I’m going to quote from fellow writer Grant Jones to open this review. “Look at how many artists there are that fall under the definition of Wu-Tang affiliates. It’s a rabbit hole the likes of Ancestry dot com would acknowledge is complex.” That’s from his write up of “107 Chambers” and it’s the only reason I’m even aware that Yukon Black exists. He’s listed as being part of two affiliated groups in Grant’s coverage: The Beggas, and Hidden Aspects. I suppose that explains why “Addiction Services” came out on Hidden Aspects Music, but most other aspects (pun intended) of this album are a mystery.

After digging deeper down the rabbit hole I found that Hidden Aspects Music was a subsidiary of ChamberMusik, the label founded by Joseph “G-Clef” Cavaseno. G-Clef is a slightly less obscure Wu-affiliated artist who we’ve written about before, but may be better known among Wu fans as “G-Clef Da Mad Komposer” (or spelling variations thereof) for his work behind the boards. If you’re looking for hidden Wu chambers, ChamberMusik is basically your one stop shop. Their catalogue includes both big names like Buddha Monk and Cappadonna, respected names like Hell Razah and Solomon Childs, and a whole lot of more besides that. The full discography is too large to list here.

Beyond that and the existence of “Addiction Services” there’s not much else to tell you about Yukon Black. He briefly rose from obscurity long enough to release one solo album in 2006 and just as quickly disappeared. His real last name may or may not be “Johnson.” That’s the end of his story. Is he alive or dead? I don’t know. If you try to find him on search engines you get a whole lot of offers for used cars. He could create an Instagram or a Twitter right this minute, but someone could just as easily create one and claim to be him (not that I’m encouraging this) given how little is known about him. You can stitch together who Yukon Black is out of any cloth you like if it’s tied to this album and his tenuous connection to the Wu-Tang Clan. Have Rae, Meth, or Ghost ever heard of him? I doubt it.

I freely admit that this sounds like a burial of Yukon Black, but he’s so far underground already I doubt I could bury him any further. Let’s accentuate the positives here — it seems like Yukon Black self-produced this entire project and at times it sounds quite good. He’s going for that Kanye West “sped up soul” trademark on “Take Me” featuring Dragonfly and combining it with a nice bassline and a lightly tapped rim shot results in a pleasing mix. He sounds like he’s doing a Killah Priest impression on “Brutal Truth” with soft pianos and an almost monotone vocal delivery, and as a Priest fan I don’t make that comparison lightly. The guitar licks and Ol’ Dirty samples of “No Moss” (what a rolling stone gathers) sound like a Wu demo mistakenly left on the cutting room floor for being a little TOO raw.

“I was born to entertain, all I had to do was pursue it” quips Black on “Moment Alone.” That statement just raises more questions though. If he was born to do it, why didn’t he pursue it beyond this album? The inconsistency of “Addiction Services” might be why. “It’s Time” is a wall of ear grating noise. Interludes like “New Mirrors” and “News” are a waste of time and CD space. If you’re already third or fourth tier Wu to begin with, do you need to give time on “The 1st Time” to other artists? You’d better go above and beyond to establish yourself first (pun again intended). I’m going to say this in the nicest way possible: this is a completely irrelevant Wu-related album. Yukon Black went out of his way to tell us he was an addict, addicted to music, but unlike his idol Rakim he didn’t stick to it. If that’s because a personal tragedy caused him to suddenly retire, or he died shortly after this release, my condolences to everyone affected. Without a follow up or acknowledgment by mainstream Wu his career was dead regardless.

Yukon Black :: Addiction Services
6Overall Score