Twenty-four years ago yesterday, the Wu-Tang Clan brought the muthafuckin’ ruckus and taught us all about Shaolin shadow boxing and their own special sword style. The release of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) transformed the rap landscape, as kung fu flick samples, dirty basement beats and raw free associative rhyme patterns set the stage for an East Coast renaissance one year after The Chronic.
After that it didn’t matter how many times RZA told us the Clan was nuthing ta fuk with, everybody was fukkin’ with them heavy. And subsequent generations have continued to do so over the course of six official group albums (not counting that one-of-one joint that nobody’s ever heard).
The Wu-Tang brand may be the most powerful in hip hop history, but even the most ardent Wu head will admit that the Clan has had its ups and downs over the years. (And speaking of Wu heads, have you tested your Wu IQ?)
Between Enter the Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang Forever, The W, Iron Flag, 8 Diagrams, and A Better Tomorrow, there is a LOT of music out there and it’s time someone took the trouble to evaluate it all carefully as a public service to hip hop and to the Clan. MASS APPEAL is that someone and today is that day. We’ve subjected all the cuts from their official albums to the sharpest scrutiny. (That means no soundtrack or compilation joints, and the solo albums are a whole different chamber, which we’ll be dealing with one day… soon). So without further ado, let’s step inside the room and prepare for the boom.
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