Wednesday, September 7, 2011

U-God's Resume #12: "Severe Punishment"

--Official Stats--
Artist: Wu-Tang Clan
Song: "Severe Punishment"
Album: Wu-Tang Forever
Release Date: June 3, 1997

Here we go (Exclusive - Exclusive -Exclusive)! Let's get started with the behemoth known as "Wu-Tang Forever"...and checking out U-God's contribution to it (amazing grammar)!

Severe Punishment marks U-God's first appearance on the Wu-Tang Clan's second (and highly anticipated) album "Wu-Tang Forever". He appears on eleven tracks in some form on the album and was much better represented this time around than he was on the Wu's inaugural release (where he didn't really do shit). However, things aren't all gravy for our boy, he is the last member of the clan to drop a verse on tracks in! Method Man already had four appearances by this point and Cappadonna had one! U-God was last. But even so, U was heavily featured this time (he and Deck even had solo cuts on the album). Here's the breakdown:

Also, if you don't know, this album was a huge deal.  In fact, when this album came out I worked with a guy who didn't listen to rap at all, but he picked up this album based on the extreme hype that surrounded it. What was his final review of the whole album? "Duh, it was bad except for that song where they say that they're going to cut off your arm"! Fast-forward to now, and wait a minute: that's this song! Co-workers! We all have them unless we are unemployed, then we have sympathizers (those are worse). While I disagree with that ex-co-worker because I think this album is pretty good, I do agree that the arm-cutting song is good! Let's check it out:

"Severe Punishment"

This track appears about half way through the first disc and features GZA, Masta Killa, RZA, Raekwon, and U-God (of course). U-God set's it off...

Yo, yeah, yo, yo
Yo, yeah
Check these high hats sting things moving through the rubbish
Party robust, rec room style for you brothers
Time's ticking, eruptments conduct
Entering one funk before the drum dry up
Dial, style, jab vocab slow
Alphabet run, construction voice might blow
Tap dance swelling Hemingway novel model
For a breather, dirty reefer hide your bottle
Cut down, come with something that's round and profound
Blood brothers people of colors we get down
Watch this fly, force feed things being said
Nine Diagram acid black evil red left his
mic half a dangle, seriouser man
My mic clapper def wish, everlasting plan
heavenly God body, know me as the cleaner
Night champion, old villain style seem a
kiss of spider, to God saga why bother
Godfather talk drama, fly swatters

So how is it? Well, the Kung-Fu sample is fantastic. The Wu can indeed rap hard enough to sever your arm. The beat is a bit cleaner than RZA productions we've heard up to this point, but it's still rugged and raw. U-god's verse is fine. GZA follows him and murders him. Then we have Rae being Rae and just giving the worst verse. Then RZA delivers the best verse, but I think that Rae and RZA get their rankings based on their ability to handle the beat with their flow and energy instead of the quality of their lyrics. Masta Killa ends the song on a nothing special tip. I guess U ends up somewhere in the middle of the pack here.  But shit, once again his verse is meaningless. I mean, am I missing something here? Sure he's saying a lot of cool shit, but what's his point? Whatever.

You know as I listen to this song and it approaches the end I get an uncontrollable urge to press the skip button and move on to the next track (Older Gods), not because I dislike this track, but becasue I can't wait for the next beat. Rock on?

Track Score: 9/10
U-God’s Score: 8/10
Impact on Rep (+,-,=): Improves

Next Week: "Wu-Tang Forever" and U-God hit slightly higher notes with "A Better Tomorrow"

A Seriouser Man
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.

Witness Protection


  1. the statement 'then RZA delivers the best verse' has got to be a joke, right? He's got NO FLOW at all. He's a great producer but he sounds like he just came up with the shit on the spot. And Rae having the worst verse on Severe Punishment? Are you fuckin serious! he kills it!

    GZA is clearly the best, he has everything. Followed by Rae, then Ghostface. As for U-God;

    A jungle junkie, vigilante tantrum
    A death kiss, cap off squeeze another anthem
    Hold it for ransom, tranquilized with anesthetics
    My orchestra, graceful, music ballerinas
    My music Sicily, rich California smell
    An axekiller adventure, paint a picture well
    I sing a song from Sing-Sing, sippin on ginseng
    Righteous wax chaperone, rotating ring king

    I mean, you get that shit right?

    UH, you printed U-God's verse from "Triumph" which was great and I do "get that shit". The truth about "Triumph" is that everyone kills it.

    U's verse on this song ("Severe Punishment") is published in the post. What can I say, I'm a fan of the RZA. His flow is raw, it tears meat from the bone. I stand by my order:


    1. RZA
    2. GZA
    4. U-GOD
    5. RAE