Wu-Massacre (Def Jam)

The Wu-Tang Clan web can get so tangled it's hard to distinguish the U-Gods from the Inspectah Decks. All you really need to know about Wu-Massacre is that the Wu's three greatest living rappers — Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon — are the top-billed stars. Deck, Cappadonna and producer RZA also show up, essentially making Wu-Massacre a follow-up to the group's 2007 album, 8 Diagrams. And it's almost as good. Rae — still blazing after last year's terrific Only Built for Cuban Linx ... Pt. II — spits the slipperiest lines, with Ghost a close second. The best tracks are the ones where the trio goes guest-free: opener "Criminology 2.5," the woozy "Miranda" and "Our Dreams," which is built around a 35-year-old Michael Jackson sample. No new ground is broken here (a Scarface sound bite is the first thing you hear on Wu-Massacre), but 17 years after their landmark debut, Wu's MVPs still slay on the mic. — Michael Gallucci


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