March 28, 2015

Ol' Dirty Bastard "Return To The 36 Chambers" (The Source, 5/95)

"Ol' Dirty Bastard's solo LP proves once again that the Clan from Shaolin Land is currently the dominant force in East Coast hip-hop. The third shot fired in the Wu-Tang revolution spotlights the crazy drunken flow of the Ol' Dirty Bastard, who growls, grunts and howls with an illiocity not seen since the early days of Bizmark or Busta Rhymes. Depending on your preference, this could be good (an escape from the norm of today's sound-a-like MCs) or bad (he makes little sense and sounds like noise). On the production end, there should be no such debate as the trademark bass-and-piano funk of the RZA comes across with as much flair as the Clan's group effort. And with cameos by just about every other Wu-Tang MC, the ODB's solo debut is a must-have for every real hardcore head who recognized the genius of the original 36 Chambers album and wants to keep the legacy of the Wu complete." Check out the visuals to the lead single, "Brooklyn Zoo" (Updated) below.

"The first tracks are all heavy doses of razor-sharp funk: on "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" a losse piano hook sets things off while ODB chants "Ooh baby I like it raw" and weaves a few bugged verses. "Hippa To Da Hoppa" is propelled by a rugged bassline and typical Old Dirty gems like "rhymes come smokey / funky like a stink bomb..." and "I come old like toe fungus mold." But there is no doubt that the killa jams here are the ones where some part of the original Wu-Tang cipha is re-formed. "Rawhide" features Method Man singing the famous "Move 'em in / move 'em out / rawhide" chorus while Raekwon steps up with some "bulletproof fly shit / strong like Thai stick" to match the offbeat rampage of the ODB. "Snakes" is a posse cut worthy of the original LP with the RZA stepping out from behind the boards and holding his own on the mic. "Protect Ya Neck II" displays the strong skills of the Brooklyn Zoo, who unleash a lyrical barrage featuring Lord Buddah Monk and 62nd Assassin. Like the sequel to your favorite kung fu flick, The Return... may not be as original as its predecessor, but it still delivers enough to keep you hooked: hardcore lyrics kicked live over a non-stop assault of that addictive Shao-lin funk." - The Source, May 1995.

You can read the full review from The Source (May '95) below...