Inspectah Deck - Manifesto

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Known for show-stealing flawless rhyme schemes, head-turning similes and metaphors, and a snug delivery. On his latest album The Manifesto, the 9th Chamber keeps up his consistency with dope rhymes

While Wu-Tang Clan members like Ghostface Killah, Ol' Dirty Bastard and Method Man were watched for their personalities and marketability as much as they were for their lyrics, Inspectah Deck’s role was crystal clear: bars, no gimmicks. His storied verses on “Triumph,” “C.R.E.A.M.” and "Above The Clouds" were consistently the show-stealing flawless rhyme schemes, head-turning similes and metaphors, and a snug delivery. On his latest album The Manifesto, the 9th Chamber keeps up his consistency with dope rhymes—but unfortunately, not much else.


As should be expected, Inspectah Deck’s rhymes are sharp and precise. The Alchemist-laced “The Champion” and alongside Termanology and Planet Asia on “Serious Rappin’” highlight braggadocios, punchline-laden bars, while he and Cormega trade lyrics about street perseverance on “Born Survivor.” This is the routine for most of the album. While the themes and concepts of the album aren’t particularly moving, they’re still capable showcases for Deck’s skills, and would work even better if the fat from a 20-track release was trimmed.

Run-of-the-mill songs that work to Deck’s strengths are tolerable, but the lowest points of The Manifesto appear when they stick to the bland rigidness of song formulas outside of his repertoire. “The Game” has the potential to be one of the most disappointing songs of the year, wasting the nostalgic Wu-Tang combo of Inspectah Deck and Raekwon with insipid synths and a quasi-AutoTuned hook. The handclaps and baritone pianos of “We Get Down” sound like they’re straight from a G-Unit beat tape, and “Luv Letter” is ruined with a forgettable chorus and pedestrian lines like, “You were just concerned about the bitches in my face, I was just concerned about the riches in my face.”

While the beats on The Manifesto aren’t all bad, they are inconsistent and, at worst, unmemorable. MoSS serves a pair of heaters with the previously mentioned “Born Survivor” and the woodwind-fueled “5 Star G,” and Lee Bannon’s gritty baseline for “P.S.A.” recreates the guttural sound that nostalgic Wu-Tang heads should love. But as far as standout beats go, that’s where it ends—three or four selections out of 20. The rest are routine dark beats that only do their job of being something for Deck to rap over. It makes some sense considering that Deck’s song topics aren’t elaborate or game-changing themselves, but it’s disappointing considering the Wu’s storied history with producers like RZA and Allah Mathematics.

The Manifesto shows that Inspectah Deck still has the rhymes that have built his reputation as one of the most reliable members of the Wu. Here’s hoping that next time, he can put together the entire package.

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66 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Not Deck's best obviously but still solid. Czarface however is a true hip hop classic.

  • Soulful Beats

    Joint is pretty tight imo, but not messing with his collabo's on other Wu projects.

  • Drake Dilla

    Sounds like a snack...just something he threw over some novice producers beats...what Id like to see mark my words....A album to surpass Uncontrolled Substance...I heard that album had a lot of beats that were lost due to a fire in Rza's studio....Well how about a album with 9th Wonder???? Sorta like how Buckshot hooked up with 9th? U even got Dj Muggs, Grab some old Rza beats that didnt make it on Forever or other projects...Theres no excuse, theres still light and fire here, he just need to get hungry and stay focused...we all got to chip in and bring hip hop back to its original form...keep it raw deck and bring that shaolin style.....nuff with all this bogusness, we dont need another mos def true magic...cmon guys, u want to practice cool, but dont drop a album, if u want to do a album take some time off before it drops...peace....RIP to Guru by the way, was bumpin Above The Clowds when i got off work....Peace IM Outs....

    • dirtysouthernhotshot

      Co-sign drake dilla on this. What Deck needs is to grab some old RZA beats, hook up with Muggs, 9th Wonder, Allah Mathematics and Bronze Nazareth and keep his production tight. Maybe he should drop a few more mixtapes before album dropping just to prep himself. His rhymes are hard, they're Wu to the core. RIP Guru.

  • mo-tang

    What. Real Wu heads stand up. Thats classic deck all day. bzzzzzzzzzzz (killa bee) peace.

  • Frank Da Tank

    I love the Wu but this didn't do it for me. Deck is a monster on the mic but his beat selection is......not good. Go get RZA, True Master, Bronze Nazarath and Math and make the music that us real Wu heads will appreaciate.

  • z77

    havent listened to this album so im not going to comment on it...the dumbasses on here who say that Deck isnt shit were probably raised on G-Unit, Lil Wayne and Soulja Boy...Deck is one of the top lyricists of the Clan and has spit fire on Wu tracks and on cameos on other Wu members albums. hip hop is in a terrible state nowadays compared to the golden age of the 90s. weak link, my ass... whoever posted the Masta Killa line about "the dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum"...that shit is truer nowadays more than ever...Soulja boy sold over 1 million copies on 2 albums! ridiculous...

    • Axel Fiedler

      To the guy above me: Did you ever listened to Liquid Swords? You just proved that you don't know a thing about hip-hop.

    • Axel Fiedler

      To the guy above me: WTF??? Did you ever listened to Liquid Swords? You just proved that you don't know a thing about hip-hop

    • Axel Fiedler

      To the guy above me: WTF??? Did you ever listened to Liquid Swords? You just proved that you don't know a thing about hip-hop…

    • YOU GUYS DONT KNOW WHAT HIP-HOP IS

      deck is the rawest in the clan? I think deck is a benchwarmer in all honesty and always has been...the stars in the clan who spit that fire are raekwon, gza and rza can create fire at times...ghost and meth have more commercial appeal, masta killa and u-god can surprise some people with their rhymes at times...deck, cappadonna and the other thousands of wu affiliates plainly fuckin suck, they have boring rhymes, go off too hard and remind me of depressing residents in local shit ass ghettos...I would say keep an ear open for gza, rza, rae mainly and tread lightly on the others.

  • curbstompa

    quietly the best rapper in Wu with Meth nipping at his heels. slept on.

  • buckeyewu

    I liked it even better the 2nd time I listened to it.

    • THIS ALBUM IS A FRISBEE

      THIS ALBUM WAS VERY UNLISTENABLE, EVEN THE TRACKS WITH THE OK BEATS ARE HARD TO GET BY BECAUSE DECK IS JUST FUCKIN WACK

  • Bauce

    Damn Deck. Better than most on the Wu but could never make a good solo album on par with classics by rae, meth, GZA etc...

  • AMBISHN

    First off it's ALL about the beats and lyrical talent. If you don't care about borning beats then you should go by yourself a spoken word or accapella mix..... foreals. Plus the lyrics now days need to make sense... some what. Not go off on different tangents and talk about fairy tales and shit. I mean it's the same shit on every track..... listen. I am a old WU fan but some times that WU symbol aint what it was. These cats are getting old and so is the music..... so they just pushing albums out to make scratch for not holding down a real job. CASE in POINT! They don't care about proving shit to no one.... they no they got copyrights, investments...... they aint hungry and passionate bout it no more. Wake up! and that's REAL TALK!

  • Stuey

    really suprise a label would put this out it's almost unlistenable in my opinion

  • m.a.d.

    in my opinion this album is better than "uncontrolled substance" insprctah's debut! i loved the production, the lyricism, the features. to me this album was almost flawless to be honest!

  • Zu

    does anybody know where to get this cd, bet buy, the mall, nobody got it, if im download it i might as well get it for free

  • buckeyewu

    3.5./5. After reading this page, I expected the album to be straight garbage. It really isn't that bad. Some of the beats are real nice. His lyrics are always on point. I can't say it's a great release but I'm about to listen to it again, meaning that it's not too bad.

  • FINAL GRADE FOR THIS ALBUM

    THE FINAL GRADE FOR THIS IS A 1.8 OUT OF 5. REASON: THE ALBUMS LYRICS ARE WEAK AND LACK IMAGINATION, THE BEATS ARE VERY FORGETTABLE AS MAYBE ONLY 2-3 BEATS ALONG WITH SOME DECENT YET RANDOM LINES GIVE THIS ALBUM THE 1.8. THROUGH HISTORY, DECK WAS NEVER A STRONG MC...HE WAS ALWAYS IN THE SHADOWS OF RZA, GZA AND RAEKWON AND OTHER RELEVANT MEMBERS OF THE WU, SO HIS MATERIAL WAS JUST LIKE WHAT A BENCHWARMER IS TO A BASKETBALL TEAM. HE WAS NEVER A LEADER, HIS CONFIDENCE DOESN'T SPARKLE AND HIS RHYMES LOSE STEAM AFTER 2-3 LISTENS. HE NEEDS TO GET SOME INSPIRATION FROM SOMEONE LIKE GZA, PLANET ASIA, SKYZOO, PHAROAHE MONCH OR SOMEONE WHO HAS A MORE COLORFUL, LIVER STYLE. DECK IS BASIC AND HIS WORDS GET A LITTLE TO COMPLEX TO CARE TO FIGURE OUT. SPEAKING IN RIDDLES IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE VERY, VERY VAGUE YET DULL. IT IS AT LEAST SUPPOSED TO BE MORE UPBEAT AND MORE STRONGER WORDS TO GRAB A LISTENERS ATTENTION. THIS ALBUM DOES SUCK UNFORTUNATLEY AND DECK SHOULD JUST STICK TO FEATURES AND BE A HYPE MAN...HE IS WHAT MEMPHIS BLEEK IS TO JAY-Z TO THE REST OF THE WU-TANG...JUST THERE AND BLAH.

  • ingenting

    Anyone who says Deck doesn't kill it is full of shit. Dude's lyrics are nuts. I agree the beats here are mediocre for the most part and the album could have been better. You can't front on the lyrics though. Yo, aiyyo my rap style swing like Willie Mays My eyes Purple Haze, my solar razor burn through shades My grenades raid the airwaves, catch this rap page I glide like, hovercrafts on the Everglades Born master, with the faster blade, track slasher Manufacture poems to microphones, bones fracture Limited edition composition spark friction non-fiction, the calm bomb keep your arm distant Zero tolerance, dominant intelligence Wu original, true colors step from the melanin The most high, most try, to get close by and overthrow I, but choke, with they hopes up high I circulate the tri-state and vibrate beyond the Richter Flies sense to flock when they spot this live nigga The crowd seducer black your third eye before I lose ya Verbal high I leave stars in the eyes of Medusa Top ten, parley like Cochran, and Sharpton narrow margin, of your odds to dodge the marksman Murder rap, kill you soft like Roberta Flack Words attack like a British Bulldog, observe the stacks C'mon, guys. Let's see ANYBODY commenting here front on that verse.

    • curbstompa

      if you're gonna post a verse, at least post a verse from the album we're discussing bro. not quite sure what track it is, but it's definitely off Wu Forever... that came out in '97... almost irrelevant to the topic at hand. but i agree, Deck's lyrical skills are top notch. if anybody disagrees they need to take their head out of their ass... no joke.

    • theoriginalgangsta ICE T

      those lyrics arent from this album u idiot noone is saying deck is a bad rapper its just that this is a bad album

    • HEY GEEKY GUY

      DUDE, THOSE TYPE OF LYRICS ARE ALRIGHT OR WHATEVER, GOOD TO DRIVE AROUND AND GET YOUR BLOOD HYPED OVER, I GET IT...YOU ALSO SOUND LIKE YOU WANT TO MARRY INSPECTAH DECK BUDDY! ALSO, THIS GUY IS NOT EVEN RHYMING LIKE THAT ON THIS ALBUM, HE IS RHYMING LIKE HOW MEMPHIS BLEEK WOULD ON ANY ALBUM HE SHIPPED OUT THAT BECAME AN INSTANT FRISBEE ONCE I POPPED IT IN...DECK SUCKS, PERIOD.

  • FUCK YOUR MICROPHONE

    The day any of you come close to the throw away thoughts of rebel INS is the day you get knocked the fuck out for impersonatin someone betta than u shut the fuck up you bitches

  • theoriginalgangsta ICE T

    boring boring beats make the whole album a chore to listen to deck just stick to features on other wu tang albums

  • jmoneytheyoungdon

    as masta killa once said on triumph: "the dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum" realize the verbal power of the rebel INS and stop hatin on deck, ya boy got talent on the mic

  • bullbulusu

    Deck is easily in my top 3 of the wu, He puts some of the best verses ever down.. if you are a true Wu Tang fan you know he killed on some of the best known songs like "Triumph," "CREAM," "Protect Ya Neck," and some of the songs off of his fellow members solo albums like GZA's "Cold World" and "Duel of the Iron Mic" or a few off of Raekwons latest OB4CL 2. This album may have weaker production but whats to expect when RZA never seems to produce for him? The lyrical ability is clearly evident maybe if he could get the treatment of some of the other members ya'll would realize Deck's talent

    • Laz

      come on man im a wu fan too but top 3 of the wu come on now, let be real Ghost Meth Rae Gza Masta Deck ODB Rza Ugod

    • theoriginalgangsta ICE T

      the fact is the beats on this are shit deck doesnt get a free pass just because rza didnt give him any beats

  • subway

    this album is better than most of the other albums this site gave a higher rating to.

  • decks album is bullshit

    whats the big deal its a fuckin frisbee rap album, its no expensive timeless art piece, its a niggers album, its a fuckin 1, get over it...planet asia is one to check for

  • agobot

    Its really sad how most of you idiot bloggers just rate it 1 and call it trash when im pretty sure you did not even listen to the album. I am not a die hard fan of Wu but this album is pretty good. Deck is spitting straight fire from the intro to the last track.

  • yeayea

    Weak album...if you really want an older school rapper who put out a dope album check out MC Ren's Renincarnated, shit was fire. KRS1 and Buckshot's Survival Skills also was WAY iller than this. Wu massacre should be tight though and I really enjoyed Blackout 2.

  • Lee Majors

    I have never heard someone say Deck is their favorite Wu member that shit is shocking he always seems mediocre to me in comparison. GZA has better lyrics RZA is more versitile and Ghost, Meth , Rae and ODB had better personalities

  • kush nap

    terrible review dx. ignore the fact deck spits flame from start to finish. i swear some niggas cant ever get the props they deserve, take another swipe at decks rep why dont you. this is a 3 at the minimum, i see how yall rate albums here, deck must not have come through with payment for a decent review. deck spitting fire ppl, give him hot beats and watch what he does to em he might be the deadliest nigga in the clan right now aside from ghost. beats is kinda weak, but every deck verse is fire. props deck.

  • Gjk

    agree with the review 100%.. lyrics on point and flow is good but the review says it all

  • Wu-Tang Clan aint nothing to fuck with

    who ever think that this album is wack is strait stupid. the lyrics are enough to make this album insane. he had no real help with the album he produced half the tracks and still managed to spit fire. Deck is nothing to fuck with.

  • Drucifer1983

    Maybe I'm just biased, cause in my opinion Deck is my faavorite in the Wu, but I really like this joint, its a big improvement on the "Resident Patient" tape, and I liked the beats, overall with a few tracks that could have been left off It might not be Uncontrollable Substance, but its still pretty damn good

  • Big Italy

    Deck is a great MC... he always spit on point.... but the beats damn With much better beats it would have been a great album. The lyrics are on point I am WU since day 1, Wu should re-unite and make a Wu tang 4 ever and ever album.

  • joe-lfc

    i agree with hhdx most of the time on reviews, but this is bullshit. the production was pretty good imo, and the rhymes were great as you would expect from deck

    • hey joe, you deserve a slap buddy

      buddy decks album is garb, Im not feeling it, this guy needs to edit his lyrics more strongly and get some producers that bring fire like madlib, premier, more lee bannon, oddisee, etc.

  • hiphopscout

    http://www.reverbnation.com/savvysav#/artist/artist_videos/659615?sel_song_id=3407393&autoplay=1

  • RomaPgh

    this is fucking sad... i was looking forward to this CD.

  • eraq

    Fuck you joe butten but buddies! Wu 2 strong for y'all! Where is Hoe Butten! That nigga couldn't even respond to Deck! This is for real lyricists only!

  • jjthaenterprise

    I give this a four, where I might have been tempted to give it a 3 and a half but at least this will even out the hating. The beats might not be the most elaborate, but that's because Deck's focus is on lyricism and flow. Why is nobody talking about "Crazy," that joint is my favorite off the album and the beat is fire. The "Tombstone Intro" and "Interlude," "Champion," "Born Survivor," "Really Real," "Serious Rappin," and others are all solid tracks. "Luv Letter" and "Gotta get Down" I could of done without and yes "Game" was disapointing, but that's only 3 out of 20 tracks. Personally, I think ya'll are fronting on Deck. This was his best album since Uncontrolled Substance

    • I always thought deck was ok as a guest, not an album maker

      dude your a loser for thinking deck has strong albums, the shit is a frisbee straight up...one listen to it and its more then enough, no banger beats, maybe a couple of o.k. tracks, but the overall production is bland and the lyrics are fuckin junk, planet asia really stepped up though!

  • Jonan

    Well I didn't think it was that bad but it lacked in inspiration and production. I did like songs such as "The Champion", "Do What U Gotta Do", "Crazy" and "Luv Letter" but there were too many tracks. Raekwon's joint was very disappointing.

  • C.

    def. jump on itunes & get "T.R.U.E" "The Champion" is way to repetitive & that beat is lame shit any way. I don't care who produced it.

  • C.

    too many joints. too many bad beats.

  • Big Italy

    He could have done much better... there is only a few beats that are banging... Too bad 4 a great mc to pick these kinds of beats. And I really got love 4 the Wu.

  • Nope Way

    Sad man, I was actually looking forward to this above Wu Massacre. But I can't stand bad beats.

  • QuBix

    Album has like 3-5 good songs and everything else is trash. Deck hasn't put out a great album, ever. How can someone who makes these fire bars on Wu-Tang joints have no heat on his own albums? Deck ...you need to get some other producers that match your style because right now you sound like a G-Unit wanna be with all these cheesy beats. Pick your beats better bro.

    • joe-lfc

      "Deck hasn't put out a great album, ever." obviously someone hasn't listened to uncontrolled substance

  • deck was always the weaker link

    Im sorry but this album is str8 fuckin trash

    • GTFOH

      Shut the fuck up 'weaker link.' You obviously don't know anything about deck or the Wu because if you did you would know that he is one of the standout lyricists of the clan you dumb clown.

  • kpanilaryea28

    I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH THIS REVIEW !!!!!!