Wu-Tang Chamber Music is a compilation album endorsed by Wu-Tang Clan, which was released through E1 Music / Universal Records on June 30, 2009. The album features performances by several Wu-Tang members ( GZA, Masta Killa, Method Man & Cappadonna are absent) and affiliates. The album was released to positive reviews from music critics.
Wu-Tang Chamber Music was released in the same year, a side project executively produced by RZA, featuring live instrumentation from a Brooklyn soul band The Revelations. The album features appearances from five Wu-Tang Clan members, along with AZ , Kool G Rap , Cormega , Havoc , Sean Price , and M.O.P. .
- Recording and Production
- Music and Lyrics
- Critical Reception
- Legacy and Influence
- Track Listing
- External Links
In the late 1980s, cousins Robert Diggs, Gary Grice, and Russell Jones formed a group named Force of the Imperial Master, also known as the All in Together Now Crew. Each member recorded under an alias: Grice as The Genius, Diggs as Prince Rakeem or The Scientist, and Jones as The Specialist. The group never signed to a major label, but caught the attention of the New York City rap scene and was recognized by rapper Biz Markie. By 1991, The Genius and Prince Rakeem were signed to separate record labels. The Genius released Words from the Genius (1991) on Cold Chillin' Records and Prince Rakeem released Ooh I Love You Rakeem (1991) on Tommy Boy Records. Both were soon dropped by their labels. Embittered but unbowed, they refocused their efforts and on new monikers; The Genius became GZA (pronounced "jizza"), while Prince Rakeem became RZA (pronounced "rizza"). RZA discussed the matter in the book The Wu-Tang Manual (2005), stating "[Tommy Boy] made the decision to sign House of Paino...
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was recorded at Firehouse Studio in New York City. The album was produced, mixed, arranged, and programmed by RZA, and was mastered at The Hit Factory in New York City by Chris Gehringer. Because of an extremely limited budget, the group was only able to record in a small, inexpensive studio; with up to eight of the nine Wu-Tang members in the studio at once, the quarters were frequently crowded. To decide who appeared on each song, RZA forced the Wu-Tang rappers to battle with each other. This competition led to the track "Meth Vs. Chef", a battle between Method Man and Raekwon over the rights to rap over RZA's beat; this track was left off the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album but surfaced on Method Man's debut, Tical(1994). Group leader RZA produced Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by creating sonic collages from classic soul samples and clips from martial arts movies such as Shaolin and Wu Tang (1981). He complemented the rappers' perform...
According to music journalist Ben Yew, the minimalist means of production plays directly into the music's "street" aesthetic. "Because [RZA] didn't have the best mixing or recording equipment, the album is wrought with a 'dirty' quality—the drums have more bass and are more hard-hitting than they are crisp and clean; the samples have an eerie, almost haunting type of echo; and the vocals, because each member's voice is already aggressive and gritty, perfectly match the production." Although Ol' Dirty Bastard is given co-production credit on "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" and Method Man is co-credited for "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit", critics and admirers universally credit RZA with developing what Pitchfork called a "dusty yet digital production style [that] helped legitimize the use of more diverse sample sources to the hardcore New York rap massive, breaking away from James Brown based beats and embracing a style that turned the Underdogtheme into the menacing coda for a gr...
Part of the album's title originates from the Five Percent philosophy, known to adherents as the Supreme Mathematics, which attaches the number 9 with the meaning "to bring into existence".Because the Wu-Tang Clan was made of nine members, each of whom has four chambers of the heart, the album was subtitled "36 Chambers", being the total of the nine hearts of the members. In reference to the 1978 kung fu film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin that the group enjoyed watching, the Clan considered themselves as lyrical masters of the 36 chambers, and arrived onto the rap scene while appearing to be ahead, and more advanced over others, with "knowledge of 36 chambers of hip hop music when everyone else in hip hop was striving to attain the knowledge of 35 lessons". Also, while the human body has 108 pressure points (1 + 0 + 8 = 9), only the Wu-Tang martial artists learned and understood that 36 of those pressure points are deadly (9 + 36 = 45) (4 + 5 = 9). The lyrics and rhymes of the 9 membe...
"Protect Ya Neck" and "Tearz" were the first tracks recorded by the Wu-Tang Clan. "Protect Ya Neck" is a free-associative and braggadocious battle rap featuring eight of the nine Wu-Tang Clan members. The track was also edited to scratch out all profanity, save for repeated use of the word "nigga". An uncensored version known as the "Bloody Version" was released on the 2004 compilation album, Legend of the Wu-Tang Clan. "Tearz" tells two stories: RZA's little brother getting shot and Ghostface Killah recounting the story of a man who contracts HIV after having unprotected sex. The singles were independently released as, "Protect Ya Neck"/"After the Laughter Comes Tears", which RZA financed by demanding $100 (USD) from each rapper who wanted a verse on the A-side. The single was re-released in a much larger pressing, with "Method Man" as the B-side. "Method Man" reached number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the Billboar...
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was received positively by contemporary critics. In an article for The Source, The Ghetto Communicator wrote "This record is harsh, but so is the world that we live in. For B-boys n'girls who come from the core of the hard, this is the hip-hop album you've been waiting for". Entertainment Weekly said, "With its rumble jumble of drumbeats, peppered with occasional piano plunking, Enter has a raw, pass-the-mike flavor we haven't heard since rap was pop's best-kept secret." Touré was less enthusiastic in Rolling Stone, praising the album's sound, but noting that "Wu-Tang ... are more ciphers than masterful creations. In refusing to commodify themselves, they leave blank the ultimate canvas—the self." He added, "This is hip-hop you won't find creeping up the Billboard charts but you will hear booming out of Jeep stereos in all the right neighborhoods." However, Enter the Wu-Tang had surprising chart success, despite its raw, underground sound. It peaked a...
East Coast hip hop
Adam Heimlich of the New York Press considers the album a touchstone of hardcore hip hop, a gritty, stripped-down, dark and violent subgenre of hip hop and the signature sound of New York City's rap scene during the mid-1990s. He writes that "the Wu-Tang Clan ... all but invented 90s New York rap, back when the notion of an East Coast gangsta still meant Schoolly D or Kool G. Rap ... [They] designed the manner and style in which New York artists would address what Snoop and Dre had made rap's...
Hip hop production
RZA's production on Enter the Wu-Tang had a profound and significant influence on subsequent hip hop producers. The distinctive sound of Enter the Wu-Tang has been credited with creating a blueprint for hardcore hip hop in the mid-1990s. Blackfilm.com asserts that Enter the Wu-Tang's production formula "transformed the sound of underground rap into mainstream formula, and virtually changed the face of contemporary music as popsters once knew it." Many successful rap producers have admitted to...
Subsequent Wu-Tang work
Following Enter the Wu-Tang's success, the individual members of the group negotiated and signed solo contracts with a variety of different labels: Method Man signed with Def Jam, Ol' Dirty Bastard with Elektra, GZA with Geffen Records, and Ghostface Killah with Epic Records. This expansion across the music industry was an element of RZA's stated plan for industry-wide domination, wherein "All Wu releases are deemed to be 50 percent partnerships with Wu-Tang Productions and each Wu member wit...The information regarding accolades attributed to Enter the Wu-Tang is taken from AcclaimedMusic.net,except for lists with additional sources.( * ) designates lists that are unordered.
1. Tracks 1–5 are on the Shaolin Sword side of the album and tracks 6–12 are on the Wu-Tang Sword side. In international releases, "Method Man (Skunk Mix)" is added as Track 13 with "Conclusion" being Track 14. An Expanded Edition of the album available on digital platforms like Amazon Music and Spotify contains three additional tracks: a "Shao lin" version of "Protect Ya Neck", a "Home Grown" version of "Method Man", and an a cappella version of "C.R.E.A.M.".[third-party sou...
The vinyl and cassette track order is slightly different to that of the CD: In international cassette releases, "Method Man (Skunk Mix)" is added as Track 13 with "Conclusion" being Track 14.Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) at Discogs
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May 07, 2019 · Wu-Tang Chamber Music was released in the same year, a side project executively produced by RZA, featuring live instrumentation from a Brooklyn soul band The Revelations. The album features appearances from five Wu-Tang Clan members, along with AZ , Kool G Rap , Cormega , Havoc , Sean Price , and M.O.P. .
- 4 min
- Wu-Tang Clan
This joint, despite its short running time, is otherwise a classic hip-hop gem in the Wu-Tang crown. If you think of the Wu-Tang debut as the Shaolin Sword in your music arsenal, consider "Chamber Music" as your Shaolin Dagger. It's short, but it's just as deadly. Wu-Heads unite: purchase "Chamber Music" and rock this album into the future.