I still remember the first time I saw the Wu-Tang Clan on BET’s Rap City (we used to watch almost every day after class and I’d even pause/mix record videos live to VHS). It was so raw, so different than anything that had come before that you couldn’t help being immediately drawn in. 36 Chambers was a landmark in itself but then they went on an unprecedented run with five undisputed classics in a row labelled as solo records but each one was produced entirely by the RZA and was unmistakably a Wu-Tang album. Their legend grew quickly and it turned out that they’d set the bar impossibly high. There were still moments on Wu-Tang Forever and later solo efforts (especially by Ghostface) that gave you that old Wu feeling but for the most part it could never all be that simple again. I have my arguments with the approach to this retrospective piece on the Clan in Grantland but you could always count on these guys for interview quotables and this one is full of them.  It’s more than a little sad seeing where everyone is at now but their legacy can’t be denied.


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