostface Killah's Bulletproof Wallets.

To continue with The Rap Nerd's theme of wasted talent or great artists putting out shitty albums, perhaps the only thing more demoralizing is to buy an album only to find that a track you've been eagerly anticipating, perhaps for months, isn't even included on the album. It feels like you've been punched in the gut, and robbed of your $15. The Rap Nerd touched on this a few weeks back with lost gems off CNN's 'War Report' which while still good would have been brilliant with the added cuts. Usually the finger can be pointed at bootlegging, examples of which are those late 90's Nas albums (thankfully The Lost Tapes has set out to correct some of those egregious omissions) Jay-Z's vol. III and others. But perhaps the most notable victim of the chopping block is Ghostface Killah's 'Bulletproof Wallets.'

After the classic 'Supreme Clientele,' interest was overflowing for Dennis Coles' next album. As promo songs began to filter onto mixtapes and to the radio, the buzz was becoming a fever pitch. [ed. note: screw that movie... Let's Go Mets!] When the album finally hit the shelves, much to Rap Nerd #2's dismay, the songs I'd been hearing on the radio for months were nowhere to be found. To make matter's even worse there was a sticker on the front of the album taunting me with 'Featuring Slick Rick, and RZA' and wouldn't you know it, that track had been deleted as well. What was left was a watered down album, with only a couple of nice tracks, that rarely get's any burn on this Wu Brother's playlists. It seems Epic had no interest in giving the proper importance to guest or sample clearance. What had been eliminated were four amazing songs displaying, witty wordplay, science, conscience and all those other things we'd grown to expect from the Wu before the faithful lost their religion.

B's Notes:
-The Watch: Same Barry White beat on the street version of Nas's 'No Idea's Original' appears on Mos Def's 'Grown Man Business.' Rae's 'X and Jigga' critique of NY radio. Rae returns to tell a story about his own 'Missing Watch' on what may be the standout track from 'The Lex Diamond Story.'

-The Sun: One of my all time favorite Wu tracks. RZA's 4 bar science lesson at the end. Rick's philosphy. Ghost's 'Face'll do like this' line. (you can picture him scrunching up his mug in the booth.)

-Goodtimes: Almost crashed on the Belt Parkway first time I heard it. Ghost's social side, over the break from a Dy-No-Mite 70's classic. Check out his George Jefferson walk!

-Flowers: Created around a Bob James sample from 'Take Me to Mardi Gras' (used for another hip-hop classic.) James is notorious for vetoing samples, but had cleared 'Daytona 500.' They tried to work something out, two different versions of the song with the James sample were around, hence the silence where a James break had been removed :13, 2:47 and throughout. More evidence, Meth and Ghost punched in early at the beginning of their verses. Appeared on the album, with a reworked studio beat that killed the energy of the original.

I recommend creating your own album with the missing tracks, and if you're handy with some sound editing, adding the missing sample (2:00 of the James original) if you've ever heard the entire original break intact you know just how dope it was.

Ghostface Killah f/ Raekwon: The Watch (MP3)
Ghostface Killah f/ Raekwon, Slick Rick, and RZA: The Sun (MP3)
Ghostface Killah: Good Times (MP3)
Ghostface Killah f/ Method Man: Flowers (MP3)

More Wu all week.


At 6:04 AM, Blogger Robbie said...

To add to the confusion, "Goodtimes", "The Sun" and "Flowers" appear on the clean-radio promo vinyl, but "Goodtimes" isn't listed on the label. For the uncensored, original mixes of "Flowers" and "The Watch" you need the promo 12"...or you can cop the various bootlegs. Great songs though.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Joey said...

And let's also not forget that, as always, the tracks and the track listing didn't correspond. I ain't mad at that, though, b/c Ghost is Ghost, in all his idiosyncratic glory.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Jaybles said...

My copy of Bulletproof Wallets had the Slick Rick and Rza part black out with marker on the sticker. The booklet even had 'Slick Rick Appears Courtesy Of..' in it.

The songs you mention deffo should have made the final cut of the album. Its a pretty good album though but it has one of the worst covers ive seen...looks like Ghost is cookin Rae some breakfast after a night of love and on the backcover Rae seems to be picking his god damn nose

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

broken links...and dreams

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Big Poppa said...

you better do a piece on Stop The Breaks. Google dat shitm baby young'un

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Jonny J said...

Jaybles, you're crazy. The album is good, but the Bulletproof Wallets cover is the best thing about that record. Rae pretending to pour Crown royal in Tony's top ramen, the random shot of Ghost with the pineapple, and the coolest bathrobe I've ever seen...

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous BigBlackAfro said...

wuz up Nerd? You have one of the coolest blogs on the net. the only thing better than Wu week would be like Wu month or something...good looks on the mf doom and molemen posts,'ve been makin Afro proud. peace and hair grease...

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: big poppa:

'Stop the Breaks' ain't a Wu track, just some collabo shit, and if my mind serves me right it was a whole mess of recycled verses.

RN #2

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks so much man my boy just told me about this site, I'm huge wu fan always like hearin new beats-heard a bunch of these lyrics but the beats are dope, thank you.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dope post, keep the wu topics coming

At 1:19 PM, Blogger beez said...

I like Bulletproof pretty much equally as much as Clientele but with the cut stuff it would have been next next next level. I think every Ghost album is 4.5 out of 5 or more though. He's the Don King or Don anything, a monster!


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