17 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a group the Wu-Tang Clan might be finished, but as a musical philosophy, the brand is alive and well. For proof you need to look no further than Chamber Music, a 2009 cooperation overseen by Wu-Tang architect RZA. Engineered by a team of understudies (Andrew Kelley, Noah Rubin, Fizzy Womack, Bob Perry), these are the kind of beats that Wu-Tang diehards crave. In the mold of classic RZA productions, “Kill Too Hard,” “Sound the Horns,” and “Ill Figures” are nocturnal and edgy, like blaxploitation albums broken into shards and recast in shadow. While not all members of Wu-Tang participate, the crew’s most street-oriented rappers are on hand. Their numbers are strengthened by an additional cast of elder New York City rappers, who appear as war veterans, reminding the listener of a time when hip-hop upheld a different set of values. While not as listenable as the group tracks, RZA’s between-song interludes nonetheless represent Wu-Tang’s subterranean, almost avant-garde state of mind. Chamber Music proves that even if Wu-Tang ceases to exist the group’s ideas shine eternal.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a group the Wu-Tang Clan might be finished, but as a musical philosophy, the brand is alive and well. For proof you need to look no further than Chamber Music, a 2009 cooperation overseen by Wu-Tang architect RZA. Engineered by a team of understudies (Andrew Kelley, Noah Rubin, Fizzy Womack, Bob Perry), these are the kind of beats that Wu-Tang diehards crave. In the mold of classic RZA productions, “Kill Too Hard,” “Sound the Horns,” and “Ill Figures” are nocturnal and edgy, like blaxploitation albums broken into shards and recast in shadow. While not all members of Wu-Tang participate, the crew’s most street-oriented rappers are on hand. Their numbers are strengthened by an additional cast of elder New York City rappers, who appear as war veterans, reminding the listener of a time when hip-hop upheld a different set of values. While not as listenable as the group tracks, RZA’s between-song interludes nonetheless represent Wu-Tang’s subterranean, almost avant-garde state of mind. Chamber Music proves that even if Wu-Tang ceases to exist the group’s ideas shine eternal.

TITLE TIME
1:11
2:49
1:14
3:52
0:38
2:36
1:17
3:37
0:58
3:40
1:29
2:53
1:01
3:15
1:37
3:19
0:10

About Wu-Tang

One of the many offshoots of the iconic hip-hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang was a project overseen by WTC mastermind RZA and featuring several of the rappers associated with the group. However, the Wu-Tang releases didn't feature the entire Wu-Tang Clan membership (GZA in particular is usually absent), and they featured stylistic elements that fell outside the boundaries of the group's larger body of work. The first album released under the Wu-Tang banner was 2008's Soundtracks from the Shaolin Temple, a collection that brought together tracks recorded between 2005 and 2008 from several of the Wu-Tang Clan's official members (GZA, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Raekwon) and associates (Bronze Nazareth, Mathematics, DJ Hi-Tek). For 2009's Chamber Music, a number of the key Wu-Tang rappers (including Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, U-God, and RZA) and special guests (Kool G Rap, Sadat X, and Sean Price) were accompanied by a live band, the Revelations, instead of their usual sample-based production. Released in 2011, Legendary Weapons was another album featuring the Revelations, with Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna, U-God, and Inspectah Deck contributing verses for the backing tracks. The Saga Continues arrived in 2017; the album was spearheaded by Wu-Tang Clan associate Mathematics, who produced and co-wrote all 18 tracks, with Method Man, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Killah Priest, Ghostface Killah, RZA, and Cappadonna contributing their vocal talents. The Saga Continues proved to be a commercial success, topping the Independent Albums chart on its first week of release. ~ Mark Deming

Top Songs

Albums

Top Videos

Listeners Also Played