Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Wu-Tang Clan "Enter The Wu-Tang" (The Source, 2/94)


"With the success of the posse jam "Protect Ya Neck" (the independent release that rocked all summer), as well as the solo track "Method Man" (the single that's still runnin' shit now), it should come as no surprise that the full LP release from gatin' Staten Island's first rap dynasty will be ruling benzi boxes and Walkmans all winter long and then some. Why? Because this is not just another rap album with gangsta themes and gun smoke. This album is the manifestation of classic kung-fu type styles infected with the realities of ghetto life/death and strong, Old School b-boy memories. In the late '70s and early '80s, a generation of NYC b-boys fell in love with imported martial arts films... B-boys were amazed to see the characters perform superhuman acrobatic feats and employ incomprehensible fighting styles while looking cool, composed and relaxed. Soon the innovation and imagination that was revealed in darkened Times Square movie theaters would be taken back to the inner-city projects, basements and parks as b-boys citywide mimicked Shaolin-like disciple and dedicated themselves towards honing their artistic, lyrical and physical techniques to perfection and elevating hip-hop culture to fine art." Video to "Protect Ya Neck," cont'd below



"Fast-foward a decade and hip-hop has become a major part of mainstream American culture. It is profitable, it is in demand and it has been exploited. Art has been replaced by fast money and heart has been replaced with image. And the once packed 42nd St. theaters and their kung fu marathons have withered and faded away. But that's not to say that true hip-hop is dead; the true bboy monks have just gone deep underground. Last year the Fu-Schnickens skimmed the surface of Shaolin thought, but it was the duty of the Wu-Tang Clan (The Rebel INS, Shallah Raekwon, Method Man, U God, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Ghost Face Killer, Prince Rakeem and The Genius) to reincarnate and bring back the verbal killing techniques of a forgotten hip-hop era." Video to "Method Man," cont'd...



"This album is a throwback to the days of 1986-1987, when rap was filled with honesty, greatness and skill. The days when incredible crowd-moving demonstrations were backed with sparse, rhythmic and incredibly hard, chest-pounding beats. Beats that concentrated on raw dopeness instead of slick production and beauty. Never since Criminal Minded has an album been so stripped down and pure. Songs like the "Mystery Of Chessboxin'" or "Wu-Tang 7th Chamber" display furious freestyles that sting as the Clan lyrically combinate and reform back-to-back-to back. While their depictions are graphic and extreme, the Wu are not studio savages looking for a gimmick. They are a clan of strong brothers who have banded together to survive in a world hell-bent on consuming them. And within the chaos there are sharp moments of reflection, understanding and clarity. "Can It Be All So Simple" is a look back at the hard days of the past. "Tearz" is about losses through the years and "C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)" is an all out gotta-get-mine story of survival. This record is harsh, but so is the world that we live in. For b-boys n' girls who come from the core of the hard, this is the hip-hop album you've been waiting for. Simply put: "The Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthin' to f#ck with." - The Source, February 1994. // All that, yet it still fell short of 5-mics!?...