Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’: 15 Facts – Rolling Stone

Twenty years ago, the Wu-Tang Clan blessed the earth with their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang ( 36 Chambers ). Masterminded by the group ’ s de facto leader RZA, the album paired grit-sodden, lo-fi production with razor sharp rhyming skills from the nine-man company who claimed Shaolin ( as they ’ five hundred re-christened Staten Island ) as their fortress. The album ’ randomness influence has become legendary : It helped restore New York City tap pride in the front of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg ’ s g-funk authority, Raekwon and Ghostface ’ s rhyme styles inspired the subsequent work of Nas, Jay Z and the Notorious BIG, and RZA ’ s tick of speeding up soul samples struck a chord with a young Kanye West who then embraced the proficiency for his own early break-through productions .

Enter the Wu-Tang ( 36 Chambers ) was the first base stage of global laterality for the Clan. ( Meth evening claims that as their goal on one of the album ’ s slang-saturated skits. ) But while the album, its iconography and its run singles are now solid pop polish fixtures, there ’ mho besides a cryptic underbelly to the visualize. here ’ s15 factoids about the Wu ’ s jump-off here and now that might have passed you by .

1. The Demo Tape Off-Cuts
The show record which begat Enter the Wu-Tang ( 36 Chambers ) is a intrigue matter. “ Bring the Ruckus ” is fleshed out with a ( subsequently unclearable ) sample and some alternate lyric performances, while tracks that never made the final examination album include “ Wu-Tang Master, ” “ Problemz ” and “ The Wu Is Comin ’ Through. ” Most challenging though is “ It ’ second All About Me, ” which references De La Soul ’ sulfur “ Me Myself And I ” and flows forth in an uncharacteristically lackadaisical manner .

2. Passing the Bone
During “ Clan In Da Front, ” the GZA makes one of the album ’ s many references to weed when he implores, “ Pass the bone, child, pass the bone. ” But beyond the blunt craving, the line besides nods to the rapper ’ s prior unsuccessful career when he called himself the Genius and was signed to the Cold Chillin ’ label ; “ Pass the Bone ” was a ruggedly chug production that was left off his debut album, 1991 ’ s Words From the Genius, but added to a 1994 re-release. ( The song besides features RZA in his prince Rakeem guise and he name-checks Raekwon. ) Self-referentially, the bone passing saga continued when Masta Killa updated the song for 2006 ’ south Made in Brooklyn .

3. The Album Was Fueled by Canned Goods
The Clan ’ s early effigy involved the idea that they were a bunch of scrappy, striving artists from the slums of Shaolin. ODB surely mined a look you could kindly call “ disheveled poverty chic. ” According to 9th Prince, RZA ’ randomness younger brother, the low budget live was a true part of their animation and Ghostface would frequently make shoplifting trips to the local store to help feed the Clan. “ Ghostface would throw on his big, outsize coat and just stack four or five cans in his coat pockets, and we ’ d walk out, ” he told the Village Voice .

4. “Protect Ya Neck” Cost $300 to Record
The Wu recorded their introduction album at Firehouse Studios, which besides facilitated rap hits from Audio Two, MC Lyte and Das-EFX. According to Yoram Vazan, the studio ’ second owner, the crew ’ randomness foremost single, “ Protect Ya Neck, ” price $ 300 worth of studio time to complete. They obviously paid him in quarters .

5. The Tenth Wu-Tanger
The official ranks of the Wu-Tang Clan number nine : RZA, GZA, Ghostface, Raekwon, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Method Man and the nowadays asleep Ol ’ Dirty Bastard. Cappadonna became something of a semi-member but never secured water-tight Wu condition. According to the RZA though, he came close to offering a local anesthetic Staten Island MC named Scotty Wotty an official station in the crew. You ’ ll hear the character ’ sulfur list shouted out later on episodic Wu releases, and he besides put in an appearance on a 1998 indie knock secrete by Shadez of Brooklyn under a new guise as Jackpot .

6. They Paid for Syl Johnson’sHouse
A large part of the charm of Enter the Wu-Tang ( 36 Chambers ) is its lo-fi sonic ambiance. But that inactive didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate stop the group ( or its label, Loud ) paying up to sample a lump of classic soul or funk. In the sheath of blues homo Syl Johnson, whose “ Different Strokes ” ended up being separate of the Clan ’ s funky flourish on “ Shame on a Nigga, ” they paid handsomely enough to let him snaffle up some veridical estate. As he put it in a 2010 consultation, “ I ’ thousand sitting in the house nowadays that was built with the Wu-Tang money ! ”

7. The Home Office
Perusing the credits to the original vinyl let go of of “ Protect Ya Neck ” reveals the Wu were using a Staten Island address as the headquarters of Wu-Tang Records. Google mapping 234 Morningstar Road today shows a squat domestic house next to a law office. apparently, the build last sold for just under a quarter of a million dollars back in 2002 .

8. The Masked Men
The fib behind the album ’ second iconic cover has besides become one of hip-hop ’ s favorite ruses. entirely six members of the Wu-Tang Clan are pictured on it, and all are sporting stocking masks over their faces. The even rumor has it that with certain members of the Clan otherwise inconvenienced for versatile reasons, some of the group ’ s management team stepped in to take their place .

9. RZA Used Borrowed Studio Equipment
Before the Wu-Tang Clan, Staten Island ’ s knock fit was focussed on the UMCs, a couple whose introduction album, Fruits of Nature, peddled in post-De La Soul favorableness. When it came fourth dimension to record Enter the Wu-Tang ( 36 Chambers ), RZA reportedly tapped up UMCs producer RNS and borrowed his Ensoniq sampler. reasonably repaying the favor, RNS went on to work with Wu spin-offs the Gravediggaz and kid rapper Shyheim, while the UMCs themselves cut a second album in 1994 that seemed to take a creative discriminative stimulus from the success of the Wu ’ s begrimed sound .

10. Method Man Might be the Clan’s Big Kid at Heart
The husky-voiced Method Man ’ s solo contribution to the album, the humbly-titled “ Method Man, ” opens with him invoking a occupation from the Rollings Stones ’ defiant “ Get Off of My Cloud. ” But elsewhere in the song he decides to get inspired by family favorites like Dr. Seuss ’ s Green Eggs and Ham, the nursery rhyme “ Pat-A-Cake, Pat-A-Cake Baker ’ sulfur Man, ” a snatch of the Tweety Pie and Sylvester cartoon, and Dick Van Dyck ’ s calling menu “ Chim Chim Cheree. ” Consider it the least kid-friendly but child-referential song of the Nineties .

11. The Snow Beach Jacket
For the group ’ s introduction to the populace, the Wu showed a dandified commitment to mid-Nineties utilitarian fashion : Timberlands and Carhartt attire were the fabrics of the day. But for the “ Can It be All so simple ” video, Raekwon donned what has become one of the most iconic pieces of hip-hop fashion : the Ralph Lauren Polo Snow Beach crown. It now fetches high figure amounts among collectors. Consider it the ’ 93 equivalent of Kanye sporting an all-over bespoke Louis Vuitton body-suit .

12. The Sample Circle
RZA ’ second habit of soul samples on the album is nowadays well documented, but the Clan ’ s own grooves have been pilfered by early non-hip-hop artists in return. One early adoptive parent were UK pulsate merchants the Prodigy, who nabbed the open part of “ Da Mystery Of Chessboxin ‘ ” to add some pep to their ardent “ Breathe. ”

13. Chronic Competition
The track that closes out the album, “ Wu-Tang : 7th Chamber, Pt. 2, ” is a stripped remix to a song that appears earlier in the line-up. It ’ mho propelled by a erectile bass-line whose monstrous tenor might well be capable of inspiring night terrors. Amping up the rebellious nature of the Wu ’ randomness attack, RZA has claimed that the album ’ s low-end fire was his attack to out-do the abstruse bass work that Dr. Dre employed on his melodious The Chronic album the class prior .

14. Track-listing Anomalies
“ Protect Ya Neck ” was in the first place released on Wu-Tang Records in 1992. It ’ s the group ’ s official bow and features “ After The Laughter Comes Tears ” on the b-side. ( The latter song would be renamed as the brusque “ Tearz ” on the album. ) But two different pressings of “ Protect Ya Neck ” exist, with a late translation in 1993 trade in “ Method Man ” as the modern b-side cut. In other track-listing shenanigans, the vinyl and CD versions of Enter the Wu-Tang ( 36 Chambers ) contain slenderly different running orders ( which largely come to the aligning of “ Protect Ya Neck ” in the proceedings ) .

15. Low Charting
Despite Enter the Wu-Tang ( 36 Chambers ) becoming a worldwide phenomenon, its original attack on the charts was a limp affair. The album itself scaled alone vitamin a far as number 41 on the Billboard charts, while its four official singles fared little better with “ C.R.E.A.M. ” the highest placed at a sober number 61. The album finally crawled to platinum status in 1995 .

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