Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is the debut studio album by American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, released on November 9, 1993, by Loud Records. Recording sessions took place during late 1992 to early 1993 at Firehouse Studio in New York City, and the album was produced by the group's de facto leader RZA. Its title originates from the martial arts films Enter the Dragon (1973) and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978).The gritty, distinctive sound of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) created a blueprint for hardcore hip hop during the 1990s, and helped return New York City hip hop to national prominence. Its sound also became greatly influential in modern hip hop production, while the group members' explicit, humorous, and free-associative lyrics have served as a template for many subsequent hip hop records. Serving as a landmark release in the era of hip hop known as the East Coast Renaissance, its influence helped lead the way for several other East Coast rappers, including Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Mobb Deep, and Jay-Z. Despite its raw, underground sound, the album had surprising chart success, peaking at number 41 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 30,000 copies in its first week on sale. By 1995 it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and in October 2018 it was certified triple platinum. Initially receiving positive reviews from most music critics, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is widely regarded as one of the most significant albums of the 1990s, as well as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. In 2020, the album was ranked 27th on Rolling Stone's updated list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2022, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".Wikipedia
Bring the motherfucking ruckus 🙌🏻
In 300 years, when future civilizations sift through the wreckage of our society, this album will be treated as one of the foundational building blocks of a global culture. People will analyze the lyrics of the GZA like Shakespeare and the production of the RZA like Mozart, they'll probably even think ODB was a genius! The fact that a group of teenagers from the worst areas of New York were able to combine a few snippets from soul records from the 70s, culture and dialog from martial arts movies from Hong Kong and Japan, and a kick and snare to make something that will still be banging in car stereos and block parties 300 years from now is what music is all about. Wu Tang forever!!!
WU WU WU WU WU! These guys are fantastic! 9 skilled rapper taking turns, each with your own personality, a unique style and rhyme you can't resist getting attached to. Theme continues hardcore gangsta hip hop but marks the East Coast Renaissance. Sound is much more minimalistic than we're used to, placing more of an emphasis on what the rappers can show us. The raps are really smart, like insanely smart. These are model raps I look to for inspiration how to rhyme. I love how the samples evolve as the members swap, making each track feel longer and more rewarding. Samples are minimalistic, feels inspired by the jazz rap but low key and fun. Nice kung fu clips. I'm usually not a fan of skits, especially when so often they glue in with the track themselves and last two minutes. But these were fun with all the different characters. Nothing like Biggie and his friend taking on all their roles. GZA the poet and philosopher. Ol Dirty Bastard with the ol loco wubudub voice that sounds like he came from the dentist. Ghostface Killah with his high, loud, and crazy voice, reminds me of Flavor Flav. U-God with that rough almost Jamaican voice that rolls off the tongue. Masta Killa the guy who only showed up for a minute and called it a day. Inspectah Deck the energetic one with the accessible voice. Raekwon the young, slick voice with the heartbreaking stories. Method Man the mature, collective one who really sings in some of his verses. RZA the strong and aggressive leader who incites the audience. There's a strong momentum with "Da Mystery of Chessboxing" that carries to the rest of the album. The songs before them are amazing too, but the long skits more than often serve as a distraction. "Bring Da Ruckus" and "Shame on a Nigga" set up the mood for the album. "Clan in Da Front" is a display of GZA's poetry and highlights his character, also reinforcing RZA's status. "7th Chamber Part I" gives us an overview over the majority of the clan members and their unique styles. "Can It Be All So Simple" is where I start paying attention to the samples, love the stories built. "Da Mystery of Chessboxing" really kicks the album into gear, with "Wu Tang Ain't Nuthin ta F' Wit" carrying that momentum and energy. "C.R.E.A.M." is a natural hit with an often misinterpreted message. "Method Man" highlights the titular character's talent with some awesome samples. I love the way he sings... he changes his tone so much, sometimes you want to sing along. "Protect Ya Neck" has some of my favorite lines, especially GZA's. "Tearz" has my favorite samples, a highlight of RZA and his intense emotional storytelling. Wear protection kids. "7th Chamber Part II" is a fitting closer. Nice mixing and samples.
Nah. Some tunes were ok, but not my bag baby!
I get why this was a huge album. But I just don’t care for it.
Best hip hop album of all time? Easily top 10. 5 Stars.
Not only is 36 Chambers the best Wu-Tang album, but it’s one of the best hip-hop albums ever. Can’t think of a better ensemble album. Original sound, good flow, dope rhymes and a variety of themes. Started multiple legendary careers. A couple sounds tell a great story/have a good msg. This album has been in my regular rotation for years fir a reason. Easy 5.
This might be the Platonic ideal of hip hop.
Very few hip hop groups, very few musicians, in fact, very few artists of any persuasion manage to create their own universe and invite their fans to live in it as Wu Tang did here. Kung-fu fighting, Five Percenter quoting, chess playing, street thuggin', hardcore hip-hop straight outta Shaolin (a.k.a. Staten Island). The 36 Chambers is a fantasy universe cut through with the grim reality of the violent street lives most of the Clan were living in the early '90s. RZA's red raw beats and nine unique voices, each with a story to tell, came together "like Voltron" to create something that still sounds utterly vital nearly 30 years later.
My familiarity with the Wu-Tang Clan is limited exclusively to their appearances and association with prestige HBO programming. First they appeared on "The Larry Sanders Show", where a befuddled Hank Kingsley (played to perfection by Jeffrey Tambor) tells the band his favorite song is "Shame On A Nigga". The second moment came on an episode of "The Leftovers" where Nora Durst (in a star-making performance by Carrie Coon) covered up the names of her departed children she had tattooed on her arm with the Wu-Tang Clan logo. Only she referred to them as "the Wu-Tang Band". That episode also made me familiar with the Wu-Tang name generator, which reminds me that I should really start Romanticist Visual as my pen name. If that doesn't scream "Middle Aged White Male", I don't know what does. And this middle aged white male known forever as Romanticist Visual quite enjoyed this album by the Wu-Tang Band. Lower your expectations. It's a fine mess. The Wu got somethin'.
So good. Surprisingly so. Was never into them when this album came out, and they’ve sort of passed me by a bit, whilst also enjoying most of what I did know of them. But I was always into bands like J5, Pharcyde and The Roots over Wu Tang. Really enjoyed hopping along to this album. Also way less aggy than I assumed it would be.
Absolute classic that defines a great group of artists. Explains to you as you're listening the power of hip-hop and the connections to Eastern cinema make it a great blending of cultures and ideas into something new
This is a classical album that deserves 5 stars for the influence. Any modern hip-hop could not be the same without this album and, also, it sounds so new even today. Classical is classical for one reason!
This is an undisputed classic of hip-hop. I'm amazed when I read about how this album was recorded that it even came together the way that it did. Usually too many cooks spoil the meal but with this it just worked and MAN did it work. I would say that this is one of the most influential albums of the 90s.
An iconic album for hip hop. It's fresh, grimy, hard hitting, and fun. The production is amazing, I love the jazz and so samples. All the members come through with great verses and the variety of voices this provides keeps every song exciting. A bonafide classic.
From the slums of Shaolin, Wu-Tang Clan's back again. The RZA, the GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah and the Method Man.... a seismic shift occurred in hip-hop when the Killa Bees were on the swarm. We've seen solo rappers, duos, trios and quartets but never a ennead. Nine hungry dudes, some of whom were burned by the industry beforehand, storming through with innovative soul samples, endless nods to kung-fu movies of the 70s and a keen eye out for the the bigger picture. One of the most consequential, influential and greatest albums ever.
Aiming at once for total unity and individual identity, everyone and everything is vying for space. Two skits introduce ‘Method Man’, for heaven's sake. But even when they’re bickering (“Is he dead? What the fuck do you mean ‘Is he dead?’”) they hold each other up. Meth’s introduction of each member is lovingly done, and it speaks to the respect they have for each other’s skills that they leave the compèring to him. When someone interrupts his flow, they ask permission, before letting him back in for the punchline: “We form like Voltron and the GZA just happen to be the head.” Maybe on another album the skits would be de trop, but because RZA chops and slices the beat, samples and sequencing in equal measure, it just about fits together. Just about. The slightly jagged, off-kilter part of "just about" is where the magic happens. It’s often unclear if a skit is part of a song or a song part of a skit, whether they’re talking or rapping, if a song’s ended or started. It’s seductively menacing, especially as RZA’s fascination with the esoteric means his production is littered with whatsits—piano tinkles, talk of chess, sweet soul samples. They boing off the Clan’s collective rap style of eschewing smoothness and attacking the beat. In between the mysticism, torture fantasies, samurai flicks, street tales, and bravado, you get sight of the horrifying poverty they came from (listen to Ghostface’s ‘All That I Got Is You’ a few years later if you want a good cry) and understand why the Clan was essential for their survival.
Nothing like getting into the hard swearing right off the bat. It’s getting better as it gets further into the record. There was definitely a point where there was just so much swearing that I wasn’t sure I wanted to listen to the rest of it. I like the sound, and some of the content is appealing to me. Other parts of it, I don’t like as much, but…it might be a cultural thing?
I know that Wu-Tang is like, rap royalty. They're boom-bap kings. But ... I kinda hate 'em. The lyrics are trash. Content and delivery. All pointless. The beats are repetitive and unimaginative. The whole kung-fu flavor just comes off goofy as hell. Every single member of Wu-Tang went on to make music that was SO MUCH BETTER THAN WU-TANG. Two stars for cultural importance only.
Do like me some hip-hop, but many of the tracks here have either aged like milk or were puerile to start with, and it's another culprit for pre and post-fixing tracks with skits which add little or just detract completely. Probably went down better in a cow-hide Chrysler Fifth Avenue, discussing your gang issues, at the time of release.
It's always fun to listen to something that you've already heard many things influenced by.
I was starting to get worried they weren’t gonna have any black ppl on this list.
Rousing debut, shock the world, revolutionary
No idea how such sweary, angry, mysoginistic, self aggrandising can feel so mellow and welcoming. Well done.
Okay, a fantastic album by one of the most talented acts of the 90s. I have previously said that the dominance of gangsta rap help back hip-hop, yet here we have the greatest gangsta rap of them all. Now, it's interesting to compare this to Tupac's All Eyez on me. With that, there was the constant sense of a punch being pulled, of someone playing at being a thug, and playing at being a poet, and fallaciously assuming that the logic would make him a thug poet. With Enter the Wu-Tang, we have proper thug poets. We have such uncompromising music and such uncompromising lyricism, and both beguile. One will love the dark laughter. If people tolerated gangsta rap as it gave the promise of an eventual wonderful act, this is that promise being fulfilled. The mysticism is piffle, but that's in no way a dealbreaker: it's nice to have an east-coast hardcore rap outfit culturally appropriating kung-fu movie lore.
Wu-Tang is for the kids! This album is lightning in a bottle, never captured before or since. While other hip-hop groups have brought their A-game (Sugarhill Gang, N.W.A., Brockhampton, etc.), only the Wu-Tang Clan have delivered an album so hardcore, so tight, and so impressive. Not a second is wasted with every member giving their all, from RZA's beats to every MC featured. Also worth noting that this album would launch successful solo careers for several members, including GZA, Ghostface Killah, and of course Ol' Dirty Bastard who passed too soon. There's not a bad song on here. People who bought this cassette back in the 90's got 100% of their money's worth this one. I can't say enough thing about Wu-Tang's untouchable debut. Enter the 36 chambers....
Oh my days, best news ever! This is going to get five stars. I'm digging out the LP now, and I'm excited to listen to it again, even though I listened to Protect Ya Neck last Friday. Listened to it. It's still like the difference between Batman and Robin (the Joel Schumacher film) and Avengers Endgame. It was a leap forward, and features a group where every part improves the whole (even U-God). So many bars on this are just pure poetry. And that's before you even consider RZA's inspired 'dark soul' production and the Kung Fu symbolism. If you don't love it, I can't even help you, soz.
Man what a treat. This is one of those classic, Mount Rushmore kind of hip hop albums, right up there in contention with Illmatic and others as the greatest of all time. It's one I've listened to before, but at a time that I definitely didn't appreciate it. Hearing it now, it's incredible. The beats are so sinister, the raps are dark and heavy, and the little interludes of dialogue say a lot about the burgeoning future for Wu-Tang, storied as it would eventually become. It's crazy that this came out not only in the same year but on the same day as Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest, my favorite hip hop album ever. And honestly, this one is really high up there too. Obviously I need to spend more time with it to call it a favorite at any level, but listening through it this time is enough for me to know it deserves five stars. Perfectly dusty, spooky beats, gritty kung-fu samples, and hungry lyrical performances from everyone involved. The East Coast really did have something to say. Favorite tracks: 7th Chambers pt. 1 and 2, CREAM, Protect Ya Neck, Bring Da Ruckus, Da Mystery of Chessboxin. Album art: Honestly, this may have been what held me back from relistening to this or truly appreciating it. I can't say that it's a bad album cover, and it's obviously very recognizable, but it also just seems blurry and indistinct. Looking at it closely now, it's definitely cool, all the masked faces. But it still doesn't really catch my attention the way a lot of others do, including from solo Wu Tang member projects. Perfectly spooky though, so it fits. 5/5
Rap so dope, even Congress said this is a must listen.
I’m not gonna sit here and act like I haven’t listened to this album since I was 13. This album is easily in my top 25 of all time. Every track is a hit for me. Couldn’t have gotten a better album on this day. Wutang is for the children
One of the greatest albums of all time. A top 10 in Hip hop a blueprint for current rap. 10/10
Speaking as someone who once breastfed a flamingo to good health, I feel that I have the authority to make the ultimate judgement on this magnificent record. Wu-Tang Clan deliver a sumptuous, sexy, deadly fucknugget, that really makes me want to bend over and devour a watermelon with the lips of my anus. It's not often I say that. Such high praise indeed. What a brilliant man I am. Wu-Tang are very good, but not a patch on me. I'm so successful and awesome, that I make lesser men want to die. I am solely responsible for the rise in suicide rates amongst young males and it's entirely down to their jealousy of my incredible life. Catch me on the flipside, bitches, I'm off into town to capture myself a bride and some chicken wings. Ooooooh.
Can't beat that review that said this "might be the Platonic ideal of hip hop". That reviewer is right on so many counts. If only because this album sounds as if it was recorded in a cave dug in the middle of projects, and yet is never ashamed of what it is, even developing a whole mystique around its lo-fi beats and minimalistic piano loops, or around its soul samples and rough rapping about destitute parts of New York. Shadows and light create a mesmerizing spectacle on the walls of this dark, dark cave. Each rapper in the collective effectively displays a specific personality or an idiosyncratic style (nicely expanded in each one's first solo forays) and RZA has a flair for catchy hooks drawing on a very *idealized* vision of eastern culture--mostly through kung-fu movie samples, but also through its ascetic ethos and borderline-zen aesthetics. The end result is as pure as it gets. Distinctively from its day and age and yet timeless--which is where you recognize a true masterpiece, whether it is in rap, rock or any other style of music. Even the overlong skits are bringing something that's actually relevant to the table--being part of what makes this record a quintessential one in the whole hip hop genre. A Platonic ideal indeed. Word. Number of albums left to review: 751 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 124 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 62 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 64
Love this album, when Ghostface starts on ‘Bring Da Ruckus’ you’re in for a wild ride. The group helped make New York Hip Hop and this album is some of the best. It shows with tracks like ‘Method Man’, C.R.E.A.M. and ‘Da Mystery of Chessboxing’, these should be in any Hip-Hop Playlist. Method Man and Raekwon are especially good in this album along with Ghostface and GZA which are always consistent. The only issue I have found with this album over time is that I normally skip some tracks for example ‘Can It Be All So Simple’ seems out and place, it by far the weakest track/skit. It leads to the album feeling especially long with the skits before or after some tracks. Overall, this album will always be one of the best Hip Hop albums along with Wu-Tang as they have a unique style.
It's pretty good as far as hip hop goes, but at the end of the day I just don't enjoy this genre much. Although Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F'Wit is stuck in my head I have to admit. 2 stars.
Not much of a lyrics person, but a certain usually-unflappable wife just called what she heard ‘grotesque’. These guys have gnawn a cult following over the years, but haven’t gotten into them.
Not available for streaming
I was pretty determined to give this a high rating given its a seminal album in hip hop and music in general, but I feel that would be overly performative. I do like some wu-tang.. particularly protect ya neck but this really doesnt do it for me overall.
I tried - but it’s not really my thing
-Just not the biggest fan of most of the flows/styles -there were bits of good flow in "Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber," "Mystery of Cheeseboxin'," and "Protect Ya Neck" -I did like Method Man's style, all of his stuff was nice
Not work appropriate!
This album seemed repetitive and boring. I admit that most hip-hop is just not my thing with only a few exceptions, and this one didn't cut it. I found the skits annoying and for me, where is the actual "music"? Just a boring beat. 2
I appreciate the influence this album had on music but do I need to listen to it again? No, I do not. If I want to hear that much swearing I'll go to a Trump rally about vaccine mandates.
There are some good beats on this album which helped me make it through the album. The lyrics and content --> this album is not for me.
I always find this a strange listen. It's ok but never fully grabs me but everyone else loves it. 28 years old? I guess I was still going through my grunge phase? Tell you what I did love at this time - The Disposable Heroes of Hypocrisy. 1992's 'Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury' still sounds more vital than this. Shame Franti decided he wanted to be reborn as the new Bob Marley.
Does it count as a listen when you skip every track within the first 30 seconds?
J-Roc is my favorite Wu Tang Clan member.
Old school rap, DA BEST
Phenomenal. Wu-Tang comes swinging right out the gate with gritty lyrics and a dirty, almost lofi, sound. A classic.
Connor: Few other hip-hop albums come close to this.
Loved it. First time listening all the way through. Lot of hits on that record
Brilliant! I don't even consider myself a hip-hop fan, but this album slaps. 'Method Man', 'C.R.E.A.M.', 'Wu-Tang Clain Ain't Nuthin Ta F' Wit' are my favourite tracks, but there isn't a bad one on this album.
I'll admit it- I'd never listened to this before. My god. It's rap perfection.
Stone cold classic. WU TANG CLAN AIN'T NUTTIN TO FUCK WIT
Brooklyn zoo !
Ich hab vorher noch nie WuTang Clan gehört, aber es sofort erkannt - weil der Sound so viel beinflusst hat und so oft zitiert wird. Auch die Texte sind direkt politisch, ganz selbstverständlich, weil die Themen direkt aus dem Alltag kommen - sehr beeindruckend.
ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS EVER
Love it, Wu-Tang is always nice
Genre defining and still fresh today 30 years later. Awesome.
I mean it's fuckin' Wu-Tang. Rap don't get better just listen to it. I've was actually Listening to this album like a week ago so yeah I fuck with it. Five stars bitch.
A hip-hop MASTERPIECE.
Love love love love.
I was big into Wu during college. Haven't listened much in the last 10 years, but this record is still a banger.
top 5 greatest hip hop albums of all time. a classic
1ere fois que je l’ecoute au complet. Vraiment solide j’adore ce genre de rap! 5*
Probably my favourite rap album of all time
About bloody time! A great album that paved the way for so many hip hop acts that followed.
Absolutely legendary album. RZA legendary production. 10/10
Electric energy. Didn't love the whole album, but damn, some of those tracks got me amped.
Uno de los mejores discos de rap de la historia. Recomiendo que cuando lo escuchen, lo hagan de la mano de las letras. Increíble, oscuro, sucio, denso, jocoso, divertido.
Hell yeah! This album has so many good songs. Perfect for listening to in your car a little too loud, and drowning out the rest of the world. The only draw back is that the songs themselves are interspersed with interviews, and then it sometimes goes back to the song. I got confused a couple of times about which song I was actually listening to 🙃
Wu-Tang Clan, what can I say? 5 stars across the boards for this one
The masterpiece, not a bad song, and a great introduction to a great band #wutang4ever
Superb, a real classic. Absolutely love it.
Schon immer eins meiner lieblings Hip Hop Alben, alleine schon wegen Produktion, Flow und dieser Energie,aber erst jetzt, wo ich mich ein bisschen mehr mit den Texten beschäftigt habe, merke ich richtig, wie talentiert und intelligent diese Typen sind.
Samo želim reći da je ovaj album nešta najjače ikad u hip hopu. Top 5 definitivno. 4.7/5
A one of a kind hip-hop group & a one of a kind album. This album features some of the groups best know songs & we're all better of for this album's existence.
It's 36 chambers. It's a masterpiece front to back. Great way to start the day.
Increíble álbum, de los mejores en la historia del rap.
Tiene algunos temas que me gustaron. Lo quiero escuchar un poco más aunque no es un estilo musical que me guste. Le pongo cinco estrellas por que juancito puso 3, pero yo le pondría un 3.
Timeless gem. Cash Rules Everything Around Me...
Never gets old
It’s for the children
Great beats and cold lyrics. You have to be in a certain mood to listen to this and there is a significant amount of filler between tracks but it's still great. 9
6th September 2021 Listened on my phone before going out to meet Neil for dim sum in soho. Some of the finest 90s rap and hip hop.
Timeless; sounds as fresh as the first time I heard it back in grade school.
Мощные они ребята!