Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Released: 9 November 1993
Can a dream-team actually work? If you had a star player at every position in basketball, egos would surely kick in, and ball-hogging would likely take place. No? Sure, it’s fun to see an All-Star game where the best players compete, but even then one can see the players’ egos kicking in as they opt for highlight dunks and half court shots instead of running an offense.
This takes me to the Wu-Tang Clan. A group composed of super-lyricists and arguably the best producer to ever touch keys, the RZA. Rapper-wise, Wu-Tang is composed of: Method Man, Raekwon, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Ol Dirty Bastard, and Masta Killa.
ODB’s Influence (R.I.P ODB)
ODB, along with Method Man, added wild character to the crew coupled with unpredictable, uncanny flows. ODB is remembered as one of the most unique and charasmatic characters to ever grace Hip-Hop.
Masta Killa was the mentor and U-God is considered the weakest. However, Raekwon, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, and Inspectah Deck are all advanced rappers, all having a classic solo album to their name (Raekwon with Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, GZA with Liquid Swords, Method Man with Tical, and Ghostface with Ironman and Supreme Clientele; and while Inspectah Deck cannot boast a solo classic, he spat some of the best verses on 36 Chambers including verse 2 on “C.R.E.A.M” and verse 3 on “7th Chamber”
Can a team composed of superb talents mesh well and succeed without stepping on each other’s feet? Wu-Tang Clan certainly proved so.
Bring Da Ruckus: 5/5
Shame On A Nigga: 5/5
Clan In Da Front: 4.75/5
7th Chamber: 5/5
Can It All Be So Simple: 4.25/5
Da Mystery of Chessboxin’: 4.5/5
Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothin To Fuck Wit: 5/5
Method Man: 5/5
Protect Ya Neck: 5/5
7th Chamber Part II: 3.75/5
4.77/5 A staple in Hip-Hop History
Every song hits hard, from the vivid “Tearz” to the commercially successful C.R.E.A.M to the no hook, pure spitting “7th Chamber“. This Rap super-crew has dished out more classic albums (including solo work) than any other Hip-Hop history (rivaled only by NWA and Outkast). 36 Chambers itself is gritty, laced with grimy RZA production. Street mafioso lyricist of the 90s like Raekwon and Ghostface thrived on this type of production. Meanwhile listeners are treated to entirely different, flamboyant flavors from ODB and Method Man, bringing energy and a left-field approach. GZA, perhaps the most talented lyricist of the bunch, is the best fit for RZA’s production as head of the group.
While Nas’ illmatic seems almost untouchable in terms of behemoth East Coast classic Rap albums, the Wu-Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers might have surpassed illmatic. Each member of this supergroup provides a classic verse on at least one song and there are no weak verses or bars on this album – an amazing feat. Til this day, the Wu-Tang Clan is still putting out new work and challenging material (see: Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 and Ghostface Killah’s Apollo Kids, ).
And Wu-Tang Clan still ain’t nuthin ta fuck wit.