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GZA/Genius, ‘Pro Tools’ (Babygrande)

The GZA’s G-Unit dis “Paper Plate” on his fifth solo album confirms that he’s behind the times: Beefing with 50 Cent to promote yourself is so 2005. Then again, the legendary Wu-Tang Clan MC also name-drops Ivan Koloff (Who? Professional wrestler from the 1970s) and Vinnie Johnson (Who? Marginal basketball player from the 1980s). But archaic pop-culture references aren’t the real glitch — it’s the production. These C-grade tracks ape RZA’s trademark sound, but lack any sense of melody; and the album seems randomly cut-and-pasted, as if GZA didn’t even record his verses to the beats. No wonder it’s called Pro Tools.