To many, Staten Island is known as the dump. To us hip-hop heads, it’s known as Shaolin, the home of the Wu-Tang Clan. Who would have thought a group of 9 rappers would have changed the game, but they definitely did. Nobody has ever done hip-hop like WTC and I’m pretty sure nobody ever will. While The Wu is one of the most respected and beloved group of all-time, a two hour tribute doesn’t seem long enough. That said, here is our tribute that should help remind you that Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F*ck Wit!
I don’t know what this is or when it drops but I know this has been 10 years in the making and Gary Grice is behind it all. Anytime you have Wu members fighting with one another on tape, you have video GOLD. CANNOTFUCKINGWAIT! –Philaflava
This is one of the bonus tracks from the OBFCL2: Deluxe Chocolate Coin Edition. The chorus is too long. Deck inexplicably triple-times his whole verse. GZA’s verse is great but his delivery is surprisingly kinda sloppy. Still, the song works.
If I were to ask you â€œWhereâ€™s my killer tape at?â€ you would undoubtbly know that â€œShameek from 212 got bust in his head two times and he was laying there like a new born fucking baby god with all types of fucking blood coming outâ€
Or if in passing I said â€œtorture muthafucker tortureâ€ you might inform me that you would indeed â€œstab my tongue with a rusty screwdriverâ€
Letâ€™s say you were hungry and wanted to get some food that was best described as â€œsome marvelous shit to get your mouth wateringâ€ you would know who to see.
How is it that we would all know this?
Well from our number four album Enter the 36 Chambers by The Wu Tang Clan.
Released in 1993 it revolutionized production and offered up a bevy of styles from GZAâ€™s traditional rhythms and cadence to ODBâ€™s madman with a mic style, it was unlike anything that any of us have heard at the time and since then artists have been trying to replicate it with expectedly boring and lackluster resultsâ€¦.Iâ€™m looking at you white people.
My first experience with the Wu was at the Wiz on Central Avenue in Yonkers. I spent my summers working on a Coors truck and every Tuesday I would go to the Wiz and by all the new releases whether I heard them or not. Towards the end of that summer I bought the cassette single for Protect Ya Neck b/w Method Man. The art work could best be described as non-descript, basically plain white cover with a logo. I never heard them, but I read about them and people suggested I check them out. I went back to my car, at the time a Colt Vista Wagon, aka a piece of American shit that Detroit has become famous for, and played the single for a good 45 minutes before pulling out of the parking lot. It was that good and different. Even U-God came off, which is usually the case when he limited to 8 bars or less.
Needless to say I was stuck. I waited and waited until the album came out that fall. The wait was worth every second. The album dropped and it felt like everything changed, at least it did for me. Production now had to be moody and cinematic, lyrics had to be strong and layered and flows had to be insane. The album feature 3 of the greatest songs in the history of rap (Protect Ya Neck, CREAM, and Can It Be All So Simple) and I guess you can argue for a fourth with Method Man, which for my money was a great song for the 90s but not all time.
Everything about the album (with the exception of the song Tearz) is perfect, even the skits are enjoyable to this day. What other album has had skits that spawned hours of conversations and inside jokery, t-shirts, Youtube clips, etc. There are none.
I canâ€™t believe I considered leaving this album off the list.
I spent a lot of time trying to fill this slot. I was torn between two albums that I absolutely love, Breaking Atoms by Main Source and Whut? Tha Album by Redman, but the moreÂ I listened to those albums the less I could justify including them in theÂ top ten-est rap albums of all time basedÂ on the criteria laid out in this space two weeks ago.Â So I pondered, andÂ tried to figure out whatÂ I could put in this slot.Â Â I already had every album I wanted to include on this list plotted out and ready to go.Â Then it hit me I needed to move Ghostface Killah’sIron Man from its previous position which was so high because it was going to be the de facto Wu albumÂ to the number 8 slot and moveÂ Enter theÂ 36 ChambersÂ into the slot held by Ghostface.Â AfterÂ all Enter theÂ 36 ChambersÂ is a monster thatÂ hasÂ earned its right to represent itself.Â
So here we are at number 8Â with whatÂ I consider to be the best of the Wu TangÂ solo records and one of my favorite records of all time.Â One could argue that any of the first round of Wu Tang solo records could claim a top spot on this list, but you would beÂ wrong.Â Tical was very good for its time, but Methâ€™s style on the record has become dated; Liquid Swords aged horribly mostly due to Gzaâ€™s anti-personality; and Return to the 36 Chambers while fantastic was just a little too uneven.Â That leaves Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx and Ghostface Killah’sIron Man.Â IÂ feel like you can make an argument for either of these albums being the high point of midÂ 90s NYCÂ street rap perhaps only being matched byÂ Mobb Deep’sThe Infamous and Hell on Earth, but I canâ€™t give any credence to an albumÂ where Havoc is prominently featured on the mic.Â So I went with my personal favorite of the two.Â Iron Man.
There is something special about this record, I wouldnâ€™t say it is the high point creatively for Ghostface and the Rza, that would beÂ Supreme Clientele, and it isnâ€™t evenÂ the high point for ghost as a lyricist.Â But there is something about this album that makes me revisit it for weeks at a time.Â It has a cohesiveness that the others lack, still holds to the signatureÂ WuÂ sound which you could easily argue was the last soundÂ out ofÂ New York that really mattered.Â SorryÂ Jay-z’sTheÂ Blueprint was cool and all but it was not redefining shit.Â Â Where Supreme Clientele and Bulletproof Wallets highlight theÂ verbal ability of Ghost they are lacking in a constant that tethers you to the music, causingÂ the albums to loseÂ urgency as time goes on.Â Pretty Toney, while enjoyable was the start of theÂ downfall of Ghost as a creative entity eventually leadingÂ horrifically boring projects like Fish scale and More Fish. Sure they had moments butÂ they were few and far between.Â I think what makes IronÂ Man so special is the emotionalÂ core and the rawness of the sound.Â Â It resonates through time and the music throughout the record is phenomenal,Â with a perfect mix of Wu Tang battle raps,Â street revelry and introspective genius thatÂ I thinkÂ I will still be revisiting well into my latter years.Â Â
Absolutely nothing new to the blogosphere, but many slept, hated, forgot or simply misplaced their zip file. Hey, it’s a slow Friday and this is a fresh link for those who want another chance at downloading this. Blu was the man on the blogs in ’08 and has been having a rather quiet ’09 though he did land a major. Will Blu return and wreck shit in 2010?
Episode 9 might be titled the Calm Before The Storm, but it’s anything but. Our next show will be a DJ Premier tribute, so we wanted to take a short break from the tributes and get back to the traditional potpourri show. Special guest, Aaron Wade, sat in with us as we discussed and dissed […]