Masta Killa Made in Brooklyn

An underdog MC in the Wu-Tang Clan, Masta Killa offers little on his second solo record to suggest he’s ready for the spotlight. Like No Said Date, Made in Brooklyn has occasional flashes of brilliance but these can generally be attributed to stunning guest appearances. An alluring beat gives the next generation of MCs (the respective sons of Masta Killa and GZA) a chance to open the record. These kids can’t help but sound like Kriss Kross, and their presence here mostly just reminds listeners that Wu-Tang are old. Despite a cinematic soundscape from MF Doom, "E.N.Y. House” is a lazy cut. Masta Killa wakes up on "Brooklyn King,” which sees him spitting clumsy rhymes over a sparse, old school beat. "It’s What it Is” has a horn sample that resembles the Wu’s "In Da Hood” but is invigorating thanks to Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, who sound like they’ll be rapping together for decades to come. The absolute highlight here is "Iron God Chamber,” which features wicked verses from U-God, RZA and Method Man. "Let’s Get into Something” is an awful R&B track and "Lovely Lady” is a needless bit of dancehall. Elsewhere, the beats occasionally hint at J Dilla and old school Wu but the multiple producers give the record a lack of cohesion, when Masta Killa needs to focus. (Nature Sounds)