January 31, 2021

Wu-Tang Clan "C.R.E.A.M." (January 31, 1994)

Where "Protect Ya Neck," recorded for a few hundred dollars and sold out the backs of vans, sought to introduce Wu-Tang Clan into the rap conversation--any rap conversation, really--"C.R.E.A.M.," the standout song from Enter The Wu-Tang, (36 Chambers), announced them as torchbearers. "C.R.E.A.M." was dusty and intimidating and raw and unflinching, just as the album was, and it framed a very bleak economic realism in a handmade collage of bizarro tinks and thumps. It was the inverse to what had been happening in rap on the West Coast for the two years prior, both sonically (Dr. Dre's G-Funk creation was unhurried and loping and a reflection of its own coolness; Wu-Tang's lo-fi bombast was frenetic and intricate and introspective) and ideologically (the whole first verse of "Nuthin But a "G" Thang" is about how Dr. Dre is unfadeable so please don't try to fade him; the whole first verse of "C.R.E.A.M." is about all the small-scale crime Raekwon had committed, only to realize he'd not advanced his station in life). It was a change matched in measure only by what Public Enemy had done five years prior with It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and it was invigorating. G-Funk certainly didn't disappear (Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle was released the same month as Enter The Wu-Tang) but the next direction of rap's evolution had been made obvious. - The Rap Year Book. "C.R.E.A.M." is said to have been released on this day in 1994! Revisit the classic video HERE and as always, hit the archives for lots more content from the Wu!