Masta Killa, No Said Date

Keith Harris

By Keith Harris

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Masta Killa has always been the least clearly defined figure in the Wu-Tang Clan, and the only member not to release a solo album. Here the MC finally defines his laconic yet vicious persona — when excitable Wu-Tang all-stars Ghostface and Raekwon rip into "DTD," the control and understatement with which Masta Killa upstages them is eerily cold-blooded. Whether crafted by production ace the RZA or other Clan studio regulars, the tracks roll along a familiarly claustrophobic Wu bump, speckled with the usual samples of classic soul, kung-fu flick dialogue and sitcom themes (Cheers on "Last Drink," Sanford and Son on "Old Man"). Yet rather than riding the beats, Masta Killa creates the illusion that his delivery sets the rhythmic pace, and even when nudged forward by the anxious hi-hat of the blaxploitation-style title track, he doesn't feel the need to rush matters — after all, he waited a decade for this solo debut.