#TBT Classic Review: Wu-Tang Clan – ‘Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’
By Mr. Joe Walker
I admit I wasn’t initially impressed by Wu-Tang Clan. My first taste was “Method Man”; its crafty,reference-heavy play-on- words lyrics perplexed me almost to the point of annoyance. My second was “Protect Ya Neck” which was incredibly different from anything I was remotely accustomed to. It left me feeling ignorant, like being invited to an art display I just didn’t understand.
Then I saw the video for the “Da Mystery of Chessboxin”. I was hooked by its kung-fu- theater imagery mixed with samples of martial arts combat over war drums and eerie Asian-inspired melodies. Each MC who rhymed on this track brought an entirely new flavor and pattern, yet as a whole the song never lost its form. I couldn’t stop listening to it, which led to the purchase of their brilliant, superiorly original,
‘Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’, the Clan’s 1993 debut LP, marked the first time I understood the terms “listening experience” and “cinematic”. Up to that point I’d been engrossed by stellar hip-hop albums, but never immersed in them.
For all their uniqueness, Clan members RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Raekwon The Chef,Masta Killa, U-God, Ghostface Killah and Method Man were a cohesive unit of larger than life action figures who existed at the center of their own mythology and ideology.
Those two aforementioned songs fit perfectly into the context of the greater sonic narrative;expressions of confidence (“Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin ta F**k With”), survival (“C.R.E.A.M.”), fortitude (“Bring da Ruckas”) and leadership (“Clan in da Front”).
To be clear: THERE IS NO OTHER HIP-HOP ALBUM LIKE THIS ONE. And it’s dope from start to its emphatic warning at the end.
If you haven’t heard ‘Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’ in a while it’s time to revisit. If you’ve never heard it before, add it to your playlist right now. That is all. Thank you for reading, God bless you, and have a great night.
R.I.P. Ol’ Dirty Bastard | Share your opinion with us on Twitter @CONCRETE615 and @mrjoewalker.