Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang Clan:36 Chambers
Release Date: 1993
Previously Owned: Yes
First Time Listen: No
Impressions: I’ve always liked Wu-Tang but I never became a fanatic. Let us enter the 36 Chambers here… “Bring Da Ruckus” is a (’90s term coming up) slammin’ opener that establishes their mix of kung fu samples, brash choruses “BRING THA MUTHAFUCKIN RUCKUS,” hard beats, and nine, that’s right, nine members spitting bars. Man, am I a sucker for the kung-fu samples. “Shame On a Nigga” has a simple yet bouncy track almost like Cypress Hill. They love noirish, plinking pianos. Most of their songs are about “Wu-Tang ain’t nothing to fuck with” but they find funny and creative wrinkles in that formula via their outlandish personas, pop-culture references and blunted humor. Mostly head-bobbing tracks through out, slowed down by the occasional, and weirdly violent hip-hop interstitial ‘skits,’ their real strength is the sheer variety of voices they throw at each track. They don’t really veer to far from this formula, but it’s druggy, whoozy vibe sucked me in.
Starred Songs: “Protect Ya Neck,” “C.R.E.A.M,” and “Wu-Tang Aint Nuthing ta F’Wit”
Sneaky Track: Da Mystery of Chessboxin’
Should this album be on the list? Yes.
Will You Listen To This Again: Yes
Verdict: Seminal ’90s hip-hop go minimal on the backing tracks, maximal on the nine man rapping onslaught.