Category: Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Forever

ARTIST: Wu-Tang Clan                         220px-wu-tang_forever

TITLE:  Wu-Tang Forever

YEAR RELEASED: 1997

CHART ACTION: #1 US, #1 UK

SINGLES: Triumph (#50 R&B, #6 Rap, #46 UK), It’z Yourz (#75 R&B, #21 UK), Reunited

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Impossible

LINEUP: RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah deck, U-God, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, Street Life

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:  Hard, heavy-duty follow-up album lives up to the hype and is a rare double-CD that has hardly any filler.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It was going to be hard to top the debut Wu-Tang Clan, and doubly hard to make a hip-hop double CD that was worth the money and trouble.

Mission accomplished.

Most everything here works, and the rhymes and beats come together in a seamless fashion. The samples and music are well thought out and definitely complement the lyrics, which are quite hardcore descriptions of life in the streets and the characters that inhabit it.

Only the second disk has filler – the first and last cuts are monologues that can be dispensed with. There’s nothing else that doesn’t work, and it’s well sequenced too. This…this is a classic.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: RZA allowed some others to produce a few tracks.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There are a couple of extra songs on the international version.

GRADE: A: A fantastic hip-hop record, among the best ever.

Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

ARTIST: Wu-Tang Clan      220px-Wu-TangClanEntertheWu-Tangalbumcover

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.