Remember the golden years of the Wu-Tang Clan? Remember the days of “36 Chambers”, “Liquid Swords”, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” & “Ironman”. Those were the days when the Wu-Tang Clan was indestructible. They were on top of the Hip-Hop world and churning out classic album after classic album. Well those days are long gone as the Wu is all but on its deathbed waiting to be put out of its misery. While each member may be waiting to release their solo ventures in the coming year or two, the group as a whole may never see the dominance they once had back in the mid 90’s. Proof of this fall from grace is Inspectah Deck’s sophomore release “The Movement”.
During the Wu’s glory years Inspectah Deck was regarded as one of the Clans sharpest lyricist. He constantly shined on every album and guest appearance, giving us amazing verses with such ease. However, since the huge disappointment of his debut release “Uncontrolled Substance”, The Rebel Ins has never truly been the same. His flow, while still sharp, has become predictable and repetitive. That’s not including his lyrical substance, which comes to a complete halt on “The Movement”. Deck was always sharp, witty and graceful with his lyricism. But all that has changed as his lyrical game on “The Movement” is all too cliché nowadays, sounding even more boring and repetitive on every track.
However, the biggest disappointment with “The Movement” is the production aspect. Once again we are given another Wu solo album with no Rza produced tracks or any Wu affiliated producers. For “The Movement” Deck searches outside his family for the production, which ultimately makes this album the worst Wu solo since Raekwon’s disaster “Immobilarity”. The problem with most of the album’s production is it portrays nothing of that distinct Wu sound we are all used to. Inspectah Deck’s “The Movement” is the first Wu related album, that really doesn’t sound anything like a Wu album. It’s almost a complete change as you wonder if you are listening to a Wu Tang album?
The depressing part about “The Movement” is a lot of the tracks on the album aren’t just bad, they are awful. On “Get Right” Deck try’s to feature a new quick, double timed flow. However, he fails miserably, as the track’s production and lyricism are dreadful. Not to be forgotten is the hook, which is a sound we never thought we would hear from Deck. “Get money, get fly, get busy, get live, get over, get by, by woman, get high, get right”. Since when has Inspectah Deck rapped about such played out topics as woman and cars? I guess Deck tried to go with the more appealing sound for “The Movement” and unfortunately Deck sounds completely out of place. More terrible efforts come from “Its’ Like That” which features more tedious and stale lyricism from Deck, as does the embarrassing “U Wanna Be”, “Bumpin And Grinding” & “The Stereotype”. The sounds of the last three tracks are especially bad, as they all feature horrendous production. Who would have thought Deck would be rhyming over jiggy, cut and past keyboard sounds for tracks like “U Wanna Be”, “Bumpin And Grindin” & “The Stereotype”. Its efforts like this that make “The Movement” unbearable to listen to at times.
Thankfully we do get some great tracks along with the vast amount of trash thrown at us. “City High” is the albums big highlight, as Deck finally gets some outstanding production from Fantom Of The Beats. The track features a great vocal sample, as the more soulful sound is one that works very well with Deck. Another soulful production effort comes from “Who Got It” produced by Ayatolla. The underrated Ayatolla comes through with the majority of the best efforts on “The Movement”, as he is the only producer on the album who provides Deck with at least some consistency in the production field. “Vendetta” & “Shorty Right There”, both produced by Ayatolla, are probably the only two tracks which resemble that vintage Wu Tang sound. Deck comes nice with his lyrical effort on “Vendetta”, while “Shorty Right There” featuring Street Life is your typical womanizing track from the Wu fam. “Framed” featuring the legendary Kool G Rap & Killa Sin is another great track, as the storytelling track about each emcees run in with the law is definitely a highlight. G Rap of course comes correct, but its Killa Sin who really shines, as his verse is the finest of the three.
In the end “The Movement” is a two-sided story, one that features some really nice tracks, and one that showcases some of Decks worst material ever. Its surprising how an album can be so erratic, as one minute we are treated to such highlights as “Framed” and “City High” and the next forced to listen to such torture as “U Wanna Be” & “Get Right”. “The Movement” just goes to show you how far the Wu have fallen over the years, and unless your name is Ghostface, you need Rza behind the boards for the majority of your LP. While die hard Wu fans will appreciate some of “The Movement”, as it features some highlights. For the most part “The Movement” ends up as one of the worst Wu solo albums in its long history. Hopefully Deck will learn his lesson and go back to his Wu roots for his next solo venture. If not he will unfortunately suffer the same fate as he does on this album.