Inspectah Deck The Movement

With No RZA on production, or appearances from any core Wu-Tang members, things don’t look good on paper at all for Inspectah Deck’s sophomore set. While the fact that The Movement isn’t a masterpiece is hardly surprising, it’s nowhere near an unmitigated disaster either. Deck, aka Rebel INS, has never been a slouch on the mic and while he didn’t have Method Man’s charisma, Raekwon’s slanguage or Ghostface’s nonsensical verve, he’s an MCs’ MC whose workmanlike approach is roundly admired. Such an approach can only come from someone who genuinely loves the culture and this consistently comes across. "They new to the art/Ain’t true to the heart/Who’s down for the cause, huh?” he observes on the searing "Vendetta.” Aiding and abetting on this mission are producers Hassan, aka Fantom of the Beats formerly of neo-Daisy Agers the UMCs, who has recently dramatically raised his stock, and the underrated Ayatollah. These two producers have obviously been inspired by the warped soul offerings of the RZA and at their best they elevate Deck’s tireless work into some truly bona fide material. But it’s not all gravy. Tiresome plodding hooks and the odd clunking beat prevent Deck from reaching greater heights and while the lack of a laundry list of featured artists is welcomed, it would have been interesting to hear more contrast to Deck’s blue collar flow. Wishful thinking aside, The Movement is a decent effort from a seasoned veteran. (Koch)