Album Review | RZA – Digital Bullet

This album was released on August 28th in the year of our lord 2001. I don’t really have any expectations for this project. I mean, I think it’ll probably be decent. I don’t expect to love it, but I’m sure there’ll be a decent amount of songs that I enjoy. I’ve never seen anyone talk about this album before, so I don’t know what the reception was like. I like RZA a lot though, so I’m expecting some solid material. It’s a pretty long album, so I’m kind of dreading having to sit through the whole thing in one sitting to be honest. I guess I don’t have to though. Whatever. I’m going into it with an open mind.

The album starts with Show U Love, which starts with kind of a questionable intro. The first 53 seconds of this track are a really pointless skit in which RZA pretends to be the host of “The Worldwide Digital Radio Show.” It feels like a huge waste of time. I really wish this intro wasn’t here honestly, but I suppose it’s not that big of a deal. I actually like the song overall. I think once the beat finally comes in it’s pretty dope. However, I can understand some listeners thinking it’s mid just because nothing about it really stands out that much. I just like the way RZA sounds when he raps. I think he rhymed pretty well here too.

Don't waste your mind on time, don't chase the blind, don't eat swine
Don't play with loaded 9's, don't quote weak rhymes
If you're approached by a brother in need, give him shine
Show him light, don't get emotional, son, don't fight

The production is pretty cool too. Again, nothing about this song is amazing or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it overall. However, this is one of those tracks that you’re almost guaranteed to dislike if you’ve never been a fan of RZA. It’s a cool track, but unremarkable. I fuck with it though. Unfortunately the following track is a lot worse. It’s called Can’t Loose. That’s not a typo by the way. It’s actually called Can’t Loose instead of Can’t Lose. I don’t know why. Anyway, I actually wouldn’t say this is a bad song overall. The rapping is actually really good to me. RZA did a great job on the first verse, and I even enjoyed the feature from Beretta 9. My issue with this song is the production. This beat is terrible. It’s definitely one of the worst beats I’ve ever heard from RZA, especially at this point in his career. Nothing about it is even remotely enjoyable to me. The percussion pattern is super simplistic, and the vocal sample is just way too repetitive. It’s not quite bad enough for me to say the song is wack overall, but this is definitely a very mediocre track to me. Things get even worse on the following song though. It’s called Glocko Pop, and it’s terrible. I think the production is decent at best, and the rapping from RZA is really fucking bad.

Bobby Digital back on the set
Watch girl's pussies get wet, wet, wet, wet, wet
Drip, drip, drip, drip, drop, drop, drop, drop
Hip-hop you just can't stop, stop, stop, stop

The hook is trash too. Thankfully Method Man is here to prevent the song from going to complete shit. His verse wasn’t bad. It was actually pretty goddamn great honestly. The verses from Masta Killa & Streetlife aren’t bad at all either. So, I like all the features. The song is still really bad to me though. RZA’s performance here was just incredibly subpar in terms of both the rapping as well as the production. The song sucks. I hate it. Thankfully, things get a lot more tolerable from this point forward. The following track is entitled Must Be Bobby, and it’s not that bad to me. I think the production is actually pretty dope to be honest. The melody of the piano keys is great to me. My issue with this song is just the motif of the woman singing “bobby.” It just sounds really lame to me. RZA’s rapping was pretty solid, but not really impressive enough to make this song worth replaying to me. The best aspect of the song is definitely the production to me, but I’m not crazy about the hook, and RZA’s rapping isn’t amazing or anything. It’s still a cool song though. I think it’s decent. Track 5 is called Brooklyn Babies, and it’s pretty goddamn good. I think the production is nice, and RZA’s rapping is pretty good too. There’s also a nice guest feature from Masta Killa on the second verse. What really makes this song so enjoyable for me, however, is the uncredited hook from The Force M.D.’s. I think they sounded great singing on this song, and that’s coming from someone who’s been kind of ambivalent towards them in the past. This song kinda reminds me of MF DOOM’s Tick, Tick because the beat keeps speeding up and slowing down in the middle of the song. It’s a pretty cool effect. I wonder why more artists don’t do stuff like that. I don’t know. I guess I can see how some people might find it kind of gimmicky. I can definitely see how it could get old if artists were doing it all the time. Maybe it’s for the best that it’s so rare. Anyway, I think the song is really dope. It’s easily one of the best songs on the album, especially up to this point on the record. I fuck with it. It’s followed by Domestic Violence, Pt. 2, which is obviously a sequel to my favorite song from RZA’s first solo album, Bobby Digital in Stereo. I don’t like it. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad song, but it’s nowhere near as enjoyable as the original track. The gimmick just isn’t as well done this time. He doesn’t really approach the subject matter the same way. He’s just spitting random misogynistic insults. He’s not arguing with a woman in the form of a song like he did on the original track. This track just feels really lazy and uncreative in comparison. Also, the beat from Tony Touch fucking sucks. There’s a guest feature from Big Gipp of all people, who I guess did a fine job. I would be lying if I said he really added anything to the song for me, but I don’t mind him that much. Honestly, the more I listen to this song the more I dislike it. I really don’t like a single aspect of the song. I think it’s wack. The following track is thankfully much more tolerable. It’s called Do U, and it features Prodigal Sunn & GZA. I don’t really think the beat is anything special, but it’s fine. The opening verse from RZA was pretty solid, and the second verse from Prodigal Sunn is actually really good.

As it was written, stroll through any block forbidden
Glock hidden, why they wanna stop precision?
Eighty-five percent of my brothers locked in prison
And we just keep dyin' for the love of good livin'

The closing verse from GZA is pretty great too. There’s really not a weak verse on this track. I honestly think this is one of the best songs on the album, especially up to this point. It’s not really something that I see myself coming back to in the future, but there’s also not a single aspect of it that I’d say I really disliked. It’s an okay track. It’s followed by another one of the best songs on the album, Fools, which features Killa Sin & Solomon Childs. This track is actually pretty goddamn good. I think dusty style of production here sounds good. The sung hook is kinda bad honestly, but it’s nowhere near wack enough to heavily tarnish the song, at least in my opinion. The first verse from RZA is pretty solid. It’s really the verse from Killa Sin that makes this song special though in my opinion. His verse is easily the best aspect of the song. He rhymed his ass off, and his flow was great. The storytelling throughout this track isn’t really that interesting to me in all honesty, but I think it’s pretty well done. The closing verse from Solomon Childs is pretty solid too. Honestly, without Killa Sin I don’t think I’d like this song that much. It’s crazy that he rapped for the least amount of time on this track and still managed to stand out the most. The song’s pretty good overall. It’s followed by another decent one called La Rhumba, which features Method Man, Killa Sin & Beretta 9. I don’t really enjoy the production from True Master that much in all honesty, and the sung hook isn’t particularly enjoyable for me either. The actual rapping is definitely the most enjoyable aspect of the song, but even that isn’t super amazing or anything. My biggest gripe with it is just the content. I personally have no interest in hearing a song about how RZA is enchanted by some woman on the dance floor.

What up, Butter Pec'? Girl, you got me shy to speak
You the same dime piece that I saw last week
On the dance floor, yo, the way you glide
Make a club of thugs do the Electric Slide
Pretty in pink, come here, let me buy you a drink
Amaretto sour orders put us both in sync
My name is Bobby and I don't usually dance that much
I play the wall, but, girl, you got that magic touch

I do think that everyone sounded pretty good here even though I didn’t give a shit about anything they had to say. Their flows were nice—especially that of Method Man. I don’t think it’s a bad song overall, but the more I listen to it the less I like it. Honestly, I’m going easy on it in this review. The beat kinda sucks. The rapping is solid though. It’s an okay track. It’s certainly better than the following track, which is entitled Black Widow, Pt. 2. This is pretty much a solo Ol’ Dirty Bastard song produced by RZA. I think the beat is kinda trash honestly. The vocal sample is just way too repetitive. It’s annoying as fuck. ODB sounds how he always sounds here, so if you think hearing him do his signature style over a somewhat shitty instrumental sounds intriguing you might wanna check the song out. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad song, but it’s far from essential as far as ODB’s material goes. If you’re an ODB super-fanatic then you might enjoy the song to some extent. As far as the lyricism goes, I think it’s kinda terrible, but, again, if you’re into the kinda stuff that ODB raps about you might dig it. It’s a mediocre track overall. Track 11 is called Shady, and it’s pretty bad to me. I actually like the production on this track, but the sung hook from Intrigue is terrible. I don’t really know who Intrigue is, but she sounds like a bad vintage Pop star who can’t really sing that well. The rapping is fine I guess. I just don’t really care for the content at all. I think the way the verse ended kinda sucks too. Again, the production is pretty much the only aspect of this song that I like, and even that isn’t that crazy. It’s a wack song to me. Thankfully the following track is much better. It’s called Break Bread, and it features Jamie Sommers, who sounds pretty good here in my opinion. Unfortunately the production leaves a lot to be desired. The shitty horns that come in after about 75 seconds sound really awkward. The highlight of the song is really just Jamie Sommer’s rapping. I don’t think she has the best flow, and the lyricism isn’t really that impressive at all, but her voice and delivery just sound really good. I appreciate the straightforward structure of this song. They’re just rapping the whole time with no hook or bridge or anything like that. The rapping isn’t that impressive, but it’s solid. I don’t know. I didn’t dislike the song. It’s not something that I’d ever listen to again in the future, but I thought it was okay. Track 13 is called Bong Bong, and it’s definitely the worst song on the album to me. Everything about this song sucks. The production is trash, and every bar ends the same exact way, which has always been a big no-no for me.

Ain't know she suck dick like that
With those big fat lips and those hips like that
She said "Bobby, why you spit like that?
And why you Shaolin Gods push whips like that?"
I said "Ho, we got chips like that
And Park Hill niggas make flips like that"
And Brass Monkey, yea we sip like that
And we might get drunk and empty clips like that

The hook is embarrassingly bad too. The song features Beretta 9 & Mad Cez, who both suck here. This song is fucking horrible honestly. I fucking hate it. The production? Ass. The rapping? Doo doo. The hook? Diarrhea. I wouldn’t quite say the song is dogshit though. It’s wack af, but not quite dogshit. The following song is thankfully much better. It’s entitled Throw Your Flag Up, and it features Crisis & Rugged Monk of the Black Knights. It’s an okay track. I think the production is tolerable, and the rapping is pretty solid too. I actually kinda liked the opening verse from Crisis. I kinda lose all interest in the song once I get to RZA’s verse for whatever reason. Monk’s verse was fine. I don’t know. It’s not a bad song to me personally, but once you realize how repetitive the beat is I guess it just makes the song feel lazy. It’s an okay track to me overall though. The next song is a solo cut called Be a Man. It’s not good. This is another one of those tracks that I wouldn’t say is quite bad, but I’d be lying if I said I actually enjoyed anything about it. The repetitive production kinda sucks, and RZA’s rapping is just okay. Nothing about it stands out really. The storytelling just didn’t interest me at all. It just sounds like he’s rambling the whole time. It’s a very mediocre song to me, but, again, I wouldn’t call it wack. Unfortunately the following song is worse. It’s called Righteous Way, and it features Junior Reid. Man, why in the fuck was RZA so enamored by Junior Reid around this time? He fucking sucks, man. His voice is awful. This performance in particular is far from is most egregious offense, but it’s still not good at all. I actually like the production on this track to some extent, but Junior Reid ruins it. The verse from RZA actually sounds pretty good to me, but it’s not enough to save the song. Also, why is this shit so fucking long? I swear I was only halfway through the track on my first listen ready for it to end. This thing should’ve been 3 minutes at most. I think it sucks. This shit is wack. Thankfully the last couple of songs are pretty solid. The penultimate track is called Build Strong, and it’s probably my favorite track in the second half of the album honestly. I think the production is actually really nice. This song probably has my favorite beat on the whole album. I even liked Tekitha’s vocals over it. Unfortunately, RZA’s rapping didn’t do it for me on this track. It’s not bad, but it’s just not good enough to make me want to return to this track in the future. Again, the production and featured vocals are good, but the rapping itself just isn’t that impressive. It’s an okay song overall though. The closing track is slightly less enjoyable, but still pretty solid. It’s called Sickness, and it’s got a surprisingly good instrumental. The instruments in the song sound like shit, but I think they come together to form something greater than the sum of its parts here. Once again, RZA’s rapping kinda just all goes in one ear and out the other. I didn’t care about anything he had to say, and his flow didn’t impress. Nothing about this track really stands out in a bad way though. I don’t think it’s bad at all. It’s just not something I’d ever have the desire to hear again in the future.

I’m gonna be honest… This album was shockingly difficult to sit through for me. It legitimately took me multiple days to get through this album. I couldn’t just sit down and listen to it without getting distracted or deciding to do something else. Do with that information what you will. The one word that I used towards the beginning of this review that kinda sums up how I feel about the record as a whole is “unremarkable.” There are a few moments that are especially rough, and some that are actually pretty good, but for the most part nothing about this album stands out in any way. The production ranges from pretty good albeit cheap-sounding to legitimately terrible. There were next to no moments on this album in which I was really impressed by a rap performance. I think the Killa Sin features stood out a lot, but aside from that I didn’t give a shit about the rapping on this album. It just did absolutely nothing for me, which is weird because up until now I would’ve said that I liked RZA as a rapper. There are 2 or 3 songs on this album that I like, but the rest is going in the recycle bin. I honestly enjoyed this album far less than I was expecting to. This shit kinda sucks. I mean, I personally wouldn’t say that it’s bad, but it’s extremely mediocre.

Favorite Song: Brooklyn babies
Least Favorite Song: Bong Bong


Grade: D+

One comment

  1. My favorite RZA album.Always amazed to see how different tastes can be. Iam still a bit surprised that you didnt really feel any of the beats. There isnt a single album from that time that sounds like this one. For better or worse, RZA mostly always had his own sound.Well as they say, one mans trash…..

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