The Saga Continues (Wu-Tang Clan album)

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The Saga Continues
Wu-Tang The Saga Continues.jpg
Compilation album by Wu Tang
Released October 13, 2017 (2017-10-13)
Recorded 2016–2017
Genre Hip hop
Label eOne
Producer
Wu Tang chronology
Once Upon a Time in Shaolin
(2015)Once Upon a Time in Shaolin2015
The Saga Continues
(2017)

The Saga Continues is a compilation[1] album by Wu-Tang Clan, produced by long-time producer Mathematics released on October 13, 2017 on eOne.[2][3] The album was mixed by Josh Gannet.[4] The group name was shortened to "Wu-Tang" to mark the fact that the album features all Wu-Tang Clan members except U-God due to his legal issues with the group over royalties.[5] It also features guest appearance from Streetlife, Redman, Sean Price and others. Producer Mathematics has explained, "It's a Wu-Tang record of course, [but] it can't be a complete Wu-Tang Clan album without [U-God]."[6]

The Saga Continues was promoted with two singles, "People Say" and "Lesson Learn'd", both featuring Redman. The album debuted on at number 15 on Billboard 200 chart and at number one on Independent Albums[7] having sold 19,461 copies in the first week, and including streams it was 24,613 copies.[8]

Background[edit]

After releasing A Better Tomorrow, the group continued to work on their solo albums: Ghostface Killah released his sequel to Twelve Reasons to Die and collaboration album Sour Soul with BadBadNotGood, Method Man released The Meth Lab, Inspectah Deck put out two albums with his side group Czarface. Masta Killa kept on working his fourth album entitled Loyalty Is Royalty which eventually was released on September 29, 2017.

Meanwhile, Wu-Tang Clan's most controversial album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, was sold to Martin Shkreli for $2,000,000.[9]

On August 25, 2017, without any announcement, a track called "People Say" was released stating that it was a new single off Wu-Tang Clan upcoming album.[10] A few days later, RZA announced that the new project would be entitled The Saga Continues and would be entirely "crafted by" Wu-Tang Clan DJ, Mathematics. In the later interview he commented:

There was a young brother that was our deejay. He was working construction. I hired him to draw the Wu-Tang logo. His name was Allah Mathematics. And he always was in the shadows doing the knowledge. He learned how to make beats and produce and after a while—when I became a composer I became further and further away from the sound of Wu-Tang I mean I don’t use the ASR-10 anymore. Mathematics stayed right there with it. So he was really given the task and he took the task upon himself to go and start having the members re-energize their verses to the classic Wu-Tang sound. After he got it to a certain degree, he was like, “I’m going to come over and show you where we’re at.” He showed me and I was like, “Yo, The Saga Continues"[5]

On September 22, 2017, the second single, "Lesson Learn'd", was released, and on October 4, a video for "People Say" was published on Wu-Tang Clan Vevo YouTube account.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic66/100[12]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[13]
The A.V. ClubB−[14]
Clash Music6/10[15]
Consequence of SoundC+[16]
The 4055.5/10[17]
HipHopDX3.6/5[18]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars[19]
Sputnikmusic4/5 stars[20]

Upon its release, The Saga Continues received mixed to positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 66, based on 13 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[12] AllMusic's reviewer, who gave the album 3 out of 5 stars, stated that "Mathematics fills The Saga Continues with dark, moody beats, atmospheric keyboard patches, snatches of classic soul sides, and samples from vintage kung-fu movies. If this isn't quite a brother to Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)".[13] Alex McLevy of The A.V. Club rated the album a "B−" calling it more "cobbled-together" than A Better Tomorrow, but also stated that "it turns out to be the best Wu-related effort since 2010’s thin yet enjoyable Wu-Massacre". He also praised Mathematics' production saying that he "has been intricately involved with the Wu since its inception […] and he turns out to do a better RZA than the RZA these days, stitching together more than an hour of trilling violins, head-snap drums, and mawkish hooks".[14] Will Rosebury of Clash Music, rated The Saga Continues a 6 out of 10 stating that "at its best, 'The Saga Continues' captures some of the old Wu magic but unfortunately these moments are few and far between".[15]

Gary Suarez of Consequence of Sound gave that album a "C+" and wrote that "while The Saga Continues engenders enough wistful reminiscences to satisfy the core, it provides shockingly little in the way of memorable moments".[16] Writing for The 405, Chase McMullen rated it 5.5 out of 10, pointing out that "Mathematics’ efforts are admirable, he hoes his damnedest to recreate a classic Wu vibe, but the whole presentation is gilded, the rappers themselves largely going through the motions".[17] Justin Ivy of HipHopDX rated that album 3.6 out of 5 claiming that "this compilation gives listeners enjoyable music from the Wu-Tang tree that rightfully exists outside of the official album canon".[18] Zachary Hoskins of Slant Magazine gave the album 2½ out of 5 stars and commended that "Enjoying this album will depend on your tolerance for Wu-Tang at its most generic" and rebuked the album saying that "the result is consistent but unambitious".[19]

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Mathematics and executive produced by RZA.
Information about samples based on WhoSampled.[21]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Saga Continues Intro" (featuring RZA)R. Bean, R. Diggs1:31
2."Lesson Learn'd" (featuring Inspectah Deck & Redman)Bean, J. Hunter, R. Noble3:22
3."Fast And Furious" (featuring Hue Hef & Raekwon)Bean, H. Nielsen, C. Woods3:42
4."Famous Fighters (Skit)"Bean1:20
5."If Time is Money (Fly Navigation)" (featuring Method Man)Bean, C. Smith3:53
6."Frozen" (featuring Chris Rivers, Killah Priest & Method Man)Bean, W. Reed, Smith, C. Rios, Jr.4:09
7."Berto And The Fiend" (featuring Ghostface Killah)Bean, D. Coles0:45
8."Pearl Harbor" (featuring Ghostface Killah, Method Man, RZA & Sean Price)Bean, Coles, Smith, Diggs, S. Price4:59
9."People Say" (featuring Redman & Wu-Tang Clan)Bean, Smith, Woods, Noble, Hunter, E. Turner4:24
10."Family (Skit)"Bean1:06
11."Why Why Why" (featuring RZA & Swnkah)Bean, Diggs, Swnkah4:00
12."G'd Up" (featuring Method Man, Mzee Jones & R-Mean)Bean, Smith, M. Jones, A. Hariri4:25
13."If What You Say Is True" (featuring Streetlife, Cappadonna, Masta Killa & GZA)Bean, Turner, P. Charles, G. Grice, D. Hill3:55
14."Saga (Skit)" (featuring RZA)Bean, Diggs0:58
15."Hood Go Bang!" (featuring Method Man & Redman)Bean, Smith, Noble1:32
16."My Only One" (featuring Cappadonna, Ghostface Killah, RZA, Steven Latorre)Bean, Hill, Coles, Diggs, S. Latorre4:44
17."Message"Bean2:05
18."The Saga Continues Outro" (featuring RZA)Bean, Diggs0:45

Sample credits

  • “Fast And Furious” contains samples from “I’m Afraid the Masquerade Is Over by David Porter
  • "Lesson Learn'd" contains samples from "I'm Afraid the Masquerade Is Over" by David Porter and interpolations from "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg.
  • "People Say" contains samples from "I've Got the Kind of Love" by The Diplomats and interpolations from a movie The Warriors.
  • "G'd Up" contains samples from "Baptizing Scene" by Reverend W.A. Donaldson and interpolations from "When Will My Turn Come" by The Vibrations.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[22] 29
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[23] 60
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[24] 154
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[25] 21
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[26] 19
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[27] 79
French Albums (SNEP)[28] 69
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[29] 37
New Zealand Heatseeker Albums (RMNZ)[30] 3
Scottish Albums (OCC)[31] 39
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[32] 10
UK Albums (OCC)[33] 42
US Billboard 200[34] 15
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[35] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[36] 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.power106.com/2017/10/12/wu-tang-clan-returns-with-wu-tang-the-saga-continues/
  2. ^ "Wu Tang* – The Saga Continues". Discogs. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Wu-Tang Clan Return With New Album 'The Saga Continues' – XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  4. ^ https://massappeal.com/josh-gannet-redman-wu-tang-clan-saga-continues/
  5. ^ a b "What Exactly Is This New Wu-Tang Album?". Spin. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  6. ^ Khanna, Vish (October 18, 2017). "Mathematics Explains Why Wu-Tang Dropped the "Clan" for 'The Saga Continues' and How He Appreciates Martin Shkreli". Exclaim!. 
  7. ^ "Wu-Tang Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  8. ^ "ALBUM SALES (week 42, 2017): Gucci Mane, Wu-Tang Clan, Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert & more! – Fresh: Hip-Hop & R&B". Fresh: Hip-Hop & R&B. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  9. ^ "Pharma's Bad Boy Exec Martin Shkreli Paid $2 Million for Wu-Tang Clan's New Record". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  10. ^ "Wu-Tang Clan return for new single 'People Say' featuring Redman". FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  11. ^ "Wu-Tang Clan – People Say ft. Redman". 4 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "The Saga Continues by Wu-Tang". Metacritic. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "The Saga Continues – Wu-Tang | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  14. ^ a b McLevy, Alex. "Here are 6 new albums you should know about this week". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  15. ^ a b Rosebury, Will. "Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "Album Review: Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues". Consequence of Sound. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  17. ^ a b McMullen, Chase. "Album Review: Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues". The 405. The 405. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  18. ^ a b http://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX -. "Review: Method Man Does The Heavy Lifting On "Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues"". HipHopDX. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  19. ^ a b "Wu-Tang Clan: The Saga Continues | Album Review | Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  20. ^ "Review: Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues | Sputnikmusic". www.sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  21. ^ "Wu-Tang Clan on WhoSampled". WhoSampled. WhoSampled. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  22. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  25. ^ "Wu-Tang Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  26. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201744 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  28. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 42, 2017)". Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved October 24, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  30. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. October 23, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  32. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  33. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  34. ^ "Wu Tang Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  35. ^ "Wu-Tang Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  36. ^ "Wu-Tang Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2017.