Album Review | U-God – Golden Arms Redemption

This album was released on October 19th in the year of our lord 1999. I’m just gonna be honest. I don’t think I’m gonna like this album. U-God is probably my least favorite member of the Wu-Tang Clan. It’s between him and Masta Killa for sure. U-God has just never been that interesting of an MC to me. With that said, I think he has a pretty good voice for Hip Hop. This album is over an hour long though. I’m not ready to listen to an hour of U-God. Thankfully, there are more actual Wu-Tang features on this album than there were on Uncontrolled Substance, so that should hopefully help keep things slightly more interesting. I’m not expecting this album to be good, but hopefully it isn’t actually bad. It’ll probably just be okay.

I’ll write about the songs I actually like before covering the tracks that I won’t be returning to. The first song that I actually enjoyed on this record is track 4, which is called Dat’s Gangsta. I think the production from True Master is pretty solid, and U-God actually rapped pretty well on the first verse in my opinion. His flow was nice, and he rhymed well. The hook is very simplistic, but I think it works well. The second verse is cool. The third one isn’t that great, but it’s not particularly bad. The song isn’t amazing or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it to some extent, especially compared to the preceding material. It’s a good track to me. Track 6 is called Bizarre, and it’s got one of the best instrumentals on the album from B!nk. It samples a Marvin Gaye song called Far Cry. I think U-God’s flow on the verses sounds pretty decent, and the hook is solid. Nothing about the song really stands out that much. There aren’t really any standout lines. It sounds fine though. I mean, I definitely like the song. I think it’s pretty good. With that said, I would totally understand if someone told me it was mid. It’s not super memorable. I do like it though. It’s followed by a much better song entitled Rumble. This song is actually pretty goddamn dope. The production from True Master is really nice, and the first verse from U-God is solid. I like how aggressive his vocal delivery is here. With that said, he definitely had my least favorite verse on the song. I think the second verse from Leatha Face is really nice.

The diabolic witty dialect's darker than Gotham City
With the possibility to stop your walkin' ability
God forgive me, spark enemies with pistol grips
The missile tip's impact hit you so hard, you shit through your dick

His flow was pretty aggressive, which I appreciate. This song also features Inspectah Deck & Method Man, who both did a nice job. I actually think Leatha Face had the best performance on the song though, surprisingly enough. The hook is kinda lame, but aside from that I enjoy pretty much every aspect of the song. I think it’s dope. It’s followed by another good track called Pleasure or Pain. This track has one of my favorite beats on the album from Hak da Navigator. It’s a genuinely great instrumental. The rapping from U-God isn’t that great to me, but it’s tolerable. The real highlight of the song for me is the guest verse from Hell Razah, who sounds pretty great to me. He really stole the show. I kinda just wish that this was a solo Hell Razah track. His flow is so much more natural-sounding than that of U-God. It’s a good song overall though. I fuck with it. Track 10 is called Shell Shock, and it’s another one of the best songs on the album to me. The weird, tense production from Hak da Navigator is really cool to me, and the first verse from Leatha Face is actually pretty awesome. I wasn’t familiar with him before hearing this album, but all of his appearances were pretty impressive to me. Anyway, U-God definitely had my least favorite verse on this song. It wasn’t trash or anything, but it just didn’t stand out much, especially compared to the other verses. Raekwon’s verse was pretty good, and Hell Razah did a great job on the final verse. Again, this is easily one of the best songs on the album for me. I think it’s dope. Now I’ll talk about the tracks that I won’t be returning to. The album begins with Enter U-God, which is just an a cappella verse by U-God with the sound of a crowd cheering in the background. It’s not a particularly great verse, but I wouldn’t say it’s bad. I just have no reason to listen to this track ever again. I got zero enjoyment out of it. The following track is entitled Turbulence, and I actually think it’s pretty bad. The production from True Master is kind of awful to me, and I think the verses from U-God suck. He was barely rhyming at all.

No matter what's the track's right and exact
It's madness the scanner listen, system jam up
Right on your rack, Black Panthers on a mission
Right back at you, ready to cook this shit
Babylon apple, natural habitat, stone statues

His flow sucks too. The song just sounds like trash. There’s not a single aspect of this song that I find remotely enjoyable. This shit is honestly wack af to me. It’s a horrible way to start the album. I was dreading listening to the rest of the project after hearing this shit. The following song is entitled Glide, and it’s not nearly as bad. I just think it’s mediocre. The production from Inspectah Deck is solid, and the rapping from U-God is okay. I think the featured verses from Leatha Face were better. The song also features someone named Drey wit da Y, who pretty much just talks a bunch of shit toward the end of the track. The song ends with a skit that lasts over a minute. I can barely tell what’s happening in the skit to be honest. It’s a waste of my time. The track is 6 minutes and 12 seconds long, and it really doesn’t need to be. The longwinded outro from Drey wit da Y along with the pointless skit were just unnecessary. I wouldn’t say the song is bad, but it’s definitely some midpack to me. Track 5 is called Soul Dazzle, and I think it’s pretty bad. I don’t like the beat from Homicide, nor do I care for the hook. The actual verses on this track are fine. They kinda just go in one ear and out the other. There’s nothing about this song that I really enjoyed. I think it’s wack. Track 9 is called Stay in Your Lane, and it’s actually got a pretty cool RZA beat. I just don’t like this song because U-God’s flow is awkward as hell. I also think the hook sucks, and none of the lyrics stood out to me. U-God honestly just sounds really bad here. I wanted to like this song because I think the production is cool, but U-God completely ruined it for me. I think the song’s wack. Track 11 is called Lay Down, and I think it’s pretty mediocre. I don’t care for the production from John the Baptist, and the hook sucks. I actually think U-God’s flow sounds better on this song than it does on most of the other tracks, but it’s still not particularly great. It’s just less noticeably awkward. I wouldn’t say the song is bad, but I didn’t really enjoy any aspect of it. Again, it’s mediocre to me. It’s followed by Hungry, which has a pretty clunky beat from O Ward. The melodic hook from U-God sounds horrible, and the actual verse isn’t particularly good either. This is another one of the wackest songs on the album to me. I don’t enjoy a single aspect of this track. I think it’s terrible. It’s followed by Turbo Charge, which is a more tolerable track to me. I don’t really care for RZA‘s production here, but this track has one of U-God’s most tolerable flows. I think the melodic hook sounds pretty bad to be honest. I don’t think the song is bad overall, but it has a lot of problems. I think it’s mediocre. The penultimate song is called Knockin’ at Your Door, and I think it’s okay. I just don’t really care for the production from John the Baptist. I think the rapping is pretty good though. U-God sounded relatively good here. Leatha Face unsurprisingly had the best verse, but U-God did his thing. The hook is nothing special, but it serves its purpose well enough. I would probably like this song if the production was better. It’s not a bad track though. I think it’s decent. The closing track is called Night the City Cried, and it’s got some of the most interesting lyricism on the album. Unfortunately, the production from Homicide is incredibly generic, and U-God’s flow sounds awkward as hell. This song isn’t very entertaining to me sonically at all. I think it’s mediocre overall.

Honestly, this album is slightly worse than I was expecting it to be. I still wouldn’t say that it’s a bad record, but it’s just not very good at all. U-God just isn’t that good of an MC. He was outperformed by pretty much every single guest feature. Most of the time his flow is awkward as hell, and he has nothing interesting to say. Sometimes he doesn’t even rhyme. There are a few good moments on this album though. I’m glad I listened to it even if I didn’t enjoy it as a whole. I got five enjoyable tracks out of this record. This is really just for hardcore Wu-Tang fans though. There’s zero reason to check this out unless you’re a Wu fanatic. The production ranges from pretty cool to terrible, with most of the beats landing somewhere in the middle. I think more Wu-Tang features definitely could’ve elevated this project more, but as a whole this thing is mediocre to me.

Favorite SOng: Shell Shock
Least Favorite Song: Turbulence


Grade: D+

One comment

  1. Ognik focus, is one of the worst critics ever. Before you even start reviewing the album you had already started attacking U God. We all have our favourite wu tang moments. I had been following wu tang since the enter the 36 chambers when I bought GZA liquid swords album then Ghosts Iron Man. I want disappointed. Wu tang forever was a true wu banger, with the production of Rza and true Master having evolved. Inspector Deck had made many cameo appearances. But well after buying the album I was truly disappointed. The moral of the story is take us through the album. Then summarize afterwards.

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