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4 November, 2012@11:49 am

RZA’s directorial debut, The Man With The Iron Fists, may have left something to be desired, but filling that void is it’s soundtrack, which once again proves where his true strengths lie. Acting more as the executive producer of the project, RZA’s fingerprint is all over the soundtrack, not only producing four of the album’s tracks, but also supplying the film’s score, which accompanying producers Frank Dukes, BADBADNOTGOOD, and Fizzy Womack use to as source material, sampled for their own beats.

The album is set off perfectly with RZA’s Black Keys collaboration, “The Baddest Man Alive”, which finds them both trading Mohammed Ali-esque barbs, over the band’s brand of sleazy, bluesy guitar licks. This leads into the RZA helmed Kanye West collaboration, “White Dress”, which carries on the same, understated vibe as the opening track, leading a cohesive feel that stretches throughout the soundtrack as a whole.

But while these bigger stars help reel in the average listener to check out the soundtrack, the real meat of it is within the home-grown, Wu-Tang Clan posse cuts. “Black Out”, for instance, finds Fizzy Womack taking a piece of RZA’s score and turning it into a crew song that gets better with every verse, starring Ghostface and Pharoahe Monch, with an M.O.P. fueled hook. (A side note, “Black Out”, ironically is inspired by the classic track “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”, which is covered here perfectly by The Revelations and Tre Williams, yet it’s inclusion doesn’t sound redundant.) “Rivers Of Blood”, featuring the Wu-Tang Clan and Kool G. Rap makes listeners beg for another LP from the 36 Chambers, as does “Tick Tock”, which only features Raekwon from the Wu, but shows just how well RZA-by-way-of-Frank-Dukes production works with an ensemble cast (in this case, Pusha T, Danny Brown, and Joell Ortiz.) Even on “The Archer”, Killa Sin single-handly holds it down, suggesting years of unrealized solo potential are still yet to be explored.

Sprinkled with a few other cross-genre tracks like Francis Yip’s “Green Is The Mountain”, Mable John and Isaac Hayes’ “Your Good Thing Is About To End”, and the ridiculous Corrine Bailey Rae vehicle, “Chain”, these cuts help round out the soundtrack with kung fu master levels of balance. Despite a few minor weak entries from Wiz Khalifa (“I Go Hard”) and RZA himself (“Just Blowin’ In The Wind”), the cohesiveness of this soundtrack inspires multiple plays through, rarely requiring the skip button. The only real disappointment here is that some of the film score’s more agressive RZA tracks weren’t used as beats for the rhyme, but that can be corrected on the next Wu-Tang Clan LP.

While the film itself was a bit of a let down, if RZA’s future directorial endeavors produce soundtracks as good as this one – which is quite easily the best hip-hop film soundtrack since High School High, perhaps even Juice – we’ll gladly throw popcorn in our mouths in the theatre anytime he gets behind a camera.

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3 Responses to "The Man With The Iron Fists Soundtrack – @@@@ (Review)"
  • Model Citizen says:

    Nice review. I agree, that Killa Sin track is crazy! I actually didn’t mind “Just Blowin’ In the Wind” either, although it’s not as good as some of the other tracks. The only song I thought was straight up wack was the Wiz Khalifa track. The non hip hop joints are pretty dope too. Overall, this is a very solid record.

  • blaqmanta777 says:

    I agree with this review. Very solid soundtrack. Reminds me of the early 90′ soundtracks and how good they used to be.

  • wiggy says:

    actually, Maybe the soundtrack works if you are just listening to the music, but it absolutely destroys the movie. I stopped the movie halfway and did a google search for “worst soundtrack ever, man with the iron fists” THe music clashes with the content in such a jarring way you cant settle into the movie. This is why people get paid to direct etc. Having hip hop tracks flyin throughout this movie is about as spot on as hearing country, or classical or techno or whatnot.
    It can be done, but you gotta hit it head on with the super jam genius level buddha.
    Not this stuff.
    oh well.

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