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on 8 March 2003
The music world had never heard anything like it. Eight MCs from New York with at least three personas each and an unmitigated passion for kung-fu movies release an album full of blood, passion, violence and Eastern mysticism coupled with eerie piano and string arrangements and pulsating basslines. Now, a decade after its release it is believed to be the second most essential hip hop album ever recorded (just behind Public Enemy's 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions').
The moment Ghostface Killah nails the first line on 'Bring Da Ruckus' the hip hop world would never be the same again. After an uncompromising verse and with no fuss or pause Ghostface passes the microphone to Raekwon who seamlessly continues. Hip hop groups of course were not unheard of, but where groups like Public Enemy and the Ultramagnetic MCs each had a main rapper, here there were eight equally visible rappers, each as talented as the last.
While eventually the group would collapse under the weight of kung-fu kitsch, ten years ago they were genuinely intimidating. Their description of what they do to journalists that serves as the introduction to 'Method Man' is grotesque. Earlier Gza had threatened to 'slit a n***er's back like a Dutch master killer" on 'Wu Tang: 7th Chamber'.
What makes the Wu Tang so entertaining is that each MC has their own personality well-crafted, even at this formative stage of their careers. Each MC brings an enthusiasm and character to the album. Surrounding the three master storytellers (Raekwon, Gza and Ghostface Killah) are U-God and Inspectah Deck who have never bettered their respective verses on this LP, the director Rza who also delivers most of his best verses here, witty prankster Method Man and resident lunatic ODB. Method Man, in particular, has never been in better fettle than on his eponymous track. His humour is evident throughout the entire LP, but it is on 'Method Man' where he most successfully melds it with a degree of gravity ("I be Sam, Sam I Am / and I don't eat green eggs and ham / style will hit ya, then god damn / you be like oh s**t, that's the jam"). ODB is as manic as ever; he is only slightly more coherent than he has been on later releases ("Burn me, I get into s**t, I let it out like diarrhoea / got burnt once, but that was only gonorrhoea."). This blend is what makes Wu Tang group efforts so good, but it is on their debut that the melange is at its most potent.
'C.R.E.A.M.' (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) remains the Wu's most perfectly recorded moment. Raekwon and Inspectah Deck fill the listener in on how hard it was for them growing up, "A man with a dream with plans to make CREAM / which failed; I went to jail at the age of fifteen / a young buck selling drugs and such who never had much / trying to get a clutch at what I could not.... could not...." 'Wu Tang: 7th Chamber' has the entire Clan (bar U-God) attempt to out-do each other in some short verses. The beat is almost skeletal and the track has no chorus, meaning that each MC merely passes the mic to his next compadre. The track also gives ODB the chance to say perhaps his best, and unquestionably his funniest, couplet to date, "Are you, uh, ah, uh, are you a warrior? Killer? Slicing s**t like a samurah (sic) / The Ol' Dirty Ba***rd. Wunderba!" It's the first and last time ODB would deal in the German language, which, on this evidence, is a crying shame. Meanwhile, the Wendy Rene-sampling 'Tearz' sounds like some demented carnival mixed with the subject matter of TLC's 'Waterfalls'. In fact it's hard to believe that TLC's track wasn't heavily inspired by this track, as the subject matter is essentially identical. Rza's first verse tells of the murder of his brother and Ghostface Killah's verse tells of his friend who catches HIV. And has any band ever recorded a mission statement as perfect as 'Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit'? This writer thinks not.
Many albums are branded as being landmark releases few however actually deserve the title. 'Enter The Wu Tang' is one such album that is entirely worthy of its reputation. 'Enter The Wu Tang' is as good an album you will ever hear. It seems unlikely that the Wu will ever better it, or anybody else for that matter.
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on 25 December 2013
The titles of all but one of the tracks say that these are "clean" versions. Having just bought the mp3 album, I can confirm that they are the explicit versions.

This will please some who, like me, wanted the explicit versions but might have been afraid to purchase this because of the "clean" in the title.

And it will upset some who have bought this expecting there to be no bad language. Because it's all hanging out there.

I hope this is helpful to prospective purchasers.
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on 15 July 2004
Easily the best album by wu-tang clan. I recently bought "The W" and although it is still very good, it isn't quite as good as 36 chambers. The beats are heavy and its spooky/eerie music trademark can be definately heard. A must-buy for any wu-tang clan fan, and also any gravediggaz fans, as the music is almost identical with some raps from wu-tang members, and was in fact produced by wu-tang's RZA. Easily worth£7.00 for an urban-classic.
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on 12 March 2002
Ok, let's start with track 1.
Bring the ruckus is a real old school track with one of the best beats on the album. A banging chorus by the Rza, but all the rappers are outshined on the 4th verse by Gza.
The next track, "shame on a n***a" is short and sweet. The tune is slightly more in the times and the beat is dope. Ol dirty Bza shines on this track coz it suits him perfectly.
Track 3 "Clan in da front" starts with a slightly drawn out intro from Rza but smashes through with a great beat and the genuis/gza. This song is one of the best I've heard from the wu..and i've heard alot! nuff said.
Track 4 is a group effort with all 8 members trying to out do each other. After another fairly long intro a real skeletal rza beat takes the wu through the 7th chamber. I would say ghost face and gza shine most on this track, but they're all great.
Track 5 is another classic. "Can it all be so simple then" is very deep lyrically. Both ghost face and Raekwon shine on this track.
Track 6 is the first real fast pace track on the album, started off by a classic kung fu sample. All rappers shine on this track and the beat is one that will always have a place in my heart.
Track 7, 'co produced by method man' is another classic wu banga which finally gives the rza a chance to explode on the mike. Great beat, great lyrics, great tunes. great track.
Track 8 is the deepest and most well thought out track on the album. "C.R.E.A.M" (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) has a perfect piano loop and ace beat that helps Raekwon and Inspektah Deck spit rhymes about life in the hood. A classic Wu banga. Play it loud!
Track 9's intro is one you don't wanna play to your mummy. After reciting torture methods, the man himself, Method man, just spills rhymes out on to the mike like he was born to do it. The best beat on the album, funny lyrics and a great intro.
Track 10 "Protect ya neck" is a clean version, (no swearing!) but don't worry. The swearing isn't what makes this track the ground breaking first single from the wu...it's the eerie Rza beat and one after another perfect revised verses from all 9 memebers. (ghost and odb really shine on this track) Great!
Track 11 is the best, without a doubt, ghost/rza collaberation of all times. With a classic 70's sample for the chorus, and ghost and rza on point through out the whole track, you can't go wrong with this one.
The other tracks are remixes. This album is the best hip hop album you're gunnu here for a long time. So play it loud and proud. Enjoy
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on 3 February 2006
Where do i start with this 1!! First things first! this IS WITHOUT A DOUBT 1 of the best rap albums ever!!!(unless ur faveroute album is 'the massacre'!!)If you have never heard the clan b4, u will have 2 listen 2 the album at least 4 or 5 times b4 u get used 2 there slang. Once u can understand what they are on about u will quickly realize that this is one of the rawest albums ever!! This vibe created by this album is unique, RZA's beats are so far ahead of their time is unreal, the way that the Clan come togeather on this album is pure magic!!! Some people dont quite get their style... i didnt realise exactly how good this album was until my friend gave it 2 me on a tape which i put in my car. i had heard the album played before this and although i loved it instantly, it took almost a month of playing the tape nonstop until it hit me... any other tape playing non-stop for 4 weeks would have lost its edge!! NOT this one though, iv probably listeden to the album right through over 100 times!!!!!IT STAYS FRESH!! If u have read all the other reviews on this album and u havent been convinced to buy it i hope this changes ur mind. With Hip-Hop being in the pathetic state that its in these days and new origonal artists being few and far between, it is albums like this that remind you what rap is really about. If you consider yourself a real hip-hop fan, without this album you are faker than 50!!!!
P.S
If you have heard this album and want more WU then buy;
1. Ghostface Killah - Iron Man
2. GZA/Genius - Liquid Swords
3. Rakewon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
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Enter the Wu-Tang(36 Chambers)is one of the greatest debut albums of all time- name any one (Roxy Music, Never Mind the Bollocks, Music from Big Pink, The Modern Dance, Talking Heads77 etc) & it more than measures up. It's also one of the most significant rap albums- personally the nihlistic spirit of NWA and 2LiveCrew were a bit tiring (Efil4Zaggin is one of the worst albums ever, by anyone). Rap would ultimately get emptier with Puff Daddy, Tupac & the whole exploitative cabal that surrounded/surrounds them. The late 80s had seen key rap albums released- PE's It Takes a Nation of Millions (& follow up Fear of a Black Planet), EricB&Rakim's Paid in Full, Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique & De La Soul's 3 Feet High & Rising. An album like Straight Outta Compton had some great tracks, but was a lot more limited- so it was this debut from 1993 that rejuvinated the genre.
The Wu were spearheaded by rapper Prince Rakeem who took on the moniker of The RZA, backed by seven charismatic & talented rappers: Method Man, U-God, Rebel Ins (aka Inspector Deck), Raekwon, Ghost Face Killah, ODB & The Genius/The GZA. Here the collective come together in perfectly lethal form, to the semi-industrial sci-fi soundscapes of the RZA (advancing on the sound of EricB&Rakim's Follow the Leader&Lyrics of Fury).
ODB before his sad lapse into problemville (though his 1st two solo albums are total classics) assists cousin The RZA on Da Mystery of Chessboxin' & previews the immense sound of solo debut Return to the 36 Chambers. While Method Man is the star not only of Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F'Wit, but the eponymous track named after him- which moves from an improvised horrorshow rap to a severe blend of sonic grooves & industrial beats. A major highlight- though every track stands out, from the summertime sounds of Can It All Be So Simple (rerecorded for Only Built 4 Cuban Linx) & C.R.E.A.M.- an intelligent rap on the reductive nature of the material world and how everything is reduced to cashola (part of the Wu's subsequent problems can be linked to this theme- all the parasites come out...)
Shame on a Nigga is another highlight, ODB rapping over over a brassy70s sample that would later be sampled by Suicide on 2002's Wrong Decisions (another sonically uncompromising NY band who came from the underground). Bring on Da Ruckus is the perfect opening track- huge beats as violent overloaded imagery is spat out (Nixon, PLO, Porno-flick bitches,the Waco-atrocity...). The best is saved for the conclusion of the album- debut single Protect Ya Neck (as great a debut single as Anarchy in the UK or Piss Factory). The kettle-whistling sound of Rebel Without a Pause (from a Miles Davis record) is referenced- The RZA in complete control of the soundscape as the tightest Wu-line-up trade lines- some great harmonics (here comes my shaolin style!)- the beats pulse and overload as atmospheric keyboards play in the background. Even better is Tearz- a Wendy Rene-sampling slice of emotional rap that sounds like the missing link between prime Lee'Scratch'Perry, 80s Prince & Tricky's Maxinquaye (1994). Absolutely amazing- later Wu-related tracks like Heaven&Hell, Rainy Days & Heaterz would stem from this great blueprint.
Enter the Wu-Tang is one of the greatest albums...ever. The initial solo follow-ups showed equal invention- Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Liquid Swords, the Gravediggaz debut ,Tical, Return to the 36 Chambers, Ironman. It was more with the bloated Wu-Tang Forever where things began to go wrong- though Killah Priest's debut was great, as was ODB's Neptunes-assisted second album. But as a single album, Enter..., is definitive & remains an important release both in the rap-sense and of the 1990s, a decade which would generally run out of ideas about halfway through. At this budget price, it NEEDS to be owned...
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on 5 February 2016
Got to know of these guys from a new acquaintance at a jam night session in a local pub. My curiosity was stirred, so decided to purchase this album, as I already have some rap artists in my collection. Very pleased, these guys have plenty of energy, and true to form the songs make a point, gets your attention.
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on 19 June 2015
My fondness for Hip Hop dried up after Jay-Z's early stuff, and I haven't listened to much in the past decade or so. But going back to the 36 chambers didn't disappoint at all. The energy of it is exactly as I remember and it's really stood the test of time. It's just a shame the genre doesn't produce artists like this anymore.
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on 1 March 2015
You know this album is going to be crazy from track one, the moment you hear "GHOSTFACE! Catch the blast of a hype verse" Track after track it's brilliant, Clan in Da Front has probably the greatest intro to a track ever. With each member complimenting each other's style so well, Method Man with his comical wordplay, Ghostface's abilities to tell stories, GZA dropping knowledge, it all just fits. It's brilliant. The production almost sounds unfinished, but that turns out to be a great thing, because it just fits so perfectly.

You have to listen, words on a screen can't do the album justice! Hip Hop classic!
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on 12 December 2003
This is the best hip-hop album I've ever bought. I got it back in '98, and I still listen to it a lot. It takes a few listens to get into the slang the Wu use, but after that you're hooked. The beats are very raw, which can take some getting used to, but once you do get used to it most other hip-hop sounds like pop; soft and over-produced, and you just won't want to listen to it any more. What turns me on in rap is the lyrics, and some of the lyrics on this album are phenomenal. Mixing references to classic kung-fu films with slang from the projects in 'Shaolin' Island, the Wu came up with an original style which is complemented by the fact that as there's so many of them, you never get bored: after a while you pick up the different styles of the clan members. The lyrics are very hardcore, but often witty and amusing. This album is easily the best they made - the only other Wu album which comes close, in my opinion, is GZA's Liquid Swords (which is also superb). 36 Chambers is a definitive album, a must-have for hip-hop fans. If you don't have it, go and buy it. Now.
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