10 Best Verses From ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’
There’s Boogie Down Production’s ‘Criminal Minded. The Beastie Boys‘ legendary ‘Licensed to Ill. Eric B. & Rakim‘s ‘Paid in Full.’ Hip-hop has plenty of albums that are considered landmarks in the culture, but what do they mean for the casual fan? They’re essential listens and are still on the playlist for many, but for others, do they extend beyond hip-hop homework? The answer is yes, with Wu-Tang Clan‘s epochal ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’ being one without question.
Twenty years later, the group’s debut album, which was released on Nov. 9, 1993, is still gritty, idiosyncratic and — perhaps one of the album’s best features — full of character. RZA game-changing production isn’t the only distinct feature of the LP; each of the Wu-Tang members — RZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, U-God, GZA, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa — get their shine as well.
Ghostface’s frenetic raps constantly cut through the Shaolin smog, Raekwon cooks up the details with his threatening rasp, and 20 years later, there has yet to be an English adjective that adequately describes ODB’s absurdities.
Going back to where it all started is far from retrograde here, especially on an album that features timeless classics ‘Protect Ya Neck’ and ‘C.R.E.A.M.’ are on. The team of rappers featured on this LP demonstrated keen wordplay and delivered their stories of triumph and tribulation to the masses with unparalleled skill.
Here are the 10 Best Verses From ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).’
“I grew up on the crime side, the New York Times side / Staying alive was no jive / Had secondhands, Mom’s bounced on old man / So then we moved to Shaolin land.”
” I be tossin’, enforcin’ my style is awesome/ I’m causing more family feuds than Richard Dawson / And the survey says, you’re dead / Fatal flying guillotine chops off your f—ing head!”
RZA (‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F— Wit’)
“Moe tried to be down with O.P.P / Ain’t nothing wrong but he got caught with the HIV / Now no life to live, doc says two more years / So after the laughter I guess comes the tears.”
Ghostface Killah (‘Tearz’)
“Don’t eat Skippy, Jif or Peter Pan / Peanut butter, ’cause I’m not butter / In fact I snap back like a rubber / Ban/ I be Sam, Sam I am / And I don’t eat green eggs and ham.”
Method Man (‘Method Man’)
“Rappinin’ is what’s happening / Keep the pockets stacked and then, hands clapping and / At the party when I move my body / Gotta get up and be somebody.”
Ol’ Dirty Bastard (‘Da Mystery of Chessboxin’)
“Ghostface catch the blast of a hype verse / My glock bursts, leave in a hearse, I did worse.”
Ghostface Killah (‘Bring Da Ruckus’)
“Now, my man from up north now he got the loft and solid as a rock and crazy soft / No jokes, I’m not playing, get his folks / Desert Eagle his d— and put em in a yoke/ And to know for sure, I got wreck and rip shop / I pointed a gat at his mother’s knot.”
Raekwon (‘Can It Be All So Simple’)
“What’s that in your pants, ah human feces! / Throw your s—ty drawers in the hamper / Next time come strapped with a f—ing Pamper / How you sound, B? You’re better off a quitter / I’m on the mound, G, and it’s a no-hitter.”
GZA (‘Clan in Da Front’)
“But shorty’s running wild, smoking sess, drinking beer /
And ain’t trying to hear what I’m kicking in his ear /
Neglected, for now but yo, it gots to be accepted /
That what? That life is hectic.”
Inspectah Deck (‘C.R.E.A.M.)
“First things first, man, you’re f—ing with the worst / I’ll be sticking pins in your head like a f—ing nurse / I’ll attack any n—- who slack in his mack / Come fully packed with a fat rugged stack.”
Ol’ Dirty Bastard (‘Protect Ya Neck’)