Friday, August 13, 2010

386. Enter the Wu Tang. Rappers hunting in packs.

Album: Enter the Wu Tang
Artist: The Wu Tang Clan
Year: 1993
Genre: Rap

Tracks

1. Bring da Ruckus
2. Shame on a Nigga
3. Clan in da Front
4. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber
5. Can It Be All So Simple/Intermission
6. Da Mystery of Chessboxin'
7. Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit
8. C.R.E.A.M.
9. Method Man
10. Protect Ya Neck
11. Tearz - Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang Clang
12. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber, Pt. 2 - Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang Clan
13. Conclusion - Wu-Tang Clan, Wu-Tang Clan



Enter the Wu Tang is a rap album. Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm not the world's biggest fan of Rap. During the course of writing this blog I've listened to old school rap, new school rap and gangsta rap. I've heard the pioneers, the masters, the fallen martyrs and the revered elder-statesmen of the Hip Hop world. I've listened patiently to all of it and tried to review a genre that to me sounds shamelessly one dimensional. I've said: "This isn't for me and their arrogant posturing really gives me the irrates" in as many different ways as I can. I'm seriously contemplating opting out of rap reviews in the future and replacing them with the reviews I'd really like to write: "This is another rap album, please read my other reviews of rap albums because they apply just as equally here. Instead I'm going to write about Midnight Oil." I wish there was some Oils on this countdown I really do.

Most rap sounds the same to me but thankfully The Wu Tang Clan have a twist up their sleeve which made me pay this album more attention than I thought I would. The Wu Tang clan are a rap group. Or more accurately they're a group of rappers. A rock group usually has one vocalist and a bunch of guys who play instruments. A rap group has one guy who handles the musical backing and a collection of vocalists. Rapping duties on Enter the Wu Tang are shared by a guys named Raekwon, Method Man (who later became an actor but refused to change his name to Method Actor Man, an opportunity missed I think), RZA and GZA (who not only share the same last name but the same middle name as well, how wild is that?) Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah and Ol' Dirty Bastard. The MC's don't just take a song each but usually take a verse in a song which means every track features a variety of voices. It's the perfect way to compare different vocal styles and having listened carefully I can conclude not all rappers sound the same.

The most unique voice in rap music that I've ever heard is probably Ol Dirty Bastard who sounds like he's rapping from a different planet to the rest of the band. He somehow sounds old and confused while rapping, which is a fairly impressive feat in a genre that doesn't really appreciate the elderly or the baffled. While most MC's are sure they're the greatest rapper to ever live ODB comes across as someone who is not entirely convinced he's actually in the studio. He sounds unsure about where the microphone is and a bit vague on how rapping works. It's really refreshing to be honest.

While I'm never going to become a rap convert I'd rate Wu Tang as among the best Hip Hop albums I've heard lately. It's partly the variety that lots of different voices provide, it's partly the samples from old kung Fu movies but it's mainly because there is some sense of playfulness about it. It sounds like a bunch of guys together enjoying doing what they do. It's the closest rap gets to jamming and it actually works. If you're not a rap fan don't bother hunting it out because it won't convert you. If you're a fan of the genre then you've probably got it already. In both cases I apologize for wasting your time.


Lowlight: Can it be that it was all so simple. Annoying sample overdone.
Highlight: Bring Da Ruckus

Influenced by: Rap and a communal spirit.
Influenced: Rap

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote:
"South Sid "

-A two word review, both of them baffling.

So would let the Wu Tang enter or would you rather keep

2 comments:

  1. Ahaha. South sid. I will now use that quote for a few days in a failed attempt to be humorous. Just between you and me, sir.

    I think I would really love the Wu-Tang Clan, I really do. Should I be ashamed that I don't have it yet?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ryan give the Wu tang a try. I listened to this again recently and actually enjoyed it more the fifth time. They're worth a listen.

    ReplyDelete