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Friday, January 18, 2013


I took a listen to this earlier today and was reminded of how great it is, and as the link was down I figured I might as well bring it back to the first page as I would guess that there's a lot of new readers who missed out on this dope EP (it's actually a full soundtrack, but I always listen to RZA's five contributions and move on).

Throughout the '90s RZA turned out to be one of the most original, creative and diverse producer to ever emerge from the music industry. Much like the late Stanley Kubrick, RZA made something as rare as art with a huge commercial appeal. Every album he produced between 1993 and '98 all went at least platinum while at the same time also being hailed as masterpieces. From his intense production work, that often had a cinematic quality with a heavy emphasis on themes and musical symbols, which would lead to a deep interest in film music. His first step on that path came when he was offered to compose all music for Jim Jarmusch's cult classic "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" (1998); a movie praised by both fans and critics for its visual elements, original story, fine acting (especially by Forrest Whitaker) and musical cues that fit the movie perfectly. The experience gave the Wu-Tang master hunger for more which would translate to several film scores and soundtracks, .including work on Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill Vol. 1" (2003) and "Vol. 2" (2004), "Soul Plane" (2004), and "The Protector" (2005).

In 2004 RZA was also working on composing some of the music for the third installment of "The Blade" saga with Wesley Snipes. The soundtracks to the previous flicks in the series had been pretty consistant quality wise with a fusion of different musical genres, mainly hip-hop and electronica, featuring artists such as Gang Starr, M.O.P., DJ Krush, Junkie XL, Cypress Hill, Roni Size and many others. For "Blade Trinity", the concept was a little different however, with more classic hip-hop joints for RZA's section of the soundtrack and separate electronic songs on the latter half of the album. The first five tracks together form a brilliant little EP, once again showing that RZA's finest moments often occurs when creating film music these days. Just take the unbelivably ill "Fatal" which kicks off the show to great effect. Here, the producer incorporates elements of classical music through the use of a strong string section, which, when added to knock out drums and an eerie bass line, creates a true masterpiece that works just as well as the theme for the movie and as a stand-alone piece. RZA rhymes from the perspective of Blade here, who of course is a vampire, putting all of the characters anger and emotions on his sleeve to create a style that's very reminiscent of the classic verses on Gravediggaz' "6 Feet Deep" LP.

The remaining songs are all of high quality, with verses from the late Ol' Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, Ghostface, E-40, WC, Christ Bearer, and Lil' Flip sounding right at home over RZA's diverse productions. Each song stands on its own and you can tell there was a lot of thought and work put into each track; brilliantly arranged and then mixed, knocking beats, a haunting moody melody for Black Keith and ODB, or an up-tempo bouncy club banger for Lil' Flip and Rae & Ghost. The lyrics also often ties in well with the movie's themes, which is always a cool approach to soundtrack albums. As an EP I strongly recommend this, although the 18 minutes really makes one wonder how powerful the album would've been had RZA been allowed to create the entirety of it.

One last thing - the final song on here (track #5) is called "Daywalkers" and is a co-production between RZA and German film composer Ramin Djawadi. This 2 minute piece is not a hip-hop track at all, though it does feature additional vocals by frequent Wu-Tang collaborator Suga Bang, but more in the vein of electronica. It does manage to show off RZA's diversity and it's not a bad composition at all, though it does comes off as very odd in the context of this EP. I did decide to include it anyhow, keeping the five first songs from the soundtrack intact and in their original sequence... So if you missed out this before, enjoy and TURN IT UP!! A LITTLE LOUDER!

01. The RZA - "Fatal!"
02. Lil' Flip - "I Gotta Get Paid" (Ft. Raekwon & Ghostface Killah)
03. E-40, W.C. & CHRIST BEARER - "When The Guns Come Out'"
04. Black Keith - "Thirsty" (Ft. Ol' Dirty Bastard)
05. RAMIN DJAWADI - "Daywalkers: Outro"


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