Sunday, March 17, 2013
Song Of The Week: 3/17/13
Song: "Method Man"
Artist: Wu-Tang Clan
Album: "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)"
"Method Man" is kind of like the introduction to the world of one of the best MC's in the rap game, Method Man. Complete with pop culture metaphors and odes to sparking up the "broccoli", Method Man delivers the grimey rhyme flow that would make him, as well as the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan, legendary in the world of hip hop. The Wu-Tang Clan formed as a group back in 1992, comprising of nine emcee's hailing from New York's Staten Island as well as Brooklyn. The group consists of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa and Ol' Dirty Bastard. Cappadonna was also a frequent performer with the Clan. In 1993, they dropped their debut album, "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)". This album is regarded as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. The Wu-Tang style is a product of the RZA, whose beats were gritty, street anthems and each of the rapper's lyrics matched that gritty production to a tee. Unlike many other groups, Wu-Tang Clan had a unique partnership with their record label, Loud/RCA, in that they would come together as a group under that label, but be allowed to seek out their own labels for solo projects. Between 1994 and 1996, the first wave of these solo projects came out, featuring albums from Method Man, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, GZA and Ghostface Killah. In 1997, the Clan released their second studio album, "Wu-Tang Forever". This multi-platinum double album went on to receive a Grammy nomination. The single "Triumph" would feature every Clan member, including Cappadonna, though O.D.B. just spit the intro, not dropping a full verse. At this time, Wu-Tang Clan began focusing on several affiliated projects, most notably were albums from Cappadonna, Killah Priest, Sunz Of Man, Popa Wu and more. From 1998 to 2000, a second round of solo albums hit the shelves, including debuts from RZA, U-God, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa as well as follow ups from Meth, GZA, O.D.B., Raekwon and Ghostface. In 2000, "The Wu" was released. Though the album achieved double platinum status, the style changed somewhat. Some of the material seemed to be crossing over and getting away from those dirty street anthems that the group had been known for. This style was impacted even more with the release of their fourth album, "Iron Flag", in 2001. This album featured several outside producers instead of leaving the music in the RZA's hands and this hurt the product I believe. While I think it's ok for using different productions on their solo projects, the Wu-Tang style and the RZA is synonomous and the group efforts should be led by him on the production end. 2004 began with a rift between RZA and U-God. U-God felt that RZA wasn't really pushing him as a solo artist and that hurt his career. This rift was shortly laid to bed however and the Clan embarked on a European tour, one that featured each member of the group for the first time in years. 2004 also saw the release of the live album, "Disciples Of The 36 Chambers: Chapter 1" as well as the music video album, "Legends Of The Wu-Tang Clan". Tragedy struck the group late November of 2004 as Ol' Dirty Bastard collapsed in the studio and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. In 2006 the group's career was celebrated by VH1 on their annual "Hip Hop Honors" program. 2006 to 2010 saw yet another wave of solo albums, though the group did manage to squeeze in "8 Diagrams" in 2007. This album caused a small beef between RZA and Ghostface because RZA decided to release the album around the same time as Ghost's solo effort. Ghostface was not happy about that and wanted to release a full Wu-Tang album called "Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang" without any production from RZA. This album did come out but it was not a Wu album just a collaboration mostly of Ghostface, Raekwon and Method Man. In 2011, there was talk amongst the Wu-Tang camp that they would get together to drop another album. They did, however, run into some problems getting each member on the same page. Currently, as of January 2013, it has been said that the Wu-Tang Clan have in fact entered the studio to work on what will be their sixth album. RZA has stated that they'd like the album to be out by November of 2013 which will mark the 20 year anniversary of "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).