Its been a long time coming, and digi heads worldwide have been waiting for another installment to the highly acclaimed series of alter-ego spinoff projects from the Abbott of the Wu Tang Clan, the Rza. Perhaps my all time favorite hip hop album was the first Bobby Digital in Stereo, released in 1998 at the pinnacle of the Wu's dominance in the rap game. Bobby Digital in Stereo was groundbreaking in that it was light years ahead of its time as far as production and lyrics were concerned. It was the gangsta rap embodiment of a Stan Lee Comic book, equipped with all the makings of a sci-fi inter-stellar martial arts extravaganza. The imagery that the Rza was capable of evoking was truly visceral and inconoclastic to say the least.
Fast forward now ten years later and you have the Rza's latest incarnation of the Bobby Digital saga. I went to my local CD store and bought this CD the day it came out without any compunction whatsoever. As a matter of fact I bought it without even giving it a cursory listen. I even chose to pass over the latest Three Six Mafia disc, The Last 2 Walk in favor of Prince Rakeem. That is how much faith I have in the Rza. I normally exercise a good bit of discretion when purchasing CD's, especially when you can get them for free. But I still believe in the old days of purchasing CD's. The anticipation that arises after you tear the outer packaging to find the artwork, credits and other hidden knick knacks. The Digi Snacks album however, was conspicuously absent of any cool supporting materials other than the actual CD - which wasn't even an enhanced CD, which both the Rza and Wu have been known to interlace their discs with from time to time to add to the freshness.
On the critical side of things I am sad to say that his latest offering did not live up to my expectations, but then again who am I anyway? In my mind Rza has the artistic license to do whatever he feels fit, and he exercises that right on this offering. The lyrics are onpoint and razor sharp as ever, but in my mind it is the production on this album that holds it back. Aside from the cohesive lead-single "You Can't Stop Me Now," the album as a whole sounds a little disjointed, and downright bizzare. I give him props for pushing the creative boundaries of hip hop, but this shit is even a little too "progressive" for my tastes and you won't find a more staunch and fervent supporter of the Digi movement than yours truly. It's the type of album that you don't mind bumping by yourself just so you can soak up the darts (lyrics) that he is spitting, but you do feel a little akward blasting it out of your speakers at the stop light next to some fine birds (females)-fearing that they think your a wierdo. Much of the album has a jazzy feel to it - I don't know wheather it is Erykah Badhu or Macy Gray who laces the choruses on a few of the tracks, but whoever it is is prominently featured.
The last quip I have about the album is the lackluster choruses and hooks. For instance "Booby Trap" is actually a pretty fresh song but the thing that ruins it for me in the end is the choice for the hook. On "Booby Trap" he spits: "I lounge like a hungry jaguar, into aqua, trying to catch a fish that multiplies like the magwai" - you got to love that. Another out of place contribution comes from the southern emcee/producer David Banner on "Straight out the Block," where Banner helms the production looping some Jay-Z vocals. On this track Rza sounds a little out of his element as if he is trying to cater to the dirty south. Digi Snax also could have benefitted from some more Wu Tang guest appearances- the only member featured was Inspectah Deck and he did his thing. I guess I feel like it is time for Rza to make a return to his gangsta rap roots and come out a little more hardcore à la Gravediggaz style. In the meantime, I will be more than happy to continue bumping this out my tweeters. Other prominently featured guest appearances come courtesy of the Black Knights and Beretta-9. Still, amidst all the nonsense out right now, this album is a breath of fresh air. If I came off like a hater, I apologize. I in know way shape, form or fashion claim to know more about music than the almighty Rza and I will always defer to his greatness. Buy the album
Enzo on the Post
Monday, June 30, 2008
Posted by Pimpin' Pens at 9:43 AM