The Wutang Clan’s Masta Killa returns with another quality release which proves to be a worthy, if not as exceptional, release as the 2004 solo debut No Said Date. Killa’s sophomore LP, Made in Brooklyn, enjoys the blessing of being anticipated after such an excellent first effort. However, the effect is somewhat dulled because the unexpected greatness of No Said Date created a hyper-critical environment for Made in Brooklyn to enter. Yet the LP, with a few glaring missteps, still manages to separate itself from the previous LP’s legacy and forge its own identity.
The CD starts off with “Then and Now” featuring Karim Justice, Shamel Irief and Young Prince – the actual progeny of the elder Wutang Clan members – and the track from Big Phat Suites Productions sets the tone of the LP. When the older members of the Wutang decide to hang it up, the Clan is in good hands with the young masters. Next on the disc is the MF Doom produced track “E.N.Y. House”, a plodding, horn-heavy track which is a great match for the somber monotone of Masta Killa and induces an automatic head nod from the first stanza. After the Dev 1 break beat throwback track “Brooklyn King” (which is fresh in its simplicity), the elder Clansmen join Killa on “It’s What It Is” – a monstrous track from P.F. Cuttin. The busy track seemingly inspired the MCs and that much can be detected in the energy that Killa and his collaborators, Raekwon and Ghostface, bring forth in what may be the LP’s standout track.
But not is all well with the album, as a few stutter steps are present. They begin with “Older Gods Part 2”, a lazy Pete Rock production that fails to hold your attention, even with the heavy NGE representation and knowledge being stated. The attempt at a love song, while noble, takes the LP on a nosedive with the track “Let’s Get Into Something” featuring the vocals and production and vocals of Startel. And the LP’s closer, “Lovely Lady” is a well-meaning dancehall reggae tinged track that just seems completely out of place on this release. But the jewels of this album far outnumber the clunkers – of which there are very few. This is a welcome, if at times somber, return to the classic Wutang sound. Made in Brooklyn is definitely worthy of repeated listens.