This rate will consist of Wu-Tang's debut album and the 5 solo albums from Wu-Tang members released between 36 Chambers and Wu-Tang Forever. Additionally, vote on the MVP(s) of 36 Chambers and since he wasn't included in the solo album wave pick your favorite Deck verse from the albums here.
Voting will be open for ~4 weeks with results posted soon after the polls close.
2. "Tical has really grown on me over the years" In response to Reply # 1
It sounds like a dubbed out NYC basement party with cats smoking blunts and drinking liquor. The low end seemed to be a real focus for Rza.
It's clear each album in the first solo wave has it's own sound. It's just cool to listen to each one with that in mind, definitely helped guide Rza to his eventual sample source material for each album.
13. "never realized the drum thing.. I need to re-listen now..." In response to Reply # 5 Wed Feb-22-23 09:51 AM by My_SP1200_Broken_Aga
...i always thought the album was underwhelming for what it was anticipated to be (def jam release of the hottest new MC in the world). It could have been mixed much better in my opinion as well... very sleepy time LP to me.. still good.. just not what I had hoped for.
6. "RE: The Lesson Rates: Wu-Tang (Wave 1)" In response to Reply # 0 Mon Jan-30-23 03:25 AM by Goblah
I appreciate the smaller scope of this rate. Honestly, the Nas one was overwhelming, so much so that I couldn't get through it (I also realised I kinda gave up on Nas in the mid-00s and haven't listened to a full album since).
Some observations: - This has been one of the quickest rates I've been able to complete. Not too much internal debating needed to decide ratings and favourite songs. - The list of favourite Deck verses at the end was harder, though, because they're all so dope and memorable (I went with Chessboxin' with Guillotine hot on its heels). - It is a travesty that Deck wasn't able to release a solo while he was really hot (1993 - 1997). By the time Uncontrolled Substance dropped it felt like the Wu on the whole (Ghost aside) was on the wane. Deck deserved better.
-- 'Playas get they paper when they game is tight/and if you want some nana that's for you to decide/But as long as you ain't simpin' then ya doin' it right/'cause together they go hand in hand' - El Debarge
9. "done, thoughts from a non Wu head" In response to Reply # 8 Thu Feb-09-23 02:26 PM by mista k5
Overall I'll say that I've never been a huge Wu-Tang fan. I have definitely liked a lot of their work, as a group and solo, but they have never really been my favorites. I also have a hard time explaining why. Overall their music just never connected with me like that.
Their impact, influence and importance is not to be questioned. I'll even say that as a whole they are good/great. I think a lot of their music just isn't for me.
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) 10 I didn't grow up with this being in rotation but I have definitely listened to this a lot. I wouldn't put it in a personal favorites list as their are a lot of other albums that I have listened to a lot more. It is definitely a classic and it is great. The only two songs I don't love on it are Bring Da Ruckus and Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber - Part II (Conclusion). They're good but I think slightly below the rest of it.
Method Man - Tical - 7 I remember my cousin having this and I mostly found it boring. I liked Method Man but never loved this album. I think it has grown a lot on me since but overall it still sounds more like a demo than a finished album. 6 great songs and the rest are more of cool concepts. I can see this eventually getting to an 8 but not sure. I feel like I like the idea of this album more than the execution.
Ol' Dirty Bastard - Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version - 5 This one I just don't understand. I do like off-center music but if it sounds good. This doesn't sound good to me. I know this is on a lot of best albums list but I don't see how.
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... - 8 I went back and forth on giving this a 7 or and 8. I think it has great beats but the content just doesn't do it for me. I think this is kind of the blueprint for a lot of the mafioso late 90s rap but I was never a big fan of that so it makes sense that I don't love this album. I can see why other's might but I think this one overall is not for me. Still a good/great album.
GZA - Liquid Swords - 8 Now this one is more my style, potentially of any of the first wave solo albums. The beats are great. The rapping is really good but for me it has filler, or too many songs I don't love at least. Kind of like Tical, I love the concept but it could have been executed better. I know for many people this is a 10 but maybe it's just because I was late to it that it doesn't impress me as much. I don't think I have listened to this one that much so it might grow on me more. I did consider giving it a 9 but I think 8 is a more honest score for me. I think a lot of the underground backpack rap I like probably had this as their blueprint.
Ghostface Killah - Ironman - 10 This one is great. For me the only one that matches the group debut. GFK is definitely the rapper from the Wu that I have listened to the most. I think this one is great all around. It does have some songs I don't love but not enough to bring it down.
As a whole I do think it is an impressive run, especially for Rza. I understand why people love them.
18. "For as great as that run is, it could have been better with better luck" In response to Reply # 16
Like, if the flood (or fire, I forget) doesn't hit RZA's home, we get the original version of Tical, which from all accounts was better than the released version. And there's probably the Deck album as well if his label didn't jerk him.
1. Guillotine (Swordz) ("Poisonous paragraphs smash your phonograph in half") (11 votes) 2. Protect Ya Neck ("I smoke on the mic like "Smokin' Joe" Frazier") (5) 3. Da Mystery of Chessboxin' ("Well, I'm a sire, I set the microphone on fire") (4) 4t. C.R.E.A.M. ("It's been twenty-two long, hard years, I'm still strugglin'") (2) 4t. Assassination Day ("I move through the Third World, my third eye's the guiding light") (2)
Top 10 Wu-Tang Fans in The Lesson:
1. IslaSoul - 9.50 2t. Ishwip - 9.33 2t. will_5198 - 9.33 4t. DJR 1/25/2023 - 9.17 4t. Nick Has a Problem...Seriously - 9.17 4t. Original Juice - 9.17 4t. spitfire - 9.17 4t. Wise 7 - 9.17 4t. kinetic94761180 - 9.17 4t. Phenom - 9.17
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993) Score: 9.60 Top 3 Songs: Protect Ya Neck, C.R.E.A.M., Da Mystery of Chessboxin’
Method Man - Tical (1994) Score: 7.44 Top 3 Songs: Bring the Pain, Release Yo’ Delf, Meth vs. Chef
Ol’ Dirty Bastard - Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (1995) Score: 7.92 Top 3 Songs: Brooklyn Zoo, Shimmy Shimmy Ya, Raw Hide
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (1995) Score: 9.60 Top 3 Songs: Verbal Intercourse, Guillotine (Swordz), Incarcerated Scarfaces
23. "Tical did what I thought it would" In response to Reply # 19
That project could have used more time in the oven, as it comes off as half demo/half posse cuts at worst. But the overall heat the WU at the time had and Meth's star power/charisma were more than the sum of this album's parts. Still holds a place in my heart, but definitely don't replay it nearly as much.
I swear Meth had a chip on his shoulder when he spit on Shadowboxin'...
<-- Dave Thomas knows what's up... __________________________
Jay: Look here homie, any nigga can get a hit record. This here is about respect. Game: Like Gladys Knight. Jay: Aretha Franklin. Game: Word, I like her too. Jay: Nigga...
25. "yeah they had to recreate the majority" In response to Reply # 24
of the album while on their 36chambers tour, due to the flood. Deck's album was lost in a second flood i believe. You can't help but wonder how much more classic that first wave would've been without those huge losses.
This first flood was also the time Meth was on those angel dust dipped blunts, allegedly. the actual album does sound wavy in a dusty way, but i really fucks with it. I also read somewhere he wrote All I Need on that 36C tour. Not entirely sure.
Perhaps those posse cuts may sound redundant now, but back then it also solidified the image of the Wu coming 300 deep. affiliates with that same energy and vibe were everywhere and a lot of those cats on Tical have rarely been heard since.