Wednesday, July 6, 2011

U-God's Resume #4, SWV: "Anything (Old Skool Radio Version)"

--Official Stats--
Artist: SWV featuring The Wu-Tang Clan
Song: "Anything (Old Skool Radio Version)"
Album: "SWV The Remixes"
Release Date: May 10, 1994

Well, in the examination of U-God’s resume we’ve finally moved beyond the debut release of the Wu-Tang Clan and will now get into the many side projects and solo albums from U’s fellow clansman. Why are we doing this? Because U-God has a pretty lousy reputation and I want to find out if it’s justified (because I like him, and it's not justified).

So where did Baby U go from the classic “Enter the Wu-Tang?” album? To SWV, of course.

Yep. SWV. An R&B act also known as “Sisters with Voices” somehow made a track featuring “The Wu-Tang Clan” which, of course, only meant Ol’ Dirty, Method Man, and U-God.  For the record, SWV was massively popular with songs that everybody loved. So why not pair them up with the next big hip hop group? The soundtrack to “Above the Rim” was the perfect opportunity. Well, not on the soundtrack exactly, but a SWV remix album for a song from the soundtrack. You know how record companies are: lots of songs, remixes, cross promotion, goldmines, not making things people want, and money in the bank. SWV's Anything was on the soundtrack, but the version with the Clan came out a few months later on the SWV "Remixes" album.

Well, to my knowledge, I’ve never heard this song before.  So let’s check it out…

“Anything (Old Skool Radio Version)"

Well, this is terrible.  If I were a fan of the Wu-Tang Clan (I am) and I saw them on here (I did) and then I listened to this (I did), I would be very disappointed (I was). I’ve never been a fan of modern R&B, and this sounds especially empty. This is worse R&B than normal. So, I hate most of track automatically.

"But what about U-God? How did he do?" - U-God fans.

Oh yeah, well once again he’s performing with the Clan’s two biggest stars of the time: Ol’ Dirty and Method Man, much like his appearance on Protect Ya Neck (where he was between them)only this time his four lines are sandwiched inside of Method Man’s verse. But somehow, this time, Meth’s closing lines are reused segments from his main verse, it's weird, but I guess someone didn’t want U-God delivering the last line on the track. And that's strange because U-God delivers a pretty good verse considering the (poor) quality of the track and the generic verses delivered by both ODB and Meth. I’d be willing to bet that our favorite MCs were somewhat limited in what they could deliver here, so they might have played it safe. In fact, I bet they never even met SWV for this recording. Who knows? Looking back from almost twenty years later (!)  I would say U-God comes out on top in this track. The champ! Good for him, he earned it and whatever. I feel like I’ve heard everything that ODB and Meth spit on here on a bunch of on other tracks. Poor Meth, he sounds like he’s selling his soul when he says the “S-S-double-double-U to the V-V-V-V” line. On the flip, U’s lines sound raw and fresh.  Nice job, U-God, even if your lines don’t make sense and your contribution is very short…

Now, what I hear him say is different from what the internet says he says, get it? Here are both versions of the lyrics.
Internet Generally Accepted Lyrics:
Another chapter from the Wu-Tang group
Take a look or a peak, killer bees never sleep
Nonstop, put you on the choppin block
Unorthodox, attitude to melting pot

Tortoise General Approved Lyrics:
Another chapter from the Wu-Tang book
Take a look or a peek, killer bees never sleep
Nonstop, put you on the choppin’ block
Unorthodox, attitude to melt the pot

Whatever. Oh, also, how weird is it when Ol' Dirty comes in on a R&B track? It gets me every time: a raw MC (that probably doesn't appeal to many women) comes in over a smooth beat and beautiful singing with bellowing (basically) and slurred rhymes. ODB: YOU'RE THE BEST. Reverse verse.

Song Score: 2/10
U-God Score: 7/10
Impact on Rep (+, -, =): None (nobody heard this)

Next time: We skip ahead over a year to U-God’s verse on “Knuckleheads” from Raekwon’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…”.  Party on, Rae. Party on, Tort.

Caught in the headlights.
About this series: “U-God’s Resume" is a series of posts which looks at each line of U-God’s entire career to determine if his status as ‘wack’ is justified (as labeled by internet morons). I think it is not. U-God is dope. We'll prove it. Leave it to the Tort Team.

1 comment:

  1. Good analysis. That song was ok (for an R&B track)but I agree the Wu sounded dumbed down.