From Stephen Bolles:
Masta Killa Gets Live On Stage with GZA & More
Masta Killa- Live On Stage
March 30th, Gold Dust
Gold Dust is proud to present Live On Stage, the new live album by original Wu-Tang member Masta Killa and the first recorded concert effort from a member of the group in over five years. Live On Stage culls together some of the best verses the versatile rapper has offered in his 17-year career, ranging from his 2004 solo debut No Said Date and classic Wu-Tang albums to memorable spots on GZA's Liquid Swords and Legend of the Liquid Sword. Featuring guest appearances by GZA and Inspectah Deck, among others, Live offers new spins on tracks long embedded in the consciousness of most hip-hop fans, including "Duel of the Iron Mic," "Guillotine" and "Mystery of Chessboxin'."
Hip-hop fans know that live performances are dicey at best, with late starts, no-shows, and 30 people on stage (for no apparent reason) commonplace. Members of the Wu-Tang, however, have always prided themselves on an unending amount of talent, energy and charisma, ensuring that every show they do leaves the crowd salivating for their next appearance. “A lot of fans have never heard Masta Killa live and never had the chance to see a Wu-tang show, so I thought it would be a good idea to release live audio for them. It would also really entice people to come out to witness the next wave of live shows we do,” Masta Killa explains. It's this heightened level of excitement that permeates all of Live On Stage, kicking off with a blistering a capella version of "Mystery of Chessboxin'" right down to the last dominant verses of "Triumph" (which sees the crowd in unison keeping pace with every word, rhyming Killa's verse for him.)
No Said Date, providing the material for close to half of Live On Stage, is one of the most critically acclaimed Wu projects in the group's history. Allmusic stressed that "[Killa's] aggressive but nimble flow is all over each of these songs." Stylus called it "a return to the Wu sound," impressed with the emcee's "energy, switches in cadence, speed and stress" and that "lyrically, [Killa] mixes up the styles of the premier Wu membership…into lines packed with thoughts and images that never sound crammed in, jam-packed or rushed." And Pitchfork called it "the most fully formed Wu solo effort," noting that "Masta is a rapper's rapper, forsaking high-flown gimmicks for Spartan flows and carefully considered rhymes."
All of these accolades are only enhanced by listening to Live On Stage. This is an essential addition to the canon and mandatory listening for any true Masta Killa fan or Wu head.
1. Da Mystery Of Chessboxin (Accapella)
2. Armored Truck
3. Silverbacks (feat. Inspectah Deck & GZA)
4. Duel Of The Iron Mic (feat. GZA)
6. Grab The Mic
7. No Said Date
8. In The Hood
9. Love Spell (feat. Startel)
11. Street Education (feat. Streetlife)
12. Whatever (feat. Streetlife & Prodigal Sunn)
14. Fam Members Only (feat. GZA)
15. Guillotine (Swordz) (feat. GZA)
16. Triumph (feat. Inspectah Deck & GZA)
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