What up y’all. It was a holiday so I took a few days off, but I’m back at it. You ever heard of Wikipedia syndrome? It’s when you search for one thing on Wikipedia and end up at something completely unrelated. Today, my case of WS landed me on the wiki page for The Wu-Tang Clan. They say you learn something new every day, either my hip hop headism is slippin’ or I just uncovered some jewels. As most heads know the “Shark Niggas” intro on the purple tape was shots fired directly at the B.I.G. guy from Bed Stuy. What I didn’t know is there was an assumed feud between the clan and Big Poppa. That was weird being that the only feature on Mr. Wallace’s “Ready to Die” was Method Man. Truth is, it wasn’t the whole crew from Shaolin, but two of the major members, Rae and Ghost, the Wu’s version of Hawk and Animal. We all know about the above mentioned skit diss (Nigga bit off of Nas Sh!t) but here are a few things I didn’t know:
Rae, on Ice Water: To top it all off, beefin’ for White/Pullin’ bleach out, tryin’a throw it in my eyesight
B.I.G. on Kick In The Door: Fuck that, why try/Throw bleach in ya eye
Ghostface on Criminology: RZA baked the track and it’s militant/Then I react like a convict, and start killin’ shit
B.I.G. on Victory: Militant/Y’all faggots ain’t killin’ shit
Separate Meth and RZA interviews confirm it wasn’t a Clan wide beef, but more so just the two aforementioned Wu Gambinos. They both claim that before Voletta’s baby boy got murked in Cali that they had peaced everything up. All that being said, the Wu is one of the most important groups in not only Hip Hop history, but because of the deal they were allowed to sign with Loud, music industry history. The deal signed the whole 9 member group to Steve Rifkind’s imprint but allowed each of the individuals to sign separate solo deal through other record companies. It is in the spirit of B.I.G., and that deal that I present to you, the Top 10 Wu Albums:
10. Tical – Method Man: This guy to me, is the member of the Wu- who least lived up to potential. He had the most personality on records and interviews but his projects just weren’t put together well to me. This album had a lot of records that were dope but the album didn’t flow well to me. It got a lot of play though just on the strength of so many hot records.
9. No Set Date – Masta Killa: One of the most slept on solo albums for the Wu. It came out in ’04, WAY after the prime of the crew. Never the less it’s a dope album that you probably missed. His voice has this power to it, like “NIGAA YOU GONE LISTEN TO ME ‘CAUST IT’S IMPORTANT!!” Very serious record, dope beats, ill delivery, quality music.
8. 4:21…The Day After – Method Man: This was the album Tical should have been 12 years ago. It’s a very cohesive album with dope beats and rhymes. It had lots of complete songs, not just hot verses. The most slept on album from the Wu simply because, like No Set Date, it came WAY after heyday of the Wu-tang, definitely worth going back to check it out.
7. Iron Man – Ghostface Killah: To me, this album was a sequel of a MUCH BETTER Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. The strengths of this album are in the stories and production. Classic records but I thought that there are too many dark slow moving records. A classic but, and I’m gonna catch flack for this, there are definitely better Wu records .
6. Wu-Tang Forever – The Wu-Tang Clan: This is my favorite double album of all time. I remember going to a midnight launch at Waxie Maxie’s in Columbia. This album had a lot going for it: classic lead single, dope mixtape leaks, and a good story, as Ol’ Dirty Bastard was locked up during a lot of it. So many good records, and it had that 1990s enhanced CD crap that was popular back then, which was cool because it had passwords you had to find out to see all the quicktime videos. It did have its missteps though. Whose bright idea was it to give U-God his own song? Anyway…classic joint, what was your favorite disc?
5. Return to the 36 Chambers – Ol’ Dirty Bastard: What this album lacked, severely, in lyrics, it made up in production and personality. There’s honesty in this record that can’t be matched. I mean come on; the cover was a public assistance card, and the gonorrhea line…lls epic. I love this record. Two huge singles, Dirt killed the streets and the radio. Who don’t love Shimmy Shimmy. Brooklyn Zoo still causes black mosh pits at hip hop venues. This is sho’ ‘nuff a Wu classic.
4. Supreme Clientele – Ghostface Killah: Once again the Wu king of storytelling did it. Apollo Kids and Cherchez La Ghost led a record full of dope joints. My favorite joint on here is Nutmeg, what’s messin’ with that? If you don’t think Mighty Healthy is an all time Top Ten beat, you crazy, the kick snare combo on there is insane. I could go on and on about this record but you already heard it and you already know what it is.
3. Liquid Swords – the GZA: I can just remember rocking this in my Aunt Tina’s basemen chillin’ with my cousin Mike playin’ the game or riding in the Fun Flyer, but I digress. This is where GZA really had a chance to flex his lyrical muscle. This has a very grimy Wu-Tang feel. No fluff, all main course records. This record probably had the most substance of all the records that came out of the Wu camp. Words from the Genius indeed.
2. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx aka the Purple Tape – Raekwon featuring Ghostface Killah: joint for joint, this is one of the best Hip Hop albums period. Just dope track after dope track it seem to never end. Not heavy on radio friendly record but very heavy on quality music. My favorite Wu-record is Wu-Gambinos, hard beat, ill verses, Meth kills another hook. I have two words for you Verbal Intercourse. What yall know about a certain joint called Ice Cream. C’mon man, if you don’t love The Purple Tape I don’t care nothing about you.
1. Enter the 36 Chambers – Wu-Tang Clan: This is the one that put me on. The RZA, the GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, and the Method Man (what about Masta Killa?). They formed like Voltron. Classic records like C.R.E.A.M., Wu Tang Clan Ain’t Nothin’ to F’ With, floored me. It was a totally new sound, with all that west coast music that was out this was straight outta left field. One of the greatest skits of all time (torture mo fo). The infamous Wu-Tang edit was born here. I mean how do you have a single that they play on the radio, with the word fuck in the title? There aren’t many records that define classic like this one does.
There you have it, the top 10 Wu-tang albums. I have to put some of these back in rotation ASAP. This list took me back a little bit. I know it’s gonna be some mad heads over this one, and if you disagree you can leave it for me on twitter ( @illfam79 ) on Facebook or leave a comment here, but remember…Your Opinion Is Wrong. Peace