Masta Killa: Live
Masta Killa has the distinction of being the least prolific Wu Tang Clan solo artist. Ol’ Dirty Bastard has been dead six years and still recorded more albums than Masta Killa. Part of that might be Masta Killa’s mystique; he is the quietest member of Wu Tang and does not give many independent interviews. With interviews few and far between, little is known about his personal life. Perhaps that is why Live is such an interesting concept, an unfiltered 36 minute chance to get to know Masta Killa.
Like most Wu Tang Clan associated albums, Masta Killa can not help but have a little help from his friends. Live features appearances by Wu Tang members Inspectah Deck and GZA as well as affiliates Streetlife and Prodigal Sunn. Because of the cameos it is no surprise that the album, also, contains some Wu Tang Clan tracks like “Mystery of Chessboxin'”, “Triumph”, and “In the Hood” along with GZA’s “Duel of the Iron Mic” and “Fam Members Only”, Raekwon‘s “Guillotine (Swordz)”, and Streetlife’s “Street Education”. However the bulk of the album’s 16 tracks come from Masta Killa’s No Said Date. The album was Masta Killa’s solo debut and still remains one of the most critically successful Wu Tang solo efforts. The album received an 8.3/10 from Pitchfork Media and 4 out of 5 stars from AllMusic.
Perhaps the biggest surprise from Live is that it contains no tracks from Masta Killa’s sophomore album, 2006’s Made in Brooklyn. The album was slightly less acclaimed than his debut but still had formidable reviews. Instead Masta Killa relies on material that is half a decade old or older. However as the album wears on, its apparent that Masta Killa is delivering exactly what the crowd wants to hear. The raw hip hop style of Wu Tang is prevalent on Live. With the exception of the r&b tinged “Love Spell”, the album is nearly flawless.
MP3: Masta Killa featuring GZA and Inspectah Deck “Triumph”
Buy: iTunes, Insound!
Masta Killa: Live