Wu Block, is a collaborative studio album by American rappers Ghostface Killah (of Wu-Tang Clan) and Sheek Louch (of D-Block). Louch announced the album in 2011, in an interview. The album was released on November 27, 2012, by E1 Music. The album features guest appearances from Raekwon, Jadakiss, Cappadonna, Method Man, Styles P, Masta Killa, GZA, Erykah Badu and Inspectah Deck.
In February 2011, Sheek Louch stated that he and Ghostface Killah were about 8 songs deep into the album. In July 2011, during an interview with DJ Semtex, Ghostface Killah said that the album would be released in February 2012, saying: "Right now, I'm doing this Wu-Block project featuring me and D-Block. "Me, Raekwon, Cappadona with Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P. We going to put that together. February, it should be in the streets, we're going to start releasing some songs." The album's first single "Union Square" was released on June 29, 2012. On August 20, 2012, it was announced that the album would be released on October 9, 2012.
On August 20, 2012, in a press release, Ghostface Killah spoke about the album, saying: "This is a unique street album combination like carnation milk with oatmeal. And a dash of cinammon. We got killing on lock. It's like assisination day - nothing but darts being thrown. It's like Batman and Robin shit. It's real street shit for the fans. They've been thirstin' for this." Sheek Louch also spoke about the album, saying: "Other people trying to sell albums together. Those are radio albums. This shit is for the street. Wu-Block mixes the rap style, lyrics, beats, imagery and ideology of the 9 member Wu-Tang clan with the flow, underground star power, hard hitting bars, street story telling and bass rattling sounds of D-Block." On October 5, 2012, the album cover was released and it was announced that the album would be released on November 13, 2012. On October 29, 2012, the track listing was released and it was announced that album would be released on November 27, 2012.
Wu Block was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 69, based on 13 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The Company Man of HipHopDX gave the album three and a half stars out of five, saying "From mic to plug, Wu Block is a vintage Rap release only lacking in invention. Ghost and Sheek have made these songs repeatedly their entire career, only this time they created them together. And that's all right. It's hard to hate on pioneers for doing what they pioneered." Nick De Molina of XXL gave the album an L, saying "Wu-Block stays true to its roots and makes no compromises in pursuit of airplay. While the tides of hip-hop may be in flux, and the release might not break any new ground, the collaborative LP is a genuine and welcomed addition to the modern hip-hop landscape--reminding listeners that the two crews can still rap circles around your favorite rapper, and that nobody can do so quite like they can." Matt Jost of RapReviews gave the album a 6.5 out of 10, saying "Wu-Block isn't a necessity, not for the Wu, not for the Block, not for hip-hop, not for the fans. And yet while it may be nothing more than a stopgap for all involved, it makes sense, not in theory but de facto. The co-headlining brings a certain focus to the project while the added features make it fully evident why these two posses, who as entities are arguably past their heyday, have remained on the scene." Dan Caffrey of Consequence of Sound gave the album three stars out of five, saying "The seasoned tone and familiar production lend Wu Block ease and listenability, but also result in empty posturing on tracks such as "Take Notice" and "Do It Like Us."
Jayson Greene of Pitchfork Media gave the album a 6.5 out of 10, saying "You don't tune into a D-Block and Ghostface Killah collaborative project expecting surprises, so here's the good news: There are absolutely none on Wu-Block. Neither Ghost nor the LOX have switched up their style in over a decade, which makes listening to Wu-Block feel a little like watching a late-period Woody Allen film; before anyone opens their mouth, you already know exactly how everyone will sound, what they will talk about, what the surroundings will look like." Jason Lymangrover of Allmusic gave the album three and a half stars, saying "Minus a few modern reference points, it's an album that's firmly rooted in the grimy, thuggish '90s, packed full of mafia don lyrics and endless references to jackin' marks, sportin' bling, and pushin' yeyo. Still, Shaolin and Yonkers camps wouldn't have it any other way. Guest appearances by Styles P, Raekwon, Jadakiss, Inspectah Deck, and Method Man are the icing on the cake (or if you prefer, the C.R.E.A.M. in the coffee)." Al Horner of NME gave the album a six out of ten, saying "Whatever happened to the good old days, wonder Wu-Tang Clansman Ghostface Killah and D-Block's Sheek Louch on their imaginatively titled collaboration. Like a rap Grindhouse, dripped in grimy nostalgia for a 1990s New York lived on ashen corners, the release turns the clock back in sound and spirit with the languorous productions of regular Ghostface collaborator The RZA replaced by hard beats and menacing samples."
Andy Gill of The Independent gave the album three stars out of five, saying "A collaborative effort between sundry Wu Tang Clansmen and D- Block inmates - notably Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch - Wu Block suffers from the absence of a few vital presences, in particular Wu Tang producer the RZA." Jesse Cataldo of Slant Magazine gave the album two and a half stars out of five, saying "While Ghostface and Louch gel nicely as partners, neither pushes the other toward any standard of greatness or progress. Though other MCs of their generation have pressed past shopworn hood narratives into new territory, these two are still dreaming of their presumptive glory days, even if they're far more successful and established now than ever. This leaves Wu-Block as a hangout project, a low-impact collaboration between two like-minded jesters, each coming out of a similar location and era, each using the other to reinforce the viability of their stalwart, backward-facing style." David Amidon of PopMatters gave the album a seven out of ten, saying "Sheek and Ghost may lead the army to battle on every track, but the rotating cast and general camaraderie makes Wu-Block feel like the no bullshit Wu-Tang sort of album segments of the fanbase have been clamoring for since 8 Diagrams. Perhaps it would have been great to hear what this album would have sounded like when it would have been "relevant", but this project seems to have refreshed everyone involved. I really wouldn't be mad if they got some slightly better production and really took this era of hip-hop to school with another one."
The album debuted at number 73 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 8,600 copies in the United States. It fell to number 152 in its second week selling 4,200 more copies.
"Crack Spot Stories" (featuring Raekwon & Jadakiss)
"Pour Tha Martini" (featuring Cappadonna)
John "Jmac" McCall
"Pull Tha Cars Out" (featuring Method Man)
Phonix Beats, The Futuristics
"Guns For Life" (featuring Styles P)
"Comin' For Ya Head" (featuring Styles P & Raekwon)
"Cocaine Central" (featuring Styles P)
"Drivin' Round" (featuring Masta Killa, GZA & Erykah Badu)
Termanology, Moose, Odie Peken
"Different Time Zones" (featuring Inspectah Deck)
"Stick Up Kids" (featuring Jadakiss)
"All In Together" (featuring Styles P & Jadakiss)
"Do It Like Us" (featuring Raekwon)
"Stella" (featuring Method Man)
"Bust Shots" (featuring Inspectah Deck)
"Bust Shots (Andrew Kelley Remix)" (featuring Inspectah Deck)
Ghostface Killah does not appear on "Drivin' Round".
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