Released 24 years ago today, it still stands the test of time as one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever produced. Even now in 2017, Ghostface Killah’s bars and RZA’s masterful production ring true and have become staples of the genre.
If you aren’t familiar with either the Wu-Tang Clan or their masterful debut album ‘Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)‘ then quite frankly you need to crawl out of the nearest rock you’ve been living under, as they are a group who have justified their legendary status with an equally legendary discography. None of their follow-up works were bad, far from it, but none could hit the heights of 36 Chambers and the reasons for this are simple: Released 24 years ago today, it still stands the test of time as one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever produced. Even now in 2017, Ghostface Killah’s bars and RZA’s masterful production ring true and have become staples of the genre.
The group’s de facto leader RZA produced the album entirely on his own and created some of the most iconic rap instrumentals of all time, none more phenomenal than ‘C.R.E.A.M’ which truly is one of the best songs this genre of hip-hop music has ever heard. The underground sound to it meant that it was never going to top the charts immediately, but as time has gone on and people have acknowledged it’s integral role in hip-hop’s renaissance period it has soared to over 2 million unit sales in America alone, becoming a Platinum project in 1995.
The album had so many standout hits which meant that it could not only be indulged in full as a crip gang concept album, but also with stand alone tracks such as ‘Protect Ya Neck’ or the staggering ‘Can It All Be So Simple’ demonstrating ice cold flow and catchy hooks. The variation the group had thanks to the fruitful number of members they had meant it was close to impossible to sound dated or boring. Raekwon, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP), you name it they had it; the talents were never-ending.
In summary, this album served as a landmark moment in the East Coast hip-hop movement, inspiring the likes of Nas and The Notorious B.I.G to fly the coastal flag in the keen 90s battle between East and West. It is often seen as the blueprint of a classic New York rap project and so many others have attempted to emulate it since, with only a select group of special exceptions managing to come anywhere near it. Having heard their newest album, released just a month ago in October 2017, it makes you realise just how incredible this project was, along with how far away they were as a group from emulating it since.