- Soul Temple
By Hannah Weiner, Daily Arts Writer
Published March 19, 2014
The last time the Wu-Tang Clan released a studio album? 2007. So this week, they surprised fans by dropping “Keep Watch,” a song from their upcoming album A Better Tomorrow. The track looks back to hip-hop’s golden age as much as it looks forward to the future of rap.
Wu-Tang Clan feat. Nathaniel
Soul Temple Records
“Keep Watch” features a retro, soulful vocal background backing a smooth hook performed by singer Nathaniel. As much as it synthesizes both the present trends and the vintage old school sounds, “Keep Watch” celebrates the group’s chemistry — seemingly, rap groups are a thing of the past, but Wu-Tang Clan has managed to keep the concept relatively fresh by showcasing their individual and undeniable rap talent (can anyone start a verse as smoothly as Method Man?).
Lyrically, the song is a throwback, alluding to early hip-hop culture (“b-boys” references to Trouble T. Roy and Heavy D, etc.). But isn’t there some rule about past trends always cycling back? If so, the Wu-Tang Clan has hit the nail on the head: Old School feels so foreign, exotic and, as a result, cool. Aside for a few standout rap groups like Odd Future and G.O.O.D Music, the individual rapper has generally become the fan favorite of the two. And while Wu-Tang Clan may not be looking to make waves with “Keep Watch,” they’re proving that hip-hop groups can still be done successfully.
Their upcoming album is expected to be released in the coming months, commemorating the Wu-Tang Clan’s 20th anniversary. If “Keep Watch” is any indication of how the album, A Better Tomorrow, will turn out, then fans should expect an exciting release.