By the time Wu-Tang Forever was released in 1997 the Wu-Tang Clan were the undisputed leaders of a genre otherwise dominated by coastal beefs and southern cocaine rap. Forever reconnected its members for a double CD that showed the group at their peak following a string of standout solo albums, which I compiled into a 26-track collection back in May.
What followed in the wake of that release were a flood of side projects that incorporated countless affiliates of the group and set the stage for a second dose of solo albums from key members. But before those rolled out near the end of 1998, often overlooked projects during the two year period from 1997-98 featured countless tracks worthy of revisiting.
Missing from this compilation is tracks from Sunz of Man The Last Shall Be First (1998) and La The Darkman Heist of the Century (1998) because neither is available on Spotify. Killarmy Dirty Weaponry (1998) was produced by 4th Disciple and Mathematics but does not feature official members. All songs in this list are produced by RZA unless otherwise noted.
Let me know what you think. The third installment will be released before the end of the year.
(1) Gravediggaz – The Pick, The Sickle and The Shovel (1997)
(2) Killarmy – Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars (1997)
(3) Killah Priest – Heavy Mental (1998)
(4) Cappadonna – The Pillage (1998)
(5) Wu-Tang Killah Bees – The Swarm (1998)
Pit of Snakes – (1) – Gravediggaz w/ RZA
Wake Up – (2) – Killarmy w/ Hell Razah, Prodigal Son
If You Don’t Know – (3) – Killah Priest w/ Ol’ Dirty Bastard, prod. by True Master
MCF – (4) – Cappadonna
Execute Them – (5) – Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, Street Life
Concrete Jungle – (5) – Sunz of Man
What’s Goin’ On – (1) – Gravediggaz w/ RZA, 9th Prince, Blue Raspberry
War Face – (2) – Killarmy w/ 4th Disciple
5 Stars – (2) – Killarmy w/ Masta Killa, prod. by 4th Disciple
Cross My Heart – (3) – Killah Priest w/ Genius/GZA, Inspectah Deck, prod. by True Master
Supa Ninjaz – (4) – Cappadonna w/ Method Man, U-God, prod. by True Master
Blood on Blood War – (4) – Cappadonna
Bronx War Stories – (5) – A.I.G.
S.O.S. – (5) – Inspectah Deck, Street Life, prod. by Inspectah Deck
Dangerous Mindz – (1) – Gravediggaz w/ RZA, prod. by 4th Disciple
Dart Throwing – (4) – Cappadonna w/ Method Man, Raekwon, prod. by True Master
Pump Your Fist – (4) – Cappadonna w/ Tekitha
Cobra Clutch – (5) – Ghostface Killah
And Justice For All – (5) – RZA/Bobby Digital, Killarmy, Method Man
The Night the Earth Cried – (1) – Gravediggaz w/ RZA, prod. by 4th Disciple
Run – (4) – Cappadonna
Oh-Donna – (4) – Cappadonna w/ Ghostface Killah, prod. by Mathematics
Co-Defendant – (5) – Shyheim, Hell Razah
97 Mentality – (5) – Cappadonna, Ghostface Killlah
Twelve Jewelz – (1) – Gravediggaz w/ RZA, prod. by Darkim
Young Hearts – (4) – Cappadonna w/ Blue Raspberry
(Note: Shout out to Wilson & Alroy’s Record Review)