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Enter the Wu-Tang

Wu-Tang Clan

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Album Review

Along with Dr. Dre's The Chronic, the Wu-Tang Clan's debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), was one of the most influential rap albums of the '90s. Its spare yet atmospheric production — courtesy of RZA — mapped out the sonic blueprint that countless other hardcore rappers would follow for years to come. It laid the groundwork for the rebirth of New York hip-hop in the hardcore age, paving the way for everybody from Biggie and Jay-Z to Nas and Mobb Deep. Moreover, it introduced a colorful cast of hugely talented MCs, some of whom ranked among the best and most unique individual rappers of the decade. Some were outsized, theatrical personalities, others were cerebral storytellers and lyrical technicians, but each had his own distinctive style, which made for an album of tremendous variety and consistency. Every track on Enter the Wu-Tang is packed with fresh, inventive rhymes, which are filled with martial arts metaphors, pop culture references (everything from Voltron to Lucky Charms cereal commercials to Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were"), bizarre threats of violence, and a truly twisted sense of humor. Their off-kilter menace is really brought to life, however, by the eerie, lo-fi production, which helped bring the raw sound of the underground into mainstream hip-hop. Starting with a foundation of hard, gritty beats and dialogue samples from kung fu movies, RZA kept things minimalistic, but added just enough minor-key piano, strings, or muted horns to create a background ambience that works like the soundtrack to a surreal nightmare. There was nothing like it in the hip-hop world at the time, and even after years of imitation, Enter the Wu-Tang still sounds fresh and original. Subsequent group and solo projects would refine and deepen this template, but collectively, the Wu have never been quite this tight again.

Customer Reviews

Wu-Tang Style...At it's best

There isn't any other way to serve this up; This one of the greatest Rap albums ever made. Ever. Every track is absolute dynamite, the beats and lyrics from every member of the clan are raw and explosive, making this a great album to listen to from tracks 1-12. Though the solo albums that would come after this wouldn't be the same greatness, this album here is totally worth the buy, as are Wu-Tang Forever, and The W. I look forward to the new Wu-Tang album, coming out this November!

Bringing the ruckus

this is a flawless hip hop album. the raw sound quality just adds to the creepy atmosphere of this record. if you listen to that crap that's in the top 40, and you don't have this album in your collection, you should get your head examined. this album defines what hip hop is, lyrics and mc'ing. go pick this cd up or download it off Itunes. Greatest hip hop cd ever.

A tribe called "who"?

This is what dirty meant by " oh baby I like it raw". Definatively the album that changed how hip hop was produced and negotiated. Buy this album if you dig hip hop with real mc s, who rhyme about hardcore urban culture with variety and true talent. If you have never heard wu tang, put down that will smith cd and prepare for 9 viscous mc"s.


Formed: 1992 in Staten Island, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Emerging in 1993, when Dr. Dre's G-funk had overtaken the hip-hop world, the Staten Island, New York-based Wu-Tang Clan proved to be the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-'90s — and only partially because of their music. Turning the standard concept of a hip-hop crew inside out, the Wu-Tang Clan were assembled as a loose congregation of nine MCs, almost as a support group. Instead of releasing one album after another, the Clan were designed to overtake the record industry in as profitable...
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