Staten Island AKA Shaolin gave us the best Hip Hop crew to ever rock mics; it also gifted us a lesser known but equally talented legion by the name of The Budos Band; a ten piece funk instrumental ensemble with sounds straight out of a desert, bringing sun-baked beats with a drunk mariachi style. Their instrumentation swings and moves through moods like a cool breeze through your ears, but still packs a mean crunch when they get that rhythm in the pocket and those handclaps and snares are hitting. It’s been four years since RZA’s sound engineer Tekst put together this dope compilation of Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game; so if you missed it back then then don’t worry now; the results still reign Su-preme like the Sunz Of Man producer, every track packs a distinct style due to The Budos Band’s varying degrees of funk; and you already know the darts are razor-sharp throughout.
Tekst’s sense of pacing is prevalent, and with hectic bars like Ghost’s from Run never sounding rushed on Killa Bees Live, and Meth’s mellow flow following that verse flawlessly is testament to how in-sync this producer can stack raps. Every time one of the Clan’s classics gets an overhaul it’s with monumental levels of style; Butter and Cream transforms the OG piano loop into a thick mix of guitar groove and Rhodes swells that build into horn stabs for Meth’s iconic chorus. The kung-fu-flicks still manage to fly-kick their way into the arrangement, it wouldn’t be Wu without them, and the soulful samples that the Zig-Zag-Zig-Allah was diggin through back in the day are paid homage to with plenty of horn loops and funky fills; 98% of them on Ayno Tellin. Die-hard heads will notice the verses laid next to each other come from many eras, drawing from solo and group LP’s. Giving you a listening experience you wouldn’t otherwise get, and getting the Higher Concept producer props for not taking the easy road and simply layering an accapella over an instrumental. King Theodore shows this skill off immaculately, as Deck and Meth’s verses from Triumph nestle in between Ghost’s on AZ’s New York and Chef’s on Criminology like they belong there. That unmistakeable Dog Sh*t sample ( Fisher Price: My First Timberlands/your shirt look like a curtain’ introduces the tape’s closing cut 5 Deadly Sins. Raek and Starks shine together as they get loose over more shakers, bells and hand-claps than you could shake a suuuu at; and Johnny Blaze ends the tape in a puff of chronic smoke, making this mixtape essential listening for hip hop devotees and general music lovers alike.