Wednesday, January 11, 2012

U-God's Resume #28, Inspectah Deck "The Grand Prix"

--Official Stats--
Artist: Inspectah Deck featuring U-God and Streetlife
Song: "The Grand Prix"
Album: Uncontrolled Substance

Release Date: October 5, 1999

So I guess this is where I have to review Inspectah Deck's album  "Uncontrolled Substance" which I don't want to do at all. When this album dropped I was amped. Deck came off of "Forever" strong, he really proved himself to be one of the best in the Clan and this album was highly anticipated in my circle. Then I saw the cover and knew right away that things were not looking good, it was big warning sign. A big weirdly photographed and photoshopped warning sign. No matter how you cut it this album cover is embarrassing. I would say that the magnifying glass alone kills it (and it does), it looks like a kids show. Blues Clues. But the "action scene" doesn't help either. All of the Wu's album covers up to this point had been innovative or just plain dope or Tical (whatever that was). When I saw this I knew that the money train had come in and ruined everything somehow. Someone was being cheap or pushing things through too fast. Something. And how did nobody tell Deck that this cover was wack? Is he supposed to be facing off against the police dog? Is he moving toward the dog? Is he being surprised by the dog? Is this the end of our hero? Who knows? It looks more like he's casually climbing up on the hood of a fake police car while someone's pet barks at him for a treat. Weak.

So my fears were confirmed. This album sucked. More specifically, this is when the Wu officially switched from a well oiled and innovative machine to a generic music factory. Sure there was the infamous "flood" at the RZA's lair. But was the RZA so busy pumping the water out of his basement that he only had time to produce two songs for this album? Huh, the RZA? only two songs for your friend Deck? Did the flood force the RZA to add those terrible sound effects to Movas & Shakers? The dissapointing thing is that Deck brings it for the most part, his verses are on point all through the album, but his chorsus are awful and his production is appaling. Especially when he produces his own shit. Inspectah Deck makes terrible beats. I spun this album a little bit and I can honestly say that the beats are unbearable. The production is just lacking son. Tell that. Deck is one of the best lyrcists ever, his production is way below his skill. Don't believe me? Investigate how good deck does when he lands solid production.

So Deck pulled an unbelieveally shallow lineup for his debut album. Besides U-God he also managed to pull Masta Killa. That's it. Two people. No Raekwon, Ghostface, Method Man, ODB, RZA (rapping), or GZA. Not even Cappadonna. He did manage to pull Streetlife (which is good) but he also got stuck with La the Darkman, so he won a few and lost a few I guess. Well that's enough about that, now we'll look at the first track on the album that features another Wu Clansman...our subject: U-GOD in:

"The Grand Prix"


LAMONT! When you and Jason get together it's magic. Actually it's really bad. I mean that trumpet melody by itself is just the worst. I guess 4th Disciple was in a time crunch and just had to get this beat in as soon as possible? What other excuse could their be? The beat is awful. Plus the whole track depends on a dumb gimmick? Racing? Really? With the sound effects and everything? Deck acting like the announcer?

Despite the bad beat both of Deck's verses kill it. Streetlife sounds like U-God Jr. and doesn't add anything (which is odd for him). Then U-God comes in strong for 90% of his verse but loses steam toward the end. Here is his verse...

Fog lights beam, car 99 supreme
A high-powered machine spits sparks of baroline
The smell of gasoline, motor roar, the crowd roars
The rag tuck rip, box cut caught in my jaws
Enforcin my laws, rap mirage in my garage
The grease lightnin, dusty rose, shake him, bon voyage
Now duel of the iron, flyin fued for you writers
The speed demon, rebel talk, triggers, freedom fighters
Was tracked in the cock pit, I'm writin exact
I'm crushin corners, who that kid ridin the track
with the Wu helmet, 6th nigga, 5 cars track
The last but not least, I bliss through the scrimmage
No brakes, I dart, I'm racin for the finish
Understand my hunger for my land down under
It's the thunderous rush, after the sounds get crush
The purse snatchin pound, by all means snatch cream
tear your ass out of town

That's as good as you're going to get on the topic of racing. I want to also add a few of Deck's lines:

I hold many jewels, drop more than I wear
I come in peace, prepare for the warfare
The invincible fold, when they're caught in the square
and then talk mad shit when the coast is clear

Q: How could this album be bad with lines like that?
A: Production.

So at the end of the song the "announcer" says that "Team Wu Tang [is] holdin' down the first, second, and third positions", presumably in the race gimmick of the track. Well, there are only three racers and all of them are Wu affiliated, so that positioning is a given. Deck took first, then U. But I gotta say that 4th Disciple's beat takes last place. If I were in charge I would have fired him for this one or at least sent him back to the drawing board.

Track Score: 3/10
U-God’s Score: 7/10
Impact on Rep (+,-,=): Improves (I guess)

Next Week: U-God and Deck team up again on "Longevity".

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.

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