In the four-years since the Rebel INS dropped his slept-on Uncontrolled Substance (which still went Gold with virtually no input from RZA) debut, it seems that heads have nearly forgotten about one of the Wu’s sharpest blades. On the heels on Wu’s Iron Flag, Deck has experienced further growing pains as a solo-artist, jetting from Loud to Koch and employing a new production team (Fantom & Ayatollah) for his sophomore effort The Movement.
Supremely focused on the album cover, with fist raised in front of masses of fans, Deck is attempting to do more with The Movement then merely reinvent himself. Rather, INS is taking on the all encompassing role of saving hip-hop and the streets it was birthed from. A noble task indeed, just ask Nas!! This mission is exemplified by a self-penned message in the LP’s linear notes that reads “Protest the Radio Stations playin that same bullshit allday everyday. There’s too much new shit poppin for that.” So with that said, has “the new movement officially begun,” or are we just witnessing another false prophet?
The album jumps off with the dope “City High”, where Deck spits nothing but darts over Fantom’s (A.K.A. former UMC’s member Hassan) soulful vocal samples. Deck continues to show and prove on “Vendetta”, “That Nigga” (“for NY I cover the sport like Marv Albert”) and the reggae scented “Framed” feat. Street Life and Kool G Rap, where an intricate tale of betrayal is woven and G. Rap continues his recent streak of impressive guest spots.
While INS is still an ill lyricist, which is verified on “U Wanna Be” where he continues to assail the commercialization of the culture “see everybody’s a thug/everybody sold drugs/everybody rock an ice cold mug/most killers I know are either 6 feet below/or lost in the system doin’ years in the hole/ its the changing of the guard.” Yet, this is where The Movement’s inconsistencies begin to arise, as aside from some spotty production, “That Shit”, “Get Right”, “It’s Like That”, “Stereotype” (sappy R&B chorus) and the vominous “Bumpin and Grinding” all expose Deck’s Achilles heel—WEAK HOOKS.
In closing, similar to Uncontrolled Substance, Deck’s long overdue sophomore effort will invoke the same range of emotions (you’ll either be very disappointed, or barely pleased) for hard to please Wu-Tang fans. However, aside from not reaching his vast potential, what you will find more disturbing is that Deck does not reap what he sows here. And for an artist who is proclaiming to lead, The Movement, one has to wonder why some of the joints eerily mask the same Cristal poppin, sitting on 20′s, club formula that Deck is supposed to be vehemently protesting. Savior or false prophet? Listen and figure it out for yourself…
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