Jamel Ireif (born Elgin Turner) is a East New York, Brooklyn-born emcee, best known to hip-hop heads and Wu-Tang Clan fans as Masta Killa. And although he was the last member to join the original lineup and was initially considered as one of the lesser-known and unheralded members of the Wu — he was only featured on one track of their seminal debut effort, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — over the years, he has developed a reputation as being one of the more prolific members of the group, contributing quite a bit on Clan group albums and solo projects since the mid 1990s. Interestingly enough, Masta Killa is also the last original member to go solo but he’s managed to release three critically applauded albums — 2004’s No Said Date, 2006’s Made in Brooklyn and 2012’s Selling My Soul.
Masta Killa’s highly-anticipated fourth full-length album Loyalty Is Royalty is slated for release this fall, and the album finds the acclaimed emcee teaming up with a virtual who’s who of dope emcees and producers, as the album’s fist single “Therapy” featured guest spots from Method Man and Redman. Loyalty Is Royalty‘s second and latest single “OGs Told Me” finds Masta Killa teaming up with Ram Squad’s MC Boy Backs and Harlem-based Wu-Tang associate Moe Roc as they rhyme about showing love to the older heads, who took them under their wings, gave them advice, love and support over a soulful and nostalgic-tinged Dame Grease production featuring a looped sample of staccato key bursts paired with tweeter and woofer rocking beats. The track is a certified banger, but with a truly adult perspective, as it suggests an obvious truth that many of us don’t want to face — time is rushing before us, and suddenly you’ll find yourself being one of those old heads, taking some young cat under your wing. Along with that, it also suggest that you can’t forget about the older cats, who are still rocking mics and live shows, and perhaps some of these younger guys should learn something from them.
You can catch Masta Killa giving fans a preview of his forthcoming album’s material Saturday night, as he’s playing City Winery. For information and tickets: http://www.citywinery.com/newyork/tickets/masta-killa-album-release-of-wu-tang-clan-7-15.html