If you want RZA’s classic score to Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai (not the sub-par “inspired by” soundtrack), it will run you at least thirty dollars. The World According to RZA, one of the best things RZA has put out in years, will put you forty dollars in the hole. But you can get the debut from Northstar, RZA’s new lightweight duo from Long Beach, right next to his last forgettable solo record, Birth of a Prince, for $14.99 at your local record store. Why, RZA, why?
It’s not that Christ Bearer and Meko, Northstar’s two members, can’t rhyme. It’s just that they can only rhyme just enough to make you wonder why RZA would care. The beats, which are one-third RZA and feature equally strong board performances by Mathematics and house producer Armand Van Helden, are so much better than the lyrics here it’s easy to be reminded of the Neptunes’ dedication to the Clipse — only this comparison makes the Clipse look really, really good. If you don’t care about lyrics, buy this used and get down to “Red Rum” and “Luv Allah.” Otherwise, Bobby Digital Presents Northstar is for Wu-Tang collectors only.