Album Review | RZA – Bobby Digital in Stereo

This album was released on November 24th in 1998. RZA’s very first project as Prince Rakeem was obviously not good, but I was actually kinda looking forward to hearing this project. I remember my older brother telling me that this album had some really good stuff on it, and I thought the idea of the Bobby Digital character seemed really cool. I also have to take a moment to praise the cover art. I think blaxploitation entertainment is kinda fucked up personally, but it’s got a really distinctive flair to it. I think the posters for a lot of those films are really cool. I was keeping my expectations in check before listening to the album, but I knew that’d I’d enjoy a decent portion of the material on it. Every track is self produced, except where noted.

1. Intro

I’m pretty annoyed that this track is separated from the following song because it really didn’t need to be. Actually, I guess it’s really not that big of a deal. It’s more of a minor nitpick than a real issue. Anyway, this isn’t really an actual song. It’s just someone speaking over a really cool instrumental. The speech isn’t in English, and I wasn’t interested enough to look up what was being said. I really liked the beat though. It’s thankfully a reoccurring motif on this album, and we eventually get to hear someone rap over it, which is cool.

2. B.O.B.B.Y.

This song has an extremely simplistic hook, which is frankly kinda lame. I guess it’s not too bad. It’s certainly not good though. It’s literally just him saying “the B, the O, the B, the B, the Y, the D, the I, the G…, etc.” It’s not really entertaining at all. I thought RZA sounded pretty good on the first verse thankfully. The beat is pretty cool too. The second verse wasn’t as enjoyable to me as the first one, but it was decent I guess. Honestly, my level of enjoyment really decreased as the song progressed. I didn’t really care for the third verse. I do like the track to a certain extent though. It’s pretty good to me. I just think this album could’ve started off a little better.

3. Unspoken Word

This is one of the few tracks I’d already heard before checking out this album. The production is kinda cool to me, but it gets old really quickly because it’s repetitive as fuck. The first verse from RZA was actually pretty dope to me. His aggressive delivery makes him sound like a bulldog. I really liked the confrontational bars on the second verse.

Funeral date will be engraved on the wall in roman numerals
The Looney Tune niggas I be rollin with be screwin’ you
Quick to make a nigga shit in his pants with one glance
Laid back like a fat Huffy bike on the kickstands

It’s kinda odd to me that he described the bike as “fat,” but it doesn’t matter I guess. I really feel like M.O.P. would’ve sounded perfect as a feature on this track. The song is dope. At one point you can hear a woman yelling at RZA—or Bobby Digital I guess—and it really reminded me of the way Kendrick Lamar’s For Free? interlude ended. I wonder if there was some influence there or if it’s just a coincidence. Anyway, this song feels like it lasts a bit longer than it needed to, but I still liked it a lot. It’s dope.

4. Slow-Grind African

Pretty much everything I said about the intro to this album applies to this track. The beat is different, and it’s pretty cool. This time a woman is speaking in what I assume is Swahili. I don’t know for sure though. I’m never gonna listen to this song again. I wasn’t really entertained by any of these “Slow-Grind” interludes. They felt like a waste of time to be honest.

5. Airwaves produced by King Tech

This song is just a solo RZA version of Sway & King Tech’s The Anthem. I like the beat, and I think the inclusion of the “Wu-Tang” chant was cool, but I’d really rather just listen to The Anthem. Honestly, I always thought RZA had the weakest verse. It’s not bad though. I think his performance was solid. It’s just not entertaining enough to make me wanna hear this version again. It’s a solid track, but I’m not gonna be listening to it again.

6. Love Jones featuring Angel Cake produced by King Tech

When I originally read the title of this track, I thought I wasn’t gonna like this song. I actually ended up thinking it was pretty good though. I’m not a fan of the flat vocals from Angel Cake on the hook, but the production is actually pretty great. I liked the rapping from RZA on this track too; I thought the verses were all well written. I was surprised by how much I ended up liking this track, so kudos to RZA for pulling off a love song. The production is definitely my favorite aspect of the song, but even the hook started to grow on me a little by the time the song was over the first time I heard it. It’s a good song.

7. N.Y.C. Everything featuring Method Man

This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album. The beat is actually really fucking awesome. It’s one of the weirdest, most off-kilter beats I’ve ever heard from RZA, especially up to this point in his career. His actual verse was pretty cool, but some of the bars weren’t that great; I didn’t really care for the more sexual lyrics. Method Man killed that second verse though. He did a great job. Thank god this wasn’t a solo track. I think it would’ve been solid, but Method Man really helped push this song to the next level. It’s dope af.

8. Mantis featuring Masta Killa & Tekitha

This is another good song. I think the beat is pretty dope. The first verse from RZA started off kinda cool, but it went downhill towards the end. It’s decent overall though. The rapped hook from Tekitha is okay I guess. Masta Killa is really what makes this song good to me. He easily had the best performance. I wouldn’t say he really slaughtered his verse or anything, but it really stood out alongside RZA. Nothing about this song really blew me away or impressed me that much to be honest, but I did enjoy it to some extent. The beat is dope, and I liked the final verse from Masta Killa. It’s a good track.

9. Slow-Grind French

Once again, this is another interlude in which someone speaks a foreign language—French in this case—over a RZA instrumental. I’m never gonna listen to this again.

10. Holocaust (Silkworm) featuring Warcloud, Doc Doom, Ghostface Killah & Ms. Roxy

This is another one of the few tracks I’d already heard before listening to the full album. I always thought Ms. Roxy’s vocals sounded flat as hell. Not just on this song, but in general. They’re not really prominent enough on this track for me to have a huge issue with them though. Anyway, Warcloud—formerly known as Holocaust—actually slaughtered that very first verse. That shit was great. The production on this song is very low-key, but it works. RZA’s verse was solid. I actually thought Doc Doom’s verse was fantastic too. Not to the same extent as Warcloud’s verse, but it was still really great. Ghostface’s verse was really nice too, but I think the non-Wu-Tang members stood out the most. RZA definitely had the weakest verse to me, but he was still solid. The song is dope af.

11. Terrorist featuring Dom Pachino, Doc Doom & Killa Sin

This song doesn’t feature any rapping at all from RZA; he just handled the production. The beat itself isn’t really bad at all, but it’s not that impressive to me either. It’s fine I guess. It’s solid. I thought the first verse from Dom Pachino was kinda cool, but Doc Doom didn’t impress me on this track nearly has much as he did on the previous song, which was disappointing. Killa Sin was alright, but he didn’t do enough to make me wanna return to this song. I was also annoyed that Warcloud got cockblocked at the end of this song. Just as the song is about to end you can hear him start to spit a verse, but it gets cut off after like one line. Overall, the song just isn’t very entertaining to me. It’s decent enough. I certainly wouldn’t call it bad. It’s just not something that I’d ever have the desire to listen to again. It’s just okay to me.

12. Bobby Did It Again (Spanish Fly) featuring Islord, Timbo King, Ghostface Killah, Jamie Sommers & Ndira

The beat on this track is really dope, and I really enjoyed the first verse from Islord. I’m pretty sure this was my first time ever hearing a verse from him; he sounds like Westside Gunn, except actually good. The second verse from Timbo King was pretty good. RZA’s verse was just okay to me. The hook from Ndira was weird as fuck to me, but I kinda liked it. Ghostface’s verse was great, and Jamie Sommers came in at the end and killed it. This is a dope song. It’s not one of my favorites on the album, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

13. Handwriting on the Wall featuring Ras Kass

This is one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. It’s the length of an interlude, but it’s better than nearly every other track on the project. It’s performed over the instrumental from the intro of this album, which I was happy about because it’s a great beat. Ras Kass fucking killed the first verse. I kinda wish it was just a solo track from him because he murdered that shit, but RZA did his thing on the outro. The song is dope af.

14. Kiss of a Black Widow featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard produced by Inspectah Deck

I really loved the production from INS on this track, and I thought the first verse from RZA was solid. I just didn’t care for the sexual content of the bars. ODB really sounded great on that second verse to me though. The final verse from RZA had a line about ejaculating blood, which made my penis cringe. That’s really horrid imagery. I ended up enjoying the song overall, but it’s far from my favorite. It’s a cool track though. I like it.

15. Slow-Grind Italian

I feel like I don’t have to write anything for this track because if you’ve been paying attention you already know what this is just based on the title. I’m never listening to this again.

16. My Lovin’ Is Digi featuring Ms. Roxy & The Force M.D.s

The sung intro from the Force M.D.s on this song actually sounded to me like something I’d hear in a blaxploitation film. It’s hilarious to be honest. I just wish it didn’t last so long. Ms. Roxy actually sounded surprisingly good on the hook of this song, and the production is great to me. The first verse from RZA was solid enough I guess, but I really lost all interest in what he was saying during the second verse. This is mainly just because the sexual content isn’t very appealing to me. I enjoyed the song overall though. It’s pretty good.

17. Domestic Violence featuring Tiffany, Jamie Sommers & Ms. Roxy

This is easily my favorite song on the album. This shit is really fucking funny, man. The intro from Tiffany is hilariously long.

You ain’t shit
Your daddy ain’t shit
Your brother ain’t shit
Your money ain’t shit
Your lab ain’t shit
Your rings ain’t shit
Your gear ain’t shit
Your jewels ain’t shit

This verse goes on for like a whole fucking minute. It’s kinda funny at first, and then it gets old, and then it gets funnier than it was to begin with. On my first listen I was questioning whether or not the entire song would be her telling RZA that he isn’t shit. It just gets so much better once the RZA actually starts rapping though. His delivery is so fucking perfect. He sounds like he’s literally just arguing really angrily with his girlfriend, and it just so happens to rhyme. This is the one song where the blaxploitation theme really shines through. It was present before this point, but not to this extent. This song is hilarious. I’m glad the concept of this track wasn’t just for it to be a one sided abusive relationship. They’re both just berating each other mercilessly. The over the top argument on the outro literally had me laughing out loud, which is rare for a song. You heard it here first, folks.

“Domestic Violence is hilarious.” — OG Nick Marsh, 2019.

18. Project Talk featuring Kinetic 9

This was another really good track. Once again, RZA’s delivery sounds really angry and aggressive. I wish he was rapping like this throughout the whole project. The beat is really dope, and I like the way RZA & Kinetic 9 were trading bars on this song. I could’ve done without the F bomb, but other than that I really enjoyed this song quite a bit. This one is dope.

19. Lab Drunk

This is actually another one of the best songs on the album to me. The beat is pretty nice, and the first verse from RZA is actually awesome. He fucking killed that second verse though. I love the violent lyricism.

You can’t compare to one atom of my hair
While my verbal shot be drillin’ through the cave of your ear
Ricochet to the ceiling of the cerebral hemisphere
Deflect off your medulla, exit out to the rear

I don’t know why RZA started rapping so much better towards the end of this album, but I guess it’s better late than never. This is probably my second favorite song on the album to be honest. I think it’s dope af.

20. Fuck What You Think featuring Islord & 9th Prince

This is another dope song. The beat is really great, and the first verse from RZA is good too. I have to admit that his hook was kinda weird to me though. It’s not… I just don’t really… It’s so random. I don’t get it…

It’s about what you know, so fuck what you think
Twenty-one and over to drink
Nineteen and over to fuck
Sixteen and over to pack
A twelve year old kid got bucked

The second verse from Islord was a little underwhelming to me, but 9th Prince thankfully came through right behind him with a dope performance. It’s obviously not one of my favorites, but I definitely enjoyed it to some extent.

21. Daily Routine featuring Kinetic 9

I unfortunately did not end up enjoying this track, which is pretty sad. The production is really lame. It’s starts off shitty, but I guess it gets slightly better as the song progresses. The hook sucks, and none of the verses really did anything for me at all. The song is just really boring honestly. It’s a bizarrely underwhelming end to the album. :/

This album is pretty good. I enjoyed it overall. It’s far from perfect, and obviously nowhere near the quality of some of the best solo Wu-Tang albums. I think the production ranges from kinda shitty to very good, with a lot of the beats just being mid. The rapping from RZA is really the biggest letdown for me. I’ve always really liked his rapping, but I guess he’s better on features because I was losing interest whenever he was on the mic. There are a few exceptions obviously, but a lot of his performances here just did not grab my attention at all. Also, this thing is long as fuck. It did not need to be over an hour in length. He should’ve cut out a lot of these unnecessary interludes, and maybe pared the tracklist in half. There’s not a single song on this project that I think is really bad, but a lot of it is just very dull, middling stuff. I did enjoy it overall though. It’s definitely worth listening to if you’re a Wu-Tang fan. I’m satisfied.

Favorite Song: Domestic Violence
Least Favorite Song: Airwaves


Grade: B

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