No Said Date, Masta Killa, 2004
No Said Date is an album that didn't really make much noise in the hip hop world, but it's not due to the quality of the lyrics or production. Part of the reason is that in 2004, it was as if the music industry made a conscious effort to go away from the Wu-Tang Clan and NYC in general. I think this album is one that would be great to pick up if you are looking for something different. I don't mean that this album is only good as a second option though. No Said Date is a worth it and I would recommend picking it up regardless, but every now and then, it is nice to go back a couple years and pick something up that you overlooked before.
If you aren't familiar with Masta Killa from the Wu-Tang collective albums or his guest appearances on Wu-Tang solo albums, No Said Date is a great way to familiarize yourself with him. He has a conscious, razor sharp tongue with a deep, lazy and somewhat monotone voice. The fact that Masta Killa can rap slow or fast helps because he doesn't fall into the stylistic trap that most lazy tongue rappers do, like Ma$e. He's more laid back than a lot of the more flashy MC's like Method Man, Raekwon, Ol' Dirty or Ghostface, so it could be another reason why some people wouldn't pay attention. In this case, music reflects real life in the sense that the quiet guy may actually have something valuable to say, so pay attention to Masta Killa.
The second layer on top of his lyrical style is the consistent Wu-Tang style production. No Said Date has all of the elements that you expect from a Wu-Tang album and a couple twists here and there. The Sanford and Son's theme makes its way into "Old Man", featuring the late/great Ol' Dirty Bastard and the RZA. The title track, "No Said Date" is an up tempo, electric song that is not the typical Wu-Tang production from the 90's. "Digi Warfare" is an old school style, electronic beat that is inspired by the foundation of hip hop (Afrika Bambaataa style).
Grab the Mic, No Said Date, Love Spell, D.T.D., Whatever, Secret Rivals, Digi Warfare, Old Man, Queen, School, Silverbacks and Masta Killa