By Andie Lowenstein
On Tuesday, Lamont Jody Hawkins aka U-God became the latest Wu-Tang member to try to revive some of the standards set by the legendary group, releasing his fourth solo album The Keynote Speaker, which includes features from Method Man, Inspectah Deck, GZA, RZA and more. Along with that came his thoughts on some of the biggest rap releases of the year, so far.
In an interview with Huffpost Entertainment, U-God described the album as “his becoming” – one that has been a long time coming. “I’m coming to the podium to tell my story,” he said. “That’s the meaning of the record – I’m talking like Obama and saying my speech, like someone giving a piece of his mind and his element.”
That “piece of his mind” included thoughts on Yeezus, Magna Carta Holy Grail and Born Sinner.
Here’s what he had to say about:
Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail: “Jay’s in a creative zone, and he had to adjust to the digital age. He had to make that transition like any other artist. I look at this as a transitional album for him. The man is always going to have lyrics and be rhyming. That’s just what he do. It’s all good, man.”
Kanye West’s Yeezus: “Tell him there’s no sound in space. He’s got to come back on planet Earth. Space is a vacuum. There’s no sound in space. Earth is where it’s at. Come back down baby, come back.”
J.Cole’s Born Sinner: Is “proof” that he is at the same talent level as Jay-Z and Nas. “See, my whole thing is, with respect, dude’s got to earn that,” U-God said. “Don’t just talk about it. I don’t like it when dude’s just talking in the air, it’s like taking a gun out and shooting in the air. Naw, man. Just keep coming — just keep making music until people bow down like that.”
2013 marks the twentieth anniversary of The Wu-Tang Clan. In addition to his own solo performances, U-God will be appearing with the Wu-Tang Clan on concert stages around the World including music festivals.
“Keynote Speaker” is scheduled to be released on July 23.