Killa Beez The Sting

With no sign of any of the Wu's top-tier soloists releasing an album in the near future, the Wu-Tang camp has issued this Killa Beez compilation. As with most compilations, it's a hit and miss affair, being a mix of the good, the bad and the cutting room floor. Core members of the Wu, except for the RZA, who has a lion's share of the production credits, make limited contributions to this disc, as the mic passing is primarily done between B-list Wu members. Having said this, one of the best moments is ODB's priceless nursery rhyme chorus on "Doe Rae Wu," but most of the spotlight falls on lesser members of the clique and the compilation ultimately suffers. Making like a young Kool G Rap, Solomon Child makes a promising appearance on "Out Think Me Now," and Lord Subperb's blubbering flow sounds like his mentor Ghostface Killah on the catchy "Spend Money." But these MCs are clearly still developing their presence on the mic and, overall, it makes for some uninteresting stretches of music. RZA alternates between the inconsistent "digital orchestra" sound he introduced with his Bobby Digital alter ego, who is all over this release, and the gritty, twisted sound that he made his name with. But somehow the impact of even the best tracks is dulled by the fact the MCs on the tracks don't have quite enough charisma to elevate them into anything memorable. Any scepticism surrounding the bonus CD is also well warranted. Despite the appearance of Isaac Hayes, this added disc, as well as the first, fail to deliver the goods. (In The Paint)