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.