on December 19, 2004
I'm not gonna pretend like a know a whole lot about the history of Hip-Hop and rap music to write this review. All I know is what I like--tight beats and ill lyrics, and this album is a classic because it excells in both areas! I'm not into most newer "Hip-Hop" that is played on the radio or on MTV; most of it all sounds the same, and its pretty weak. This album came out over ten years ago and sounds just as good now as it did then, and that is ten times better than most of the B.S. you hear anymore. I remeber when I first heard of the Wu-Tang Clan back in 1993 (when I was only 13!) when I first saw the videos for Method Man and C.R.E.A.M.--I couldn't wait to hear more! It took a few months, but I finally got this album and haven't grown tired of it ever since. Its not on constant rotation, but I've got every track memorized, even the sketches, and the $hit never gets old! If you don't have it yet, what's your excuse? Never dated or outdone, Wu's first album is one of the greatest albums of any genre, and I'm a fan of Punk, Metal, Classic Rock and even Jazz, and this is still one of my all time favorites.
on April 5, 2000
I listen to a lot of music. And, y'know, some albums get stale after a while. Some albums, you can only listen to for a few weeks, and then they sit on your CD rack for months before you go back to them.
But "36 Chambers" is icy-fresh every time you drop it into your stereo. It's everything hip-hop should be: raw beats, simple hooks and evocative samples intertwined with nine rappers' unique styles, all of which come together to build an hour-long assault on the body and mind.
I weep when I listen to this album. It showcases the Ol' Dirty Bastard when he was simply a purveyor of a brilliant style that was utterly his own, before the persona overshadowed the man. The price of the album is worth it for "Protect Ya Neck" alone--a concise, perfect summary of what it means to be Wu-Tang. You come to know the album, and then you come to know the rappers themselves, seeing them like a twisted set of Superfriends, finding yourself thinking, "Here comes Inspectah Deck; he's about to rip sh*t up."
You have to take most rappers' boasts with a grain of salt or two. But when the Wu-Tang say they're nothing to f*ck with, you believe them. They are, most especially on this album, an unstoppable force for hip-hop justice.
on November 13, 2004
O.D.B. aka The Ol' Dirty Bastard, aka Big Baby Jesus aka Dirt McGirt died today, and I think everyone who doesn't have this album owes it to him to PICK IT UP, also because its the second best rap album of all time behind Ready To Die (in my opinion).
For all of you who don't know, the Wu-Tang Clan was RZA, GZA/Genius, Ol Dirty Bastard, Inspektah Deck (Rebel INS), Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, U-God & Raekwon, with RZA producing all Wu-Tang albums, and almost all of Wu-Tang's solo projects
1.Bring Da Ruckus (Ghostface, Raekwon, Inspektah Deck, GZA)-5/5-Perfect opening song. RZA's production is perfect like usual, and every verse is great
2.Shame On A N**** (Ol Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ol Dirty Bastard)-6/5-One of my favorite songs of all time, one of the only old upbeat RZA productions I've ever heard (even tho i love this beat), ODB stands out on this one, with some of his best work
3.Clan In Da Front (Intro by the RZA, GZA solo)-5/5-My favorite Wu member (GZA), rips it up over a classic RZA piano loop.
4.Wu-Tang:7th Chamber (Raekwon, Method Man, Inspektah Deck, Ghostface Killah, RZA, Ol Dirty Bastard, GZA)-5/5-All Wu members on this song drop hot verses (over a great RZA beat) but my fav's on this song are Rae's, Ghostface's & RZA's
5.Can It Be All So Simple (Raekwon, Ghostface Killah)-5/5-Great song by Rae & Ghost, who always go great together (if you like this song you will love Only Built 4 Cuban Linx)
6.Da Mystery Of Chessboxin (U-God, Inspektah Deck, Raekwon, Method Man, Ol Dirty Bastard, Ghost Face Killah, Masta Killa)-5/5-Classic beat by RZA, every verse is great, and the first time you hear Masta Killa and U-God, who drop hot verses
7.Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin Ta F' Wit (RZA, Inspektah Deck, Method Man)-6/5-One of my favorite songs of all time, one of the greatest RZA productions and the energy on this track is crazy
8.C.R.E.A.M. (Raekwon, Inspektah Deck, Meth on chourus)-5/5-RZA produces one of the best piano loops in rap EVER, and Raekwon and Inspektah Deck drop 2 of the best verses on the CD
9.Method Man (Method Man)-5/5-My favorite Method Man song of all time, and another great beat.
10.Protect Ya Neck (Inspektah Deck, Raewkon, Method Man, U-God, Ol Dirty Bastard, Ghostface Killah, RZA, GZA)-5/5-This song is edited on this CD for some reason? This song features all Wu-Tang members except for Masta Killa, and everyone drops a hot verse, especially ODB & GZA
11.Tearz (RZA, Ghostface Killah)-5/5-RZA & Ghostface drop CLASSIC verses, on one of my favorite RZA beats
12.Wu-Tang 7th Chamber Pt.II (Raekwon, Method Man, Inspektah Deck, Ghostface Killah, RZA, Ol Dirty Bastard, GZA)-5/5-Same verses as Wu-Tang 7th Chamber, new hot beat
The CD is a MUST HAVE for all rap fans
PICK IT UP RIGHT NOW IF YOU DONT HAVE IT!
on January 19, 2005
The band may have all released a bewildering array of solo albums, and possibly weakened the brand with offshoot merchandising, but the group hailing from Staten Island..N,Y dropped this debut, in 1993, that not only completely put East-Coast Rap firmly on the map, but this was a collective of 9 members, with a Shaolin / Martial Art fixation, that put such a ominous & thuggishly confident album together, it still to this day ranks as one of the finest Hardcore Rap albums ever made.
"Bring da Ruckus" is the sort of street-smart & confrontationally raw track that brought the clan to fame, minimal beats & complex wordplay are the order of the day, and set a running theme throughout the album, as virtually all the tracks on Enter the Wu-Tang is packed martial arts metaphors, pop culture references, that would take multiple listens to fully digest.
"Can it Be All so Simple"...leads with a marvellous northern soul sample before breaking into a fusion of strings and horns, and off-kilter menace, (RZA the production genius behind the album, blends a sublime fusion here). And yet the production is never allowed to overshadow the lyrics, with self-introspection rhymes such as: "Yeah, my pops was a fiend, since sixteen Shootin' that (that's that sh***!) in his blood stream", meant that this wasn't an album all about needless gun posturing.
"C.R.E.A.M"...pushes RZA production to the forefront with menacing minor-key piano, ominous string arrangements and subtle clipped beats underlayed over the whole thing, that remarkably became something of a 'Wu-Tang' trademark, but the tales of money related crime make for thrilling listening, and when this lyric is dropped: "But it was just a dream for the teen, who was a fiend Started smokin woolies at sixteen, And running up in gates, and doing hits for high stakes, Making my way on fire escapes!!"...this is as lyrically tight a rap Collective as there has ever been.
"Protect Ya Neck"..is arguably my personal favourite, and shows the group in a united stance, with the gorgeous muted Horns, schizophrenic surreal beats, sounding like a brooding soundtrack to a horror film. And its here, that I feel the interwoven rhymes between the members is at it's most impressive, with each member not only being cerebral storytellers, but lyrical technicians as well, each member having a very distinctive lyrical rhyme passage, on the mic, before handing over the Mic to the next member. And the track is rounded out perfectly with 'The Genius' (aka "GZA") stealing the show with this lyrical rites of Passage: "First of all, who's your A&R??...A mountain climber who plays an electric guitar??...But he don't know the meaning of dope, When he's lookin for a suit and tie rap, that's cleaner than a bar of soap, And I'm the dirtiest thing in sight...Matter of fact bring out the girls and let's have a mud fight!!!".
If you have even a passing interest in either (A) The Wu-Tang Clan, or (B) Hardcore/East Coast Rap, you owe it to yourself to (at the very least), give this album a whirl. Not only did it set the bar for the majority of rap albums that followed, but it is here, that the Clan not only provided their most impressive performances & (thanks to RZA), often imitated production. This is truly a landmark album, and one of the (very few) rap albums that ever makes those "Best albums ever" list, when people lists their favourite ever albums....truly astonishing.
on August 16, 2000
It's not often that you can pick up an album which is 100% raw talent. In fact, I could safely say that in the past decade I've found less than ten albums which deserve the above accolade. Wu Tang's 36 chambers take that down to 9.
36 Chambers was groundbreaking. It created a whole new sub-culture within the Rap and Hip Hop genre, and gave us more talent in one album that at the time could be found in a selection of twenty. I remember listening to it and knowing that this album had changed my perception of music, Rap and Hip Hop forever.
In seven years I still haven't found a place within 36 Chambers that makes me want to switch to another room. There's not one bad verse, one weak link. The chain is solid. How anyone could mix the bounciness of Shame on a Nigga, with the emotion of Tearz, and the threats of Bring da Ruckus, with the insight of C.R.E.A.M., it's beyond me. No wonder that the production force of the RZA is much coveted.
Of course it helps that the Clan's members all have their own unmistakable style. But remember - 36 Chambers was the beginning, the start of the whole thing. Look at Method Man, Look at the ODB, Inspectah Deck, Rza, Gza, Ghostface Killah. Lok at where they are, and what they're doing now. It's all on the back of 36 Chambers, when their talent was first brought to light.
They say, the birth of a new life is the most incredible thing one can ever see. With 36 Chambers, we saw a multiple labour.
Can you fight the Wu Tang sword style? Not a chance.
on August 1, 2000
Popular music these days has become foul. Every thing is going downhill, with the birth of bubblegum pop. Even hip hop is at an all time low. It began after the deaths of both the Notorious B.I.G., and Tupac Shakur, with the un-originality of rappers like Puffy (Bad Boy), Will Smith, and the Cash Money crew. It seems they are into hip hop for money and/or fame.
The music of the Wu-Tang (back in the early to mid 90s) brought orginality and depth to hip hop. The release of 36 chambers allowed people to look at hip hop, not only as "talking over beats", but as an art form.
The production of the RZA is top-notch. He pulls in trippy melancolic piano melodies and dope beats. He also brings in cool backgrounds and a few rappers with "killer" lyrics. My point is, "give the man his credit". He is a musical genius.
36 chambers intends to bore the listener with the slow and steady track "Bring Da Rukus". It then wakes you up with "Shame on a Nigga". Watch out for the brilliant performance by ODB. It then introduces you to the clan with the third track. For the next 2-3 tracks, it puts the listener in a relaxed soulful mode. Half way though the album, it picks up and plays around with the listener by bringing in humor and gratifying hip hop music. Tracks like C.R.E.A.M., Method Man, and Protect ya neck are examples. Tearz is a hip hop ballad about bad choices in life, also a great one. The final track is a wrap-up of all the tracks. A good idea for a conclusion.
If anyone should own only one hip hop record in their life, it certainly should be this one. This is as good as hip hop gets. I have failed to find a hip hop record that bears comparison to this one. Till this date, it is the highest status in the evolution of hip hop.
on May 27, 2014
This is a great, classic album. One of my favorite all time hip hop albums. The vinyl is poorly made as other reviewers have stated. The vinyl is flimsy, pops and cracks all over the album (and not due to being dirty or scratches). Sound quality is very low. I have to crank my stereo system to uncharted territories just to make the album audible. Very disappointed with vinyl. Should be pressed on 2LPs.
on June 3, 2014
Maybe Shaolin's finest moment. It's doubtful at this point if they'll ever put out anything equal or better than this.
My main concern is the album, despite being renowned as a work of Lo-Fi, minimal genius could definitely benefit from
a thorough, tastefully done & subtle 24 bit remastering. As it stands it is often let down by less than great Stereo definition which leave brilliant tracks sounding flat and compressed.
It could also greatly benefit from some basic "equalization" enhancing (at the remastering level) to put a slight leash on the bass which is overblown in certain places (Shame on a Ni**a) and to sweeten & tease out the treble and mids in many cases (I know a home equaliser unit can do this but it's better to be done at the Studio level of the process so we may have a default well-balanced sounding CD).
Remastering needs to be done with respect and fine comprehension of the original producers aim/vision, otherwise it can be a butchering process.
RZA, I hope it can come to pass and be brought about by the right folks to breathe fresh life into a true Hip Hop classic!
on June 29, 2015
where the volume on this record, what a horrible sounding LP, shame on a ******** who tries to run game on a ********, my favorite hip hop record ever, but this vinyl is simply garbage...the CD sounds WAY BETTER!!!!
The "36 Chambers" album is one of the few ever that completely revolutionized hip hop. I'm not going to say that it's the greatest ever, although it's easily in my top ten, but it's easily one of the most important, changing the face of the music genre for good. In 1993, hip hop was slowly drifting away from the Native Tongues, east coast mindset towards a gangstafied, lyrically simplistic style from the west coast. And then all of a sudden, "36 Chambers" arrived and produced something like hip hop had never seen before. 8 ultra talented MCs, simple yet intricate beats, metaphors, samples, hooks, something totally different. In fact, if it weren't for "36 Chambers", much of what is so prevalent in hip hop today would never have happened. There would be no posses the likes of G-Unit and Bad Boy, no skits in hip hop albums, no metaphoric raps the likes of Nas and AZ's mafioso or MF Doom's cartoon style, no movie samples, and no spinning piano beats like on here. Wu took over hip hop for the next ten years and beyond thanks to this album. "36 Chambers" is tough, funny, raw, amazing, entertaining, catchy, and head spinning all at the same time. Their style remains hard throughout, often metaphoric through kung-fu and such in describing a hard, distorted world of their hometown "Shaolin", aka Staten Island. The 8 MCs move in and out over RZAs production consistently, and it's easy to see why "36 Chambers" is regarded as such a classic album.
The album leads off with "Bring Da Ruckus", an introductory type of track that lets everybody know who the Wu-Tang Clan is, hard raps from all, a silly intro, and a great song all around. "Shame on a N**ga" is a funny, catchy, loopy song led by Method Man and RZA. After the classic "Clan in da Front", with its looped beat, comes "7th Chamber", a track with a crazy intro skit followed by a great story. On "Can it All Be So Simple", the Clan drops some raw philosophy over a classic beat and hook. "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" is one of those tracks that exhibits everything we love about Wu, with a crazy silly theme that you really have to listen to to know what they're talking about. Of course, "Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nothin' to F**k Wit" is on this album, one of the classic tracks of hip hop history. One of the hardest and craziest songs ever, it has a creepy hook and is a straight classic. This is followed by what many consider one of the greatest songs ever, "C.R.E.A.M." It has a simple piano and bass beat, with a classic hook ("Get the money...dolla dolla bill y'all!") and storytelling lyric. "Method Man" is the first introspective track from the namesake that launched him to stardom, with a funny intro. The last three tracks, "Protect Ya Neck", "Tearz", and "7th Chamber Part II" are all classics in themselves that helped produce the legend that is "36 Chambers".
"36 Chambers" is an album that is so strange and amazing that you can listen to it a million times and find some new beat, lyric, metaphor, or skit that you love each time. It is an album that completely revolutionized rap and its tremors are still being felt today.