More Friends Than Family for Wu-Tang

For over a decade, the Wu-Tang Clan has produced myriad classic albums. Whether individually or as a group, the Wu-Tang Clan has left an unforgettable impact on the hip-hop soundscape.However, with nine central group members and countless affiliates, a unified effort is very hard to pull off.Resident Wu-Tang-producer Mathematics brings a collection of remixes and leftovers from thelast decade and a half for “Mathematics Presents: Wu-Tang Clan & Friends Unreleased.”While godfather producer RZA has continually experimented with new projects, Mathematics continues to solidify the definitive “Wu style” of production.Mathematics stays true to his roots with a cadre of beats full of stripped down percussion, kungfuand blaxploitation film samples and a sonic aura reminiscent of days spent scraping together beats in dank basements that will leave die-hard fans demanding more.The two components to a solid Wu-Tang Clan album have always been the pervasive instrumental atmosphere and multi-layered, abstract wordplay on behalf of the MCs.”Unreleased” is unstoppable on the production front, but its reliance on Wu-affiliated MCs instead of their core members often fails to do Mathematics’ beats justice.Check Raekwon’s impeccable storytelling over minimalist keys on “Treez” as well as “Rap Burglars,” which could have easily made it onto the 1993 breakout classic “Return to the 36 Chambers.” Overall, “Unreleased” excellently showcases Mathematics’ abilities as a beat smith and builds anticipation for more Wu- Tang efforts to come.