I like rap. Yes, I LIKE rap, I don't LOVE it. Of course, I've listened to all of the classics, and some I loved, some I liked, some I didn't like. Some of my favorites were Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, and De La Soul's 3 Feet High And Rising. But the one that stuck out the most to me was Wu-Tang Clan's debut album, Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers.
The first time I had listened to it, I was not impressed at all. I thought the profanity was just too over the top, the beats were uninspired, and everything was just plain old BORING. I didn't listen to it again fo about a month, until it popped into my mind again. I thought I should give it another try, and I did. I still wasn't impressed, but the third time I listened to it, it clicked. I suddenly understood the genius of it and bought it immediately. It has become one of my favorite albums ever.
Everything about the album is just great. The beats are nice, and the piano hooks are very quirky (Da Mystery of Chessboxin'), and the rapping is phenomenal. Every Wu-Tang member has a different unique sound. The best actual rappers are probably the RZA, the GZA, Raekwon the Chef, and Ghostface Killah, but there is no weak link in the Clan. Ol' Dirty Bastard is probably the most interesting and fun to listen to, and U-God's verse at the beginning of Da Mystery of Chessboxin' is awesome.
No rappers in the Clan, though, deliver a bad verse. But now it's time to look at the songs. Bring Da Ruckus is a song that will get you absolutely pumped. The RZA's hook is so ferociously and violently delivered, and the kung fu movie samples strengthen the song. Clan In Da Front has a weird overlong intro, but the hook is awesome and catchy. 7th Chamber has a good skit at the beginning, and is one of the best "pass the mic" songs, with a wonderful verse from everyone. Da Mystery Of Chessboxin's piano hook is delightfully strange, and Ain't Nuthin' Ta *** Wit is a very violently delivered short rap song.
After Ain't Nuthin' Ta *** Wit comes one of the greatest rap songs of all time, C.R.E.A.M., which stands for Cash Rules Everything Around Me. The song is about growing up in a tough neighborhood and having to make cash in illegal ways. The hook is brilliant and the whole song is very captivating. Method Man has a strange, violent and ridiculous skit about torture at the beginning of it, and it is probably the catchiest song on the album.
One of the weakest songs on the album, though, is the 7th Chamber, Pt. 2, which is the only track that really seems like "filler." It pretty much is just a remix of 7th Chamber, but it's basically the same song. I feel like Tearz would have been a much stronger closing track to the album.
Even though the closing track is disappointing, this is one of my very favorite albums of all time, despite not liking rap very much. Illmatic and Straight Outta Compton didn't click with me (here comes the death threats), but this album just stood out to me. The chemistry is great, and everyone in the Clan delivers an awesome verse at one point on the album. The only thing I would really want to change is the 7th Chamber, Pt. 2. This is one of the classics.