Thursday, May 3, 2012

U-God's Resume #44, "Night the City Cried"

--Official Stats--
Artist: U-God
Song: 15. "Night the City Cried"

Producer: The RZA
Album: Golden Arms Redemption

Release Date: October 5, 1999

I'm doing this review a little differently. I'm so excited to be done with this album and never listen to it again that I am reviewing this song at the same time as the previous track Knockin' at Your Door, and I'm running the posts back to back. The last song was so bad that I can't wait to be done with this whole shit. I want to wash my hands of it, let's just get it over with. I can imagine myself in 1999 driving down the New Jersey Turnpike listening to this shit for the first time, looking over at the CD player and realizing that I was moving into the last song of the album and having the same feeling: I want to get this last song out of the way so that I can move on with my life and listen to some Ironman. So let's finish this and then listen to some Ironman...

My thoughts before starting? I bet U is going for the nostalgic yet heavy feel of I Can't go to Sleep from "The W", which is str8 dope. Ghostface Killah starts that shit out: "The Technique is ill son, watch how I spill one...." and it just blows up from there.  RZA takes a verse as well. So we have two incredible MCs tearing the shit out of that track. It's a slow beat, paced propery, with deep lyrics, and it draws you right in. It's powerful. In fact, RZA's verse is so good I gotta print a few of the lines:

RZA from "I Can't Go To Sleep":
I can't go to sleep, I can't shut my eyes
They shot The Father at his moms building seven times
They shot Malcolm in the chest, front of his little seeds
Jesse watched as they shot King on the balcony
Exported Marcus / Garvey cause he tried to spark us
with the knowledge of ourselves, and our forefathers
Ohh, Jacqueline you heard the rifle shots cracklin
Her husband head in her hand, you tried to put it back in

Well, this review is over. That verse is amazing and IT'S NOT EVEN ON THIS TRACK. My mind has gone to better places to protect me from what is about to come. So now that I've set the bar impossibly high, let's check out U-God's Night the City Cried...

15. "Night the City Cried"

I was right! U was going for a deeper cut, and it works*. It's not quite as impactful as that other song I mentioned earlier (you know, the one about not sleeping), but I can still see where U wanted to take this track. You should know that he didn't make it, and the failure is mostly on him. The beat is good, it has that tried and true Wu sound (including bass line) - which works, the sound effects kill it, and it flows well. So, it's not bad on the production side of things. Competent. So let's move on to U's work.
*Works in relation to the rest of this album, but in the grand scheme of music, this is a flop.

Problem time: we have too many lyrics. Way too many lyrics. U-God, a/k/a the 4-bar Killer, goes on for like 400 bars with no breaks. It just goes on and on. Typically, I'm a big fan of this type of MC endurance test. Cappadonna earned me as a fan with his extra-long verse on "Winter Warz", and Black Thought solidified his position as one of the best of the best with his long verse on "Web". Long form rap is the best. U-God's attempt this time is a failure. Why? I never got interested in what he was saying, and that's really important. If you lose me in the first few bars, chances are good that I'm not coming back, and I didn't. I tried. I wanted to like this shit. I wanted this to be U-God's Winter Warz long verse, but it wasn't. The components fit together too loosely, U is too monotone, and nothing pulls me in. It just sounds like someone rambling over a regular beat. U's lack of of engagement is unfortunate, as is this song as a whole. I don't like it. It's one of the better tracks of the album, but it's still not cutting the mustard (grandpa). 

In the end I don't think that a chorus would have helped either. Sure, a stellar producer could have done something, I'm sure, but it would have been a lot of work. I think the solution has to do with adding MCs to break things up....and that's not the way to do a solo track. U-God, this verse is just way too much.

At least it ends on a very high note: the Kung Fu sample at the end of the track is perfect. Nailed it.

Golden Arm is as good as his reputation says...with his bare hands...he stood all of us off. And if he had weapons......
Golden Arm never uses weapons...says he doesn't need 'em. He says using his bare arms is the best...and he's probably right. Nobody's beaten him yet. Just using his arms

Oh, and the lyrics are REALLY LONG and there is no way in hell that I am proofing them. You're on your own with that kid.

Track Score: 5/10
U-God’s Score: 5/10
Impact on Rep (+,-,=): None

I Can't Go To Sleep Score: 10/10

Next Week Tomorrow: Our overall review of Golden Arms Redemption (don't worry, it won't be boring or long). Then: we see what U-God was doing with Blondie on "No Exit". Yep, Blondie.

Night falling, red dawn, without warning or beef
Late night city life, in the dark Manhattan fog, creep
wit' cats and dogs become meat
All that is sacred
My body lay naked
Aching for some weeks, maybe it was a hostage taken
Some money making Jamaican
High for thuggery disgrace on did him ugly, kicked his bloody face in
Maybe he was mistaken for some great man
In a dirty place he lay in a gray basement
Shaking his scabs, crack bag, stabbed up four times, strong!
With a long rusty Jason
Dumped the smoldering corpse in a dumpster truck of garbage
In this mad man hell he laid in
Logical was hatred
Some replacement killer came through, left small traces
Engraved his chest
Left him for death
Left him on his last breath
Crawling, just to make a statement (hu hu huh)
In this matrix
Subconsciously gazing the soft shell of a man
Somehow found, amazing!
By the department of sanitation
Under city lights to the hospital
Hit him with the chest rockers, shockers
Pop him open just to keep his heart racing (Clear)

Will he make it?
Will he survive?
Terror in his eyes
Night the city cries
Payback is crime
He damn near died
Banished my wounds not mine
The city cries, drama ride
Guns out the window, slide
Before me now the city cries


Unconscious for months (beep beep)
Deep in coma shock
When you awoke, it was hope
Dry throat
Choking off tools, being fed ice cubes
Pain in you head
Change of the bed
Doped up and soaking while police on top
Doctors monitor your heart (heart beating)
Sergeant Bilko came in with some zombie ass cops
What we have here the chief embraces
In his hands he pulls out two briefcases
A picture popped up on computer
One woman, one man, sharpshooter
He asked you do you remember these two faces?
'Mind you you're blind, completely hung out to dry, victimized
Violated as if you was raped
What the hell
You escape well
Police investigated the scene
Scrape the crime scene
Down to the bone panel
While you lay frail in the enamel
Under you nails in the scuffle
You scratched some DNA samples that match
The blood on your clothes are not yours, it was his
Right before you blacked out, took that blow
In September, you can't remember
You ripped his nose ring
Right out his nose
Before he took it four times in the ribs
But somehow he lived
From the little bit of blood you grabbed
His skin type, you ran it back to forensic labs
Your finger prints popped up
This is where it begins
Your street name was Henry the Saint
Staten Island's where your crib was at
Park Hill project was your outlet
You was a target
Or organized outfit
Not by the mafia, this where it get chills
Your wife hired some hitman to kill you for your ten million dollar will
Money fund drill
Booby trapped perhaps
Left his food for the rats

Will you make it?
Will you survive?
Terror in your eyes
Night the city cries
Payback is crime
You damn near died
Bandaged by wounds not mine
The city cries, drama ride
Guns out the window slide
Before me now the city cries


One cop's weakness
Was heroic, he exposed pieces
Leaked out information
On surveillance where his wife was staying
Police tracked her down
Blood hound on the east side of town
In some skyscraper
They had video tapes of her
And some porn star fling, her and the next door neighbor
And the killer with the nose ring
But the police didn't have a case
'Cause the victim couldn't remember a thing
Not even a face
He had to clear his name
He bit off more than he could chew
His absent minded flash backs grew
And grew to hate
He had to escape
On the second day he came through
He concocted the impossible
The psych' slipped out the cuffs
Somehow killed to armed guards (bang, bang)
Grabbed their guns
Before he fled the hospital, slivers into the night
If police hunting was right
He's seeking for justice
Off point bulletin
On a black male Jamaican
Meanwhile a dark lookable crook
Is in a alleyway for retaliation
A limo pulled across the street from a gas station
He saw his wife
And the nigga that knifed him
He wanted to mash him
He was real patient
A devilish growl sensation
And the rain grew to a foul meditation (sound of rain)
Of betrayal, murder revenge
Bitch that set you up will get hers in the end
In the hall of the lobby floor
Security on post
Got gun butted three times in the head with the old dusty toast
Now he slipped past the video cameras undetected
To the 25th floor
Apartment 504
When he rang the bell (ding dong) sweet voice said
She cracked it open, her reply I thought you was dead
In a matter of seconds and inches
The door was hanging off the hinges (crash)
Her eyes met the metal
She screamed Oh my God
Out the back room the killer with the nose ring
Smashed the nigga in the head with a porcelain vase
Shots ricochet like lightning roads
Put the bimbo in arms
The drapes caught on fire, with no alarm
They crashed out the window, but they somehow held on
Dangling from a hundred stories high
Don't doubt him
Will he make it?
Continued next album

Will he make it?
Will he survive?
Terror in his eyes
Night the city cries
Payback is crime
He damn near died
Bandaged by wounds not mine
The city cries, drama ride
Guns out the window slide...

Golden Arm is as good as his reputation says
With his bare hands he stood all of us off
And if he had weapons...

Golden Arm never uses weapons
Says he doesn't need them
He says using his bare arms is the best
And he's probably right
Nobody's beaten him yet
Just using his arms he beat us all then
We had no chance
He had us cold

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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