In his upcoming solo album, “Dark Matter,” Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA rhymes about the Big Bang. The legendary rapper performed his new material at Bronx Compass High School, where he hopes to pique students’ interest in science by introducing hip-hop to the lesson plan.
This has gotta be the Wu-Tang Clan’s best song, and by extension one of hip hop’s best songs period. Everything about it is remarkable-the fact that they manage to cram every member into a four minute song, the way the RZA subtly alters the beat on each verse to suit each member’s style, the fact that you can’t pick out a weak verse from the lot of them, the fact that this is the first and only time that U-God will ever be the standout performance…it’s all kind of a masterpiece. Method Man’s outfit in the video is just icing on the cake.
To bring everyone up to speed, Pen & Pixel is a graphic design firm based in Houston who made their name doing album art for rappers, primarily in the South and Southwest. The golden age of Pen & Pixel was the late 90’s and early 00’s (especially when No Limit had a new album in stores every fucking week). You know the style even if you don’t know the name: a typical Pen & Pixel cover involves the artist surrounded by photoshopped cars, weapons and women usually in the hood but sometimes in a graveyard or a church, under grandiose typography depicting their name. It’s actually hard to say what a “typical” Pen & Pixel work looks like because their process is very hands-off; they are more or less happy to do whatever their clients want. Not anything, as they explained in the Ego Trip Book of Rap Lists (nobody goes on the cross!), but their concerns were about politics not taste. No amount of computer-aided thuggin or computer-aided stuntin’ was over the line.