RZA  - The Man With The Iron Fists (OST)

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RZA has helmed a cohesive, equally cinematic collection of music that stands on its own and respects the art of sequencing.

Not only is RZA in the director’s chair for his debut film The Man With The Iron Fists, but as executive producer of its soundtrack he has helmed a cohesive, equally cinematic collection of music that stands on its own and respects the art of sequencing. Like his mentor Quentin Tarantino did with Pulp Fiction, RZA “casts” the OST with artists from his own stable, iconic veterans and hungry newcomers putting a fresh spin on a genre that has grown more anemic with each passing year. Freddie Gibbs and Method Man share the same relaxed rapport on "Built For This" as Travolta and Samuel Jackson discussing the power of foot massages. Meanwhile Kanye West has his own “gold watch” segment as he trades the G.O.O.D. Music flashbulbs for a candlelit corner – snatching the album away for a three minute film within a film called “White Dress” – a murky soulful ode to an “anonymous” woman in a satin gown with no makeup.

One of the standout qualities of Iron Fists is how the production and lyricism are so on point that neither upstages the other. Frank Dukes has captured the denser sounds of RZA’s recent production and scoring work; think Henry Mancini, Ennio Morricone and Roy Ayers huddled around an MPC. Add to that the live instrumentation of Toronto trio BadBadNotGood and some Fizzy Womack rawness and we get the perfect backdrop for Kool G Rap multis (“Rivers Of Blood”), Pharoahe Monch’s assault weapon onomatopoeia (“Black Out”), and the vicious return of Killa Sin on “The Archer.” Thankfully we also get some walk-on appearances from the Abbott on tracks like “Blowin In The Wind,” when he enters in Rzarector mode sharing the pick, sickle and shovel with The Flatbush Zombies. The track pulls off the unhinged dangerous quality that was missing in last year’s Gravediggaz (minus Poetic) “reunion” tracks.

Yet for an album with this many grand scale achievements it ends up faltering in the worst possible place. Rather than a triumphant finale with "I Go Hard" we get a Ghostface verse and Boy Jones’ one contribution swallowed by an overproduced and out of tune Wiz Khalifa hook. The two emcees are lost in what sounds like the latest leak off O.N.I.F.C. leaving us to imagine what Tekitha, Blue Raspberry and a little reverb could have done instead.

Nonetheless Iron Fists succeeds on a variety of levels. As a Wu-Tang project it is one of the most complete and consistent in the post-Supreme Clientele canon. While Method Man and Raekwon don’t appear on “Six Degrees Of Boxing,” the disjointed scattershot feeling of some tracks off 8 Diagrams and Shaolin vs Wu-Tang drops by the wayside as U-God delivers one of the strongest verses of his career. Ghostface crafts a street memoir that begins with a crack-filled tennis ball and GZA’s entrance as the beat switches up evokes the same chills as when he closed out “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off).” Iron Fists is also a compilation that wears its love of Asian cinema on its sleeve. The album opener "The Baddest Man Alive" featuring RZA and The Black Keys may sound Southern fried, but it’s by way of a Shaolin temple. Cantopop singer Francis Yip contributes a track that calls to mind the nightclub interludes of Hong Kong action movies like Hard Boiled and City On Fire. Finally RZA replaces the dubbed Shaw Brothers samples that have been Wu-Tang’s signature for the last 20 years with Iron Fists clips and his own narration as the film’s “Blacksmith” character.

The Man With The Iron Fists soundtrack is about action, which the legendary Sonny Chiba says “is also about drama and that if you cannot make the audience laugh, smile or cry doesn’t make you an action actor.” The same can be said for Hip Hop producers, and once again RZA has succeeded admirably.

64 Comments

  • asherdust1@gmail.com

    Decent but still disappointing.

  • Anonymous

    Classic for a soundtrack

  • Josiah

    Have not heard this yet but really cant imagine it's better than Wu-Block. I always support ruler zig tho

  • bredwill

    nice action movie.i like this movie. http://www.totalmoviez.com/watch-the-man-with-the-iron-fists/

  • Mononoke

    I do love Tick, Tock. I don't know how many time I listened but this track is amazing. Six Degrees Of Boxing is another issue. When I checked the production part, RZA has nothing to do with it. Franz Dukes produced most of tracks includes the track I mentioned above. I really liked this dude's works. And WTF is Kanye's white dress track? how did you do this? I saw interview videos of RZA and he shows himself as a genius. you were but not anymore homie! You are not good at prod. part anymore and what about being director,he thinks he's the greatest, and has no vision? If you watched the movie you can see easily many problems with the direction part and he's on of the untalented emotionless actor I've ever seen.

    • P

      Def agree that Rza as hip hop producer is not near half dope as he was in 90s...his recent productions dont have ANYTHING in common with that original Wu sound he invented, they lack of that rawness and that unspecified something you could feel in his old tracks, and which you could still feel on some of tracks on "The W" album. Its sad this sound and feeling is not gonna come back...you cant honestly say any of Wu releases since like 01 really had 'wu sound' (maybe except Cilvaringz album)

  • brian

    i didn't like some of the songs

  • Stanley

    Solid - but still doesn't feel cohesive the way classic RZA records did to me. It's a compilation - I get that - but still too much kitchensink to be a classic.

  • Wu-Worldwide

    Anyone know when Killa Sin is dropping an album

  • Anonymous

    Wu-Tang> Laughterhouse...........Chumps

  • Anonymous

    This is dope, some hard tracks on here very cinematic.

  • SDK

    GREAT ALBUM LEGENDARY WEAPONS>>>>>TMWIF

  • supsup

    The track 'I go hard' is very very bad. that singing arghh it hurts

  • Anonymous

    How can hip hop be dead if Wutang is Forever?

  • raidfuljohnson

    "Bane(Acid Reign)" http://www.pmpworldwide.com/producer_detail.cfm?p=4C31F03E-FB9A-A1F5-2270DD30DAA97EE9&trackID=B8E89286-980D-FC95-3B6E2E35EF231DF7&

  • Shyne's Pe'ots

    Why do you dickheads do that fuck shit. You feel good about yourself or something?

  • oldirtychineserestaurant

    SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

  • Malone

    Fuck Rza... yes he is talented but he's not the messiah. I am. . . . Sincerely Yours -Malone

    • Doubl Negative

      I don't usually reply to these trolls' missives, but I'm glad DX is doin' something about his pointless post and hopefully now he'll go to a website where his shit is tolorated, like Glee or some other faggot nonsense.

  • j. riot

    FUCKING SICK ALBUM, NOW I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEW WU TANG ALBUM. WU TANNGGGG!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the review, been waiting on this. Can't go wrong with RZA, solid album with only 2 or 3 skippable tracks. Just my two cents, but RZA should put that "Just Can't Get It Right" song with Boy Jones to that, it would fit to the concept like a charm.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome soundtrack. Fun movie.

  • Malone

    Is it mys fault the brothel is my home away from home... Sincerely Yours -Malone

  • Doubl Negative

    Don't know if this movie's getting a UK release, but I definately wanna peep this shit. It's a shame RZA had to drop out of Tarantino's classic Django, but that flick's gonna be movie of the year regardless. Another movie I'm looking forward to is Gangster Squard, but it's fucked up the censors cut scenes 'cause of dude in Batman theatre. This politically correct interference of movies isn't gonna bring them dead people back, but hopefully this unnecessary tampering of the film won't ruin my enjoyment too much.

    • Malone

      You are not participating in the post I have created!! Thinking that you are exempt from rape and bigotry will only get you into more trouble young man. Sincerely Yours -Malone

  • Malone

    Every one must participate in Malone's post. It a mandatory requirement being that he has reprised his role as this site moderator. . . . . Sincerely Yours -Malone

  • BiLL$

    If you think this was great the next WU-TANG ALBUM is going to be a FUCKING CLASSIC. PEACE TO THE GODS

    • Malone

      Mr Bill$.. why aren't you participating in my post. Malone is loving but he will not stand for nonsense like this. Sincerely Yours -Malone

  • Malone

    Three dicks for the Elven-queens under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Milfs doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne In the Land of Malone where the Shadows lie. One Dick to rule them all, One Dick to find them, One Dick to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In the Land of Malone where the Shadows lie. . . . . Sincerely Yours -Malone

  • iamhiphop

    5/5 I saw the movie and it was awesome. The soundtrack was dope. The only wack part of the soundtrack is Wiz's hook on "I Go Hard."

  • raidfuljohnson

    "Reigny Daze" http://www.pmpworldwide.com/producer_detail.cfm?p=4C31F03E-FB9A-A1F5-2270DD30DAA97EE9&trackID=BB4207B1-CDA1-523B-8BC2D28E31F37A8B&

  • Malone

    Malone is the baddest man aliiiiive...oohhh baby..uh Hey who wants to play dick swords with this new life-sized Keith Sweat doll I bought on ebay yesterday?... . . . . Sincerely Yours -Malone

  • youngsta

    movie and soundtrack both suck ass. wiz khalifa just sang his part and still did better than everyone else. let's check the numbers: drake and nicki's ice age 4: $46.6 mil opening weekend old ass rza's man with the iron fists: $7.9 mil opening weekend ymcmb is walking all over you old ass fools. hahaha!

    • Anonymous

      what the fuck is ymcmb and what does it have to do with wu-tang?

    • vicvaun36

      Man, Ghostface alone would beat up the whole young money crew...those lil bitches aint got shit on the WU......respect, talent, pure classic hip hop that will last forever....Wu got all that...young money is a joke, soon forgotten

    • BK

      If one piece of art sells better than another, that doesn't mean it's better, it means it sold more. Unless you prefer Nelly to the Wu-Tang Clan, in which case, you're a faggot.

    • Anonymous

      Ice Age is a KIDS movie, while TMWTOF is a R-rated action flick. So of course a KIDS movie is gonna do better than a R-RATED ACTION FLICK. Regardless, RZA ain't worried. He's making good money off this movie that he WROTE & DIRECTED. Also, TMWTOF>>>>>>>Ice Age 4.

    • youngsta

      That guy was a fake. I didn't even see TMWTOF and I'm just hating. I'm 14 years old and gay. I have shitty music taste. I've been molested by my uncle many times and loved it. Don't listen to me. I'm bipolar.

    • Anonymous

      YMCMB sucks. They're nothing but a bunch of poser pop artists that makes wack ass music. Wu Tang shits on all those fairies.

    • Anonymous

      Wow. You're an idiot and a hater. This album/movie is awesome. Wiz's hook was wack. Regardless of the numbers (TMWTOF is just 1st week # while Ice Age was the total money it made), TMWTOF is a much better movie than that wack ass Ice Age. I betcha $100 bucks it makes more in total than Ice Age. There's a HUGE difference between Ice Age and TMWTOF. Ice Age is a movie franchise with 3 sequels that's for KIDS while TMWTOF is a film for GROWN FOLKS. Besides, what grown ass nigga without kids watch Ice Age? It's a fucking KIDS movie.

  • BobDigitech

    Album of the year

  • Anonymous

    Fair review... that I go hard wasn't terrible... the hook was tho.

  • youngvito79

    Me and the Rza connect!!

  • Anonymous

    RZA cannot rap he just talks on beats.... and his voice sucks.. Amazing producer though.

    • nemesis

      if u think rza cant rap,check out his verses with gravediggaz....an the verse dude put on top of me^..btw did u just say wu-forever came out in 2000?...definetly came out 1997

    • Anonymous

      Rza can't rap?? Start at 36 chambers.. youngon... Here's some Bobby from Wu Forever (circa 2000) Fusion of the five elements, to search for the higher intelligence Women walk around celibate, living irrelevant The most benevolent king, communication through your dreams Mental pictures been painted, Allah's heard and seen Everywhere, throughout your surrounding atmosphere Troposphere, thermosphere, stratosphere Can you imagine from one single idea, everything appeared here Understanding makes my truth, crystal clear Innocent black immigrants locked in housing tenements Eighty-Five percent tenants depended welfare recipients Stapleton's been stamped as a concentration camp At night I walk through, third eye as bright as a street lamp Electric microbes, robotic probes Taking telescope pictures of globe, babies getting pierced with microchips Stuffed inside their earlobes, then examinated Blood contaminated, vaccinated, lives fabricated Exaggerated authorization, Food and Drug Administration Testing poison in prison population My occupation to stop the inauguration of Satan Some claim that it was Reagan, so I come to slay men Like Bartholomew, cause every particle is physical article Was diabolical to the last visible molecule A spaceknight like Rom, consume planets like Unicron Blasting photon bombs from the arm like Galvatron

    • Anonymous

      you haven't listened to wu tang clan have you?

  • John Starks

    its missing half a x

  • Anonymous

    RZA only produced 2 or 3 tracks so why is everybody acting if RZA did an outstanding job????????

    • Anonymous

      Because is hands down top 5 producer of all time,,, From 93-2001 Rza put out like 7 classic's.... He dont ever have to produce again -secondly he is now a respected director... he trained and studied hard - props to him.... and oh yeah - fuck u!

    • nibs

      uhhh blockbuster? more like a movie that might barely break even after DVD sales

    • TaZzZ

      Cuz he executive produced this magic and a $20 million hollywood blockbuster. RZA did all the recruiting, helped to influence and craft the sound, and keep the pieces together. He is the mastermind pulling the strings behind the scenes, especially with the soundtrack. Big props to the Abbot, great project from great artists, awesome mash-up of genres, overall brilliant soundtrack...

  • ha

    Fair review. Better than D Block will be.