"SUNZ OF MAN'S ALBUM HAS TO BE ONE OF THE BEST FROM THE WU-FAMILY SINCE WU-TANG FOREVER. HELL RAZAH, PRODIGAL SUNN, 60 SEC ASSASSIN, AND MY MOST FAVORITE, KILLAH PRIEST SHOW GREAT LYRICAL SKILL ON EVERY TRACK. THE ONLY DISAPPOINTMENT IS THAT KILLAH PRIEST WAS ONLY ON 4 OUT OF 19 TRACKS. THERE IS NOT ONE TRACK I HATE ON THIS ALBUM. THE STAND OUTS ARE: SHINING STAR (FEAT. O.D.B. AND EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE), THE PLAN, INMATES TO THE FIRE, ILLUSIONS (FEAT. MASTA KILLA), NEXT UP (FEAT. METHOD MAN), AND THE BEST TRACK, FLAMING SWORDS. EVERYONE SHOULD GET THIS ALBUM. PUT THAT PUFF DADDY, BEAT BITING S**T ON SHELF AND PICK UP SOME REAL HIP-HOP. SUNZ OF MAN COMES TO THE INDUSTRY TO LET ALL YA'LL BEAT BITING, CRISTAL DRINKING, MONEY LOVING, ADDICTED TO SELF-IMAGE ARTISTS THAT THEY COME IN THE NAME OF ALLAH TO DROP JEWELS."
Enter the Sunz of Mansion
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 02/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"By the late 90s, the market was flooded with Wu-Tang related products, and countless dozens of rappers claimed Wu affiliation. With so many, it was hard to distinguish the great artists from the faceless cousins and homeboys trying to make their own Liquid Swords. Sunz of Man, however, belong with the former, maybe the best group to ever enlist in the extended Wu family. Consisting of Brooklyn MCs Prodigal Sunn, Hell Razah, 60 Second Assassin, and Killah Priest, who just months before dropped his debut Heavy Mental, Sunz of Man took the Wu product to the next level. Their music is a rarity in hip hop. They treat scripture, religion, and ancient history the same way Wu-Tang Clan treats Asian culture and kung-fu movies. Constantly referencing sacred text, they combine teachings of Christianity, the Black Hebrews, and the 5% Nation with a pertinent street mentality. School's in session when Sunz of Man rap, but even without the element of humor, it's unmistakably a Wu product. The metaphors, delivery, excellent guests, and updated 36 Chambers sound are distinctly Wu-Tang. Producers are The RZA, 4th Disciple, and True Master (with contributions from Supreme and Wyclef Jean), and they use the tried-and-true formula of eerie sampling, frenetic percussion, and obscure instrumentals, altering it to create an epic feel that perfectly caters to Sunz' lyrical content. Priest and Razah are the obvious stars, providing the iconic moments with their aggressive deliveries. Lyrically it's awesome, my only complaint is that sometimes the metaphors become so deep that their verses sound like choppy shopping lists that don't go anywhere. Otherwise, the product is inspiring to a level that little hip hop is, and it is original and appealing from beginning to end. Although it's very long, there's not a notably weak point in the tracklist. An album of epic length and proportion, "The Last Shall Be First" is a triumph of conceptual vision, quality production, energy, and positive messages.
The album opens with a good intro and the wonderful "Cold," which is eerily great musically and strong lyrically. The fast and furious "Natural High" uses an exciting horn fanfare and a good hook for a track of righteous philosophy. With a show-stopping beat and verse from Killah Priest, "Flaming Swords" is chilling, and "Illusions" tackles the pitfalls of the rap industry. The beat change at the end of the song enhances the effect. "Shining Star" is a standout of the tracklist, the most commercially relevant. Wyclef Jean produces and performs, updating the classic Earth Wind & Fire song with a catchy arrangement. ODB drops in to trade off positive verses with Sunz, and overall it's a phenomenal track. The excellent "Israeli News" is among the deepest songs, assessing "the ways of the world today" and how to escape mental and physical trouble, and "Tribulations" also objectively looks at life and society. I love 4th Disciple's production on "The Plan," which is top notch on the musical and lyrical tips. Method Man steals the show with his guest performance on the landmark "Collaboration '98," with a classic beat from True Master. "Inmates to the Fire" and "Not Promised Tomorrow" are both solid and thoughtful efforts, and "For the Lust of Money/The Grandz" is enjoyably familiar Wu fare. The decent "Can I See You?" precedes one of the best songs, the Method Man-aided "Next Up," a twangy fist-pumper produced by True Master, and the memorable "Intellectuals" with Raekwon and U-God. The disc closes with the outro "Five Arch Angels."
While Sunz of Man might be too obscure for some, I find their product to be made for people just like me: the educated, religious listener. However, one need not appreciate all their references and metaphors to enjoy their music, and hardcore heads and Wu fans will enjoy them likewise. The Sunz began to splinter after this 1998 release, and went on to acclaimed solo careers and other projects. Although it is now out of print, I recommend buying this album used or taking the extra step to search for it--many will find it's a diamond in the rough."
The Begining of the Sunz saga
LordReveal | Bronx, New York | 12/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There could never be a better introduction to Wu-Tang's premier associates, the Sunz of Man. This album oozes with knowldege, wisdom, and understanding. Killah Priest, Progigal Sunn, 60 Second Assassin, Hell Razah lyrically represent. With additional lyrical assistance from Wu-Tangers Method Man, Ol' Dirty Bastard (R.I.P.), Raekwon,U-God, and Masta Killa, KillArmy MC Baretta 9, Hell Razah's associate 7th Embassador, production duties courtesy of RZA, Wyclef Jean, True Master, 4th Disciple, and Supreme and an appearance by the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire, u can never go wrong with "The last Shaa Be First"."
I buy a lot of wu cds
K. Drouhard | NY | 09/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"and this is one of the ones i thought would be just ok. like killah priests album, heavy mental. i was expecting a lot out of killah priest, mainly because of his song on liquid swords. but to tell the truth, heavy mental dissappointed me, aside from maybe 10 songs. but as i listened to sunz of man, i was thoroughly surprised at its quality each time. this is the best wu-fam group to come out ever, and that is surprising as it being led by killah priest, one of the "other" wu-tang members. although i dont know the voices of each emcee from sunz of man enough to identify each one, i know the album well enough to know it deserves more spins in my own cd player"
Last shall be first
K. Drouhard | 11/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this album is magnificent the only thing ihate about this album is that killer priest is not on enough tracks other than that its a classic songs like flaming swords (thunder and lighting reveal the sword of the viking) and inmates to the fire and cold
are the highlights of the album if you aint got it i think you should!"