Coming back as a response to the smooth, chill vibes emanating from the west coast hip-hop scene, we are confronted with the in-your-face response from Staten Island, in the form of Wu-Tang Clan, an eclectic mix of rappers who delivered their explosive debut, “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)”. With an attitude that is based on hardcore street knowledge and a guiding light of Asian Kung Fu discipline, the Wu-Tang Clan reopened the door for east coast hip with this highly acclaimed album that is rated #27 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All Time. It is also the #6 rated hip-hop album of all time on definitivedose.com.
While I might not place it quite as high on either of those lists, I did really enjoy it, and I know it is an all-time favorite of my son, whose hip-hop knowledge I respect and appreciate. One of my favorite songs is the very first “Bring da Ruckus”. After an appropriately placed Kung Fun opening, RZA and Ghostface Killah give you your marching orders. It is a pretty powerful opening that gets you ready for what follows.
I love the ensemble mix of rappers, including the iconic voices of Method Man and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Their raw and mixed delivery presents a real street scene, and the subtle backing track is clearly secondary to the MC rotation. Each song is previewed by some additional martial arts wisdom, and in one of their smokier vibes, we have their most recognized hit from this record, “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)”. As Method Man reminds us, it’s all about the “Dollar dollar bill, y’all”.
My personal favorite is the heavy bass hammer that is on “Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber – Part II”. I’m not clear on the segmenting or titling of the song, but it definitely has the best thumping beat on the album. This entire album is refreshing in its approach. They aren’t looking for a poppy hook, they just want to riff and hit you hard… mission accomplished.