While they're on the road with a video for "Back in the Game" about to drop, Wu-Tang Clan are ready to again storm the masses or, more appropriately, swarm the masses since they're also about to release the second disc by their side group, Killa Beez.
That album, The Sting, comes out March 12 and features RZA as master of the hive, directing fellow angry Wu insects Inspectah Deck, U-God, Sunz of Man, Royal Fam, Black Knights, North Star, American Cream Team and, yes, Ol' Dirty Bastard through a confrontational, creative and sometimes comical array of tracks.
The first single, "Killa Beez," is anchored by a straight, 4/4 beat and steady high-hat and composed of syncopated raps by RZA, Deck, U-God and the sounds of horn samples, analog tapes being cued and female background vocals.
"Out Think Me Now" is more edgy and insistent, blending a shuffling beat, dissonant piano and hostile lyrics: "Cats better try and outthink me now, stick me now, maybe even kill me now/ Let me dominate for two years strong you motherf---ers and never stop the storm."
On "Bluntz, Martinez, Girlz & Gunz" Black Knights imbue the proceedings with some violent West Coast gangsta rhymes grafted over staggered beats and horror-show keyboards. Then there's "Dancing With Wolves," an icy track that overlays the sound of sweeping wind atop savage wordplay, eerie organ and unsettling xylophone plinks.
Other tracks are far less ominous. The quirky "Bar Mitzvah" is a dirty little ditty with a sing-song chorus and a whimsical minor-key keyboard line and "Doe Rae Wu," is a bizarre cut that features Ol' Dirty Bastard reworking the children's song "Frere Jacques" before shifting into a fast-and-furious rap by Kinetic.
Additional guests on The Sting include Solomon Childs, Lord Superb, War Cloud and Sugar Bang Bang.
The Wu-Tang tour kicked off February 21 in Atlanta and is scheduled to wrap April 7 in Worcester, Massachusetts (see "Wu-Tang Clan 'Back In The Game,' Back On The Road" ).