6/22/08: RZA As Bobby Digital

Digi Snacks
Koch Records
Release: June 24, 2008
Rating: 3 out of 5

Sounds like: Only RZA can sound like RZA

Wu-Tan Clan mastermind RZA resurrects the Bobby Digital legacy for his fourth solo outing of fractured, left-of-field production and deliberate rhymes. Lead single “You Can’t Stop Me” (featuring often-underrated Wu affiliate Inspectah Deck) burns the brightest, with an old-school guitar/bass crawl pairing up with scratchy, horn-backed choruses and nostalgic lyrics. That same vintage sound pops up on “Money Don’t Own Me,” which features some live-band flavor from soul/funk aficionados Stone Mecca and an assertive guest verse from West Coaster Monk, who appears on three other tracks. Two of them fall flat, but the hopeful and sparkling “Drama” excels on the give-and-take storytelling of RZA and Monk; lustrous Billie Holiday-like choruses from the Swedish singer Thea van Seijen also add an excellent touch. Unfortunately, the below-average tracks stick out like sore thumbs on Digi Snacks: David Banner’s overly simplistic Dirty South overhaul on “Straight Up The Block,” RZA’s jacked up yelling on “Put Your Guns Down,” and the slow-as-molasses “Love Is Digi Part II” make absolutely no sense paired up with the rest of the slightly experimental album. What also makes no sense is burying "Don't Be Afraid" at the hidden end of the disc; the boisterous synths and twinkling pianos sound like an instant hit. A couple more cameos from Wu-Tang members would have helped, but plenty of menacing beats and inexplicably strong lyrics still add up to another solid (yet flawed) notch in RZA’s visionary discography.

Myspace: www.myspace.com/rza
Label: www.kochrecords.com/rza_digisnacks.htm
"You Can't Stop Me Now" video

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