Before I get to this review, two things;
- THIS ALBUM IS A CLASSIC / NO ARGUMENT
- I had the pleasure of seeing Wu-Tang for my first gig (Method Man unfortunately wasn’t there 😦 )
So, to Shaolin we (metaphorically) go. ’36 Chambers’, the debut Hip-Hop album from Rap group and collective, Wu-Tang Clan. Consisting of charismatic, gritty-spat lyrics and speaking up against black-on-black crime and remembering the days where they’d have to commit crimes to live. All members of the group, from the loud, tongue-and-cheek lyricist, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP), smokey and lazy flow of Method Man, or the above-and-beyond lyrical genius that is GZA. I’m not saying these members are the best, each member brings a different sound and atmosphere to their tracks. However, I do believe, due to the size of the group (9), that some members performance, throughout, the album, sets more of a tone and captures an image in the listeners head more than another.
Starting with a sample of a Kung-Fu movie, Lo-Fi drums, psychedelic synths and Horror-film worthy keys menacingly playing behind each MC’s distinctive voice, flow, lyrics and energy. “Bring Da Ruckus” is definitely one of the most defining opening tracks on Hip-Hop record at the time. While there are classic-cuts on this album, such as ‘C.R.E.A.M’, an incredible ‘rags-to-riches’ story written and directed by RZA, Method Man, Raekwon and Inspectah Deck. “Da Mystery of Chessboxin'” featuring 7/9 members annihilate this beat. The creepy strings, Bluesy drums and dynamic shared creativity between the members is flawless. “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’Wit” as well as “Protect Ya Neck” and “Tearz” are other examples of the amazing storytelling that is fossilised from this album.
In all; this album is a classic, too an old Hip-Hop Head or young one. They defined and brought forward a whole new sound and energy to the East-Coast and are still to this day one of the many influences of modern Rappers.