ARTIST: Wu-Tang Clan
TITLE: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
YEAR RELEASED: 1993
CHART ACTION: #41 US, #8 US R&B, #77 UK
SINGLES: Protect Ya Neck, Method Man (#69, #40 US R&B, #17 Rap), C.R.E.A.M. (#60, #32 R&B, #8 Rap), Can It Be All So Simple (#116, #82 E&B, #24 Rap)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I’m sure most Wu-Tang fans know every word.
LINEUP: Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, GZA, Masta Killa, Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, RZA, Raekwon, U-God. 4th Disciple was on turntables.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A record that changed hip-hop, especially on the East Coast.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It sounds a bit messy, and I’m not a fan of skits, as you know, but the beats, rhymes and feeling of this record almost overcomes the skits. All-in-all, it’s a landmark record in hip-hop history.
The sheer size of the group means that there are different voices and some different feeling to the songs. RZA does tailor the beats and samples to the songs well, but there’s no mistaking an Ol’ Dirty Bastard rhyme from Method Man to Raekwon. Still, this stew works together, almost seamlessly.
This album changed the course of the popular hip-hop world from looking to the West Coast to now eyeing both West Coast and NYC for innovations. It’s a pretty remarkable record, and sounds fresh after all of these years.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Masta Killa only has one solo rhyme on the record, on “Da Mystery of Chessboxin”.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, some alternate mixes, etc.
GRADE: A: The skits take away a little of the flow, but this is powerful and compelling.