- Released: December 11, 2007
- Label: Motown
Rolling Stone - p.1323.5 stars out of 5
-- "[A] terrific mix of classic Clan grime and enough new tricks to justify Inspectah Deck's claim that 'Wu-Tang keep it fresh like Tupperware.'"
Spin - p.963 stars out of 5
-- "U-God's baritone flows perfectly with the airy chants and martial drums of 'Wolves'."
Uncut - p.954 stars out of 5
-- "[T]here are stunning verses everywhere, especially from Genius and U-God, who rap like men in full repossession of their mojos."
Q (Magazine) - p.933 stars out of 5
-- "The lyrical flash and chop-socky samples signify business as usual, but at heart 8 DIAGRAMS is a bold move into deeper, mellower territory..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1004 stars out of 5
-- "[I]t's an uncompromising comeback, as RZA kicks against he art form's mainstream co-option with some ferocious, otherworldly orchestrations."
- 2.Take It Back
- 3.Get Them Out Ya Way Pa
- 4.Rushing Elephants
- 6.The Heart Gently Weeps
- 8.Gun Will Go
- 10.Stick Me For My Riches
- 13.Weak Spot
- 14.Life Changes
Wu-Tang Clan: RZA (guitar, strings, programming); GZA, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, Method Man, Raekwon, U-God.
Additional personnel: Shifu Shi Yan Ming (spoken vocals); Stone Mecca (guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drums); Dhani Harrison, John Frusciante (guitar); Soundguild (strings, bass guitar); Marco Vitali (strings); Uncle John (horns); Shavo, Trevor James, Gary Foote (bass guitar); Easy Mo Bee, Mathematics (programming); Tasha Austin, George Clinton , Sunny Valentine (background vocals); Tash Mahogany, Dexter Wiggle, Erykah Badu, Gerald Alston.
On their fifth group album, the eight surviving members of the Wu-Tang Clan had some big shoes to fill--their own. After a hard-felt six-year absence and the death of their most colorful member (the mighty ODB), the Wu were out to squelch any doubts that they lost a step as a collective. Of the 14 tracks that make up 8 DIAGRAMS, few would immediately strike listeners as quintessential Wu. Gone are the lo-fi Shaolin Soul beats and the sped-up vocal samples. And the once-fiery vocal deliveries take on tones of muted, subdued energy.
Still, there is a great deal of innovation here. The RZA enlists George Harrison's son, Dhani, and Chili Pepper John Frusciante to provide instrumentation for their ambitious take on the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The Clan's tribute to the above-mentioned Ol' Dirty, "Life Changes," with its melancholic piano chords and verses of staircase reminiscing, is most evocative of that classic Wu sound. While it may not be the equivalent of a revolution on wax, 8 DIAGRAMS remains a rarity in the contemporary hip-hop world--an air-tight album, inventive and unpredictable from start to finish, and rife with first-rate contributions from all involved. George Clinton, Erykah Badu, Sunny Valentine, and Gerald Alston are featured.