[Editor’s Note: Given that this article is about the latest episode of Westworld, the article will contain light spoilers about season two’s fifth episode, “Akane No Mai”.]
Last night, HBO’s hit series, Westworld, offered up the fifth episode of its second season, titled “Akane No Mai”. After last week’s episode, “The Riddle Of The Sphinx”, which focused primarily on William/the Man in Black, James Delos, and Bernard, Sunday night’s episode revisited the plotlines of Maeve and Dolores, who were relatively absent in last week’s show. While Dolores/Wyatt is off becoming a crazy supervillain, as she is wont to do this season, Maeve and company end up in Shogunworld, where we see the crew visiting a Japanese-themed version of Westworld.
Without revealing too much more, it’s safe to say that Westworld’s composer Ramin Djawadi showed himself once again as a genius. The Iranian-German composer earned critical acclaim for his score of another HBO hit, Game Of Thrones, and Djawadi is bringing this same attention to detail to Westworld. In Shogunworld, he first offers a take on The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black”, which channels the new setting with traditional Japanese instruments—the tune was previously covered in season 1 of the show, though in the context of the player piano in Westworld’s Sweetwater.
However, one of the standout moments of last night’s episode was Djawadi’s rendition of Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.”, a beloved song from the New York hip-hop crew’s 1993 studio album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The choice for Wu-Tang Clan, outside of continuing the show’s wonderful trend of reimagining well-known songs in world-specific traditions, is also notable, given that Wu-Tang was known for mixing in and riffing on ancient Asian arts (though the rappers tended to focus more on Chinese themes around classic Kung Fu cinema). Similarly borrowing instruments and feel from traditional Japanese music, the highly theatrical instrumental rendition of the classic rap track slipped by under the radar for some viewers. However, it’s definitely worth a listen, so you can check it out below for yourself.